Press Releases

    13 May 2005

    Note to Correspondents

    UNODC Executive Director to Visit Nigeria

    17-18 May 2005

    VIENNA, 13 May (UN Information Service) -- Hope is returning to Africa. Democratically elected governments are on the increase, military coups on the decline. Economic growth and social recovery are spreading, conflicts and civil wars have ended. New leaders are campaigning on anti-crime and corruption platforms and millions of African men and women are pushing for change. Because of these positive signals, donors and investors are invited to invest in a region that is rapidly divesting itself of crime and corruption. 

    Once, Africa had the highest assault and burglary rates in the world, the second highest murder rate, the lowest police to public ratio, the lowest conviction rates, and a staggering history of corruption and bribery. The continent claimed more than half of the world’s war casualties and has been home to one-third of the world’s child solders. There are still challenges ahead, but today Africa is moving in the right direction.

    Can these countries get all the way to the finish line, and declare victory over crime and violence? The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) believes the answer is yes, provided the political will is there as well as the resources to translate policy into real-world projects and programmes.

    Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, UNODC, will launch the first report on crime in Africa titled ”Why Fighting Crime Can Assist Development in Africa: Rule of Law and Protection of the Most Vulnerable” in Abuja, Nigeria, on 17 May, 2005.  The report measures the distance still to be travelled as well as progress made. President Olusegun Obasanjo is commended for his efforts to eliminate corruption, and African States, the African Union, and other coalitions and cooperative groups are recognized for their efforts to end crime and violence.

    The press and media are invited to a briefing on the occasion of the launch of the report to be held on

    Tuesday, 17 May, 2005 at 14:00 hours

    at the

    UN House
    Plot 617/618
    Central District Area, Abuja,


    Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, UNODC and,
    Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Nigeria

    For further information:

    Paul Salay, Representative, UNODC Country Office, Abuja, Nigeria
    Tel: 00 234 9461 8575
    Fax: 00 234 9461 8533

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