Elucidate the main functions of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), particularly focusing on its three pillars of activities.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was established in 1997 as a global organization to fight against illicit drugs and international crime. It has a mandate to assist UN member states to combat transnational crime, including corruption, human trafficking and people smuggling, drug-use prevention and treatment, drug trafficking and terrorism.
The three pillars of the UNODC work programme are:

  1. Enhancing the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism through Field-based technical cooperation projects.
  2. Research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions.
  3. Assisting States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies.

Some of the important functions performed by UNODC include crime prevention and criminal justice reform; drug abuse prevention through educational campaigns; addressing the emerging forms of crime, such as cybercrime, trafficking in cultural artifacts and environmental crime; terrorism prevention;  help to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions and to promote stable and viable criminal justice systems and combat the growing threats of transnational organized crime and corruption. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
Elucidate the main functions of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), particularly focusing on its three pillars of activities. (Answer in 150 words)

Published: November 17, 2017 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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