Minister of State Lenihan announces continued support for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime
Mr. Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights at the Department of Foreign Affairs, announced today that in 2006 Ireland will provide further support for the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Funding of €1m was made available to the Office in 2005 and a similar contribution will be made for 2006.
Minister Lenihan met this morning with Mr Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This Vienna-based office plays a significant role in the global fight against illicit drugs and international crime, including corruption, human trafficking, money-laundering and terrorism.
Minister of State Lenihan said: “The fight against illicit drugs is a global challenge and requires a global response. I am delighted to announce our continued support for the UNODC's important work in this area.”
Ireland has supported the work of UNODC, which is largely dependent on voluntary contributions, for a number of years. The funding provided in 2005 was used to support;
• a drug addiction research centre for Central Asia, including Afghanistan;
• HIV /AIDS prevention and drugs treatment services in the former Soviet Union (Belarus, Russian Federation, Moldova, Ukraine);
• capacity-building in criminal law and criminal justice in Afghanistan;
• a preventative anti-corruption framework for the Palestinian Authority.
UNODC is also active in the counter-terrorism field, helping UN member states to ratify and implement the universal legal instruments against terrorism. In making the announcement, Minister Lenihan congratulated Mr Costa on the reforms instituted by him since taking office in 2002. These reforms have resulted in a much strengthened office and a high level of donor confidence.
17th January 2006