The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs, transnational organized crime, terrorism and corruption, and is the guardian of most of the related conventions, particularly the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the three protocols thereto (against trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in firearms), the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the international drug control and counter-terrorism conventions. UNODC was established in 1997 as a result of the merging of the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme. Around 1,500 people work at UNODC headquarters in Vienna and in field offices around the world. UNODC serves as a secretariat for the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and for the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal justice (CCPCJ).
The EU is a long-standing supporter of UNODC projects and programmes. The total budget of the ongoing 24 projects funded by the EU is €185 million. The projects are focused on the fight against drug trafficking, the fight against organised crime and corruption, alternative development, implementation of UNTOC and UNCAC, prison reform, criminal justice system reform, law enforcement capacity-building and anti-piracy measures.
UNODC has a continuing interest in enhancing cooperation with the EU. The EU is UNODC's major partner in West Africa. This includes a comprehensive EU funded programme in Nigeria consisting of 5 UNODC projects to the value of €100 million, supporting the justice, anti-corruption and drugs sectors. The EU also provides funding to support the ECOWAS regional action plan on illicit drug trafficking, related organised crime and drug abuse in West Africa (€11.7 million).
UNODC implements 11 regional programmes (North Africa and Middle East, West Africa, East Africa, South Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Afghanistan and Neighbouring countries, Central Asia, South-East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, South-Eastern Europe) and 6 country programmes (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam). In addition to the geographical programmes, UNODC also implements 10 thematic programmes (Container Control Programme, Airport Communication Programme, Maritime Crime Programme, Global Programme against Money-Laundering, Programme on Action against Transnational Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking, Programme on Corruption, Programme for Terrorism Prevention, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform Programme, Programme on Health and Human Development Vulnerabilities, Programme on Scientific and Forensic Services). Recently, the UNODC has presented a concept paper on the fight against smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean.
EU participation in UNODC: the EU attends meetings convened under the umbrella of UNODC as an Observer, and the UNCAC and UNTOC Conferences of the Parties as a Party.