5 April 2006

Head of United Nations in Vienna Reappointed for Four-Year Term

VIENNA, 5 April (UN Information Service) -- Antonio Maria Costa has been re-appointed for a second four-year term as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The appointment, made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, will take effect from 7 May 2006.

"I am grateful to the Secretary-General for the confidence he has expressed in my work and the importance he attaches to UNODC's efforts to make the world safer from drugs, crime and terrorism," Mr. Costa said.

Outlining his plans for his second term, the Executive Director said he wanted to ensure that UNODC's work in helping countries to combat crime and terrorism reached the same level of effectiveness as its activities in the field of illegal drugs.

"Our research, policy analysis and technical assistance programmes on illicit drugs are recognized as the best in the world. Policymakers everywhere rely on UNODC. In the next four years, I aim to deliver equally authoritative support for the efforts of Member States against the uncivil acts of crime and terrorism."

UNODC's expertise in criminal justice is steadily growing. "We can and must do more to promote criminal justice in order to prevent conflict and to strengthen the rule of law in post-conflict situations." 

Mr. Costa said he would continue to put increasing emphasis on the work of UNODC's field offices throughout the world.

"I want our work to have an impact on people's lives," he added, noting that UNODC was uniquely placed, through its network of field offices, to deploy its specialist expertise in drugs, crime and terrorism on the ground throughout the world.

Mr. Costa was first appointed in May 2002. The highest ranking Italian national in the United Nations, he holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General.

An economist by training, he has held numerous senior positions including Under-Secretary-General at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Director-General for Economics and Finance at the European Commission and Secretary-General of  the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

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For information contact:

Richard Murphy
Chief, Advocacy Section, UNODC
Telephone: +43 1 260 60 5761
E-mail: richard.murphy@unodc.org