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      9 December 2014

    Statement of the UNODC Executive Director on Human Rights Day

    10 December 2014

    Vienna, 10 December (UN Information Service) - Next year, we mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations and its founding charter, which in its preamble affirms faith in "fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small."

    These rights and other international standards underpin the UN system's activities across the world. UNODC seeks to uphold these principles when working with governments to confront the insecurity and injustice spread by drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

    This is true when we are helping to protect the victims of crime as well as guarantee fair trials for the perpetrators; supporting young people to escape the grip of illicit drugs; ridding the world of the discrimination aimed at those living with HIV, including in prison, and those who inject drugs; and helping people to understand that drug use is a health problem that calls for voluntary and humane treatment.

    For the fragile and vulnerable, human rights standards are a badly needed shield. UNODC strives to protect children before the law and eliminate violence against women. Our work extends to prisoners who should be rehabilitated based on international standards; as part of the UN Secretariat, UNODC also advocates for member states to abolish the death penalty and to adopt sentencing policies that are effective, fair and humane.

    In promoting the rule of law and justice, we help to strengthen protection of human rights and actively contribute to sustainable development goals.

    UNODC's work is rooted in the drug control conventions, the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the Convention against Corruption, as well as the international instruments on terrorism. UNODC calls on every nation to ratify and implement these international standards, and in doing so, enhance human rights.

    On Human Rights Day this year, UNODC congratulates the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for its invaluable work. In our own activities, we will continue to dedicate ourselves to ensuring that every individual is treated with respect and in accordance with international human rights standards.

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    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43- 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43) 699-1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]