Press Releases

    17 May 2002


    New Executive Director addresses Permanent Representatives in Vienna

    VIENNA, 17 May (UN Information Service) -- In an address to Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in Vienna today, the new Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), Mr. Antonio Maria Costa said that their countries' contributions to drug control and crime prevention programmes will be regarded by his office as a ‘commitment to deliver’ rather than ‘an entitlement to spend’.

    Mr. Costa emphasized the importance of good governance and the credibility that derives from it. He said ODCCP had to carry out its mandates in an open and accountable way. Asking for guidance from Member States on establishing priorities for the office, Mr. Costa said: "First and foremost we must take care not to commit ourselves to more than we can deliver." He also spoke of the need to expand the donor base and to develop new sources of funding among all those concerned with drugs and crime such as the private sector, foundations and civil society including media conglomerates.

    In addition to the existing formal consultation mechanisms, Mr. Costa is considering new ways to consult Member States so that they are more involved in decision-making. "I will invite you to join me as frequently as necessary to study proposals before they become policy initiatives," he said.

    There was also a need to establish new instruments of compliance and control, Mr. Costa told the Permanent Representatives. One of the initiatives he has already implemented is the establishment of an Executive Committee which is empowered to make all the main decisions in a collective and transparent way, which will provide a new management framework for the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV). "Sound management is a foundation of credibility," Mr. Costa said.

    Early support for Mr. Costa's priorities in office was expressed by Member States at the meeting. Representatives from United States of America, Philippines (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China), Turkey, Spain (on behalf of the European Union), United Kingdom, China, Republic of Korea (on behalf of the Asian group), Italy, Austria, Egypt, Hungary, Romania (on behalf of the Eastern Europe group), Peru, and Finland (on behalf of the Western European and other countries group) all wished Mr. Costa success in his new role.

    * *** *