Organized crime, poverty undermine development

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Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Illicit drugs undermine development but so do poverty and low standards of living, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warns.

These factors provide fertile grounds for transnational organized crimes, he says.

A high-level debate on crime prevention is being held in New York ahead of the UN's 13th Crime Congress in Doha in April.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Strengthening the rule of law and reducing violent crimes in people's daily lives is important to their well-being, according to Yuri Fedetov, the UNODC Executive Director.

These measures, he says, can protect people from exploitation, stop corruption and free young people from the downward spiral of poverty, drugs, crime and violence.

He points to the global progress made in combatting crime although homicide levels in low and lower-middle income countries have increased by 10 per cent over the last decade.

However, Mr Fedetov also deplores how transnational organized crime has evolved and become more sophisticated in the past 60 years.

 "Just few examples, up to $USD 40 billion are being lost every year only in developing countries as a result of corruption. It means that this money could have been used to support the least developing countries but it has vanished."

The UNODC chief is urging for long-term and comprehensive crime prevention strategies that maintain the safety of communities, while protecting people's rights.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’10”

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