Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    9 December 2015

    Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov:

    Statement on Human Rights Day

    VIENNA, 10 December (UN Information Service) - Fundamental human rights exist to protect everyone, everywhere and they transcend race, sex, language and religion. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), endorsed in September in New York, draw together the fine threads of peace, the rule of law, development, as well as human rights. 

    By doing so, the SDGs are intent on building a global alliance to lift people out of poverty and hunger, and to ensure their dignity and human rights. Going far beyond the Millennium Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda seeks reductions in crime, violence, conflict and discrimination, while ensuring inclusion and good governance.

    If we are to achieve these goals, we need just and fair societies that uphold the rule of law and fundamental human rights. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) plays a crucial role in this mission. We are working closely with countries to bring the perpetrators of human trafficking and migrant smuggling to justice, while protecting the victims. Offering assistance to vulnerable women and children is at the centre of this work.

    Many of our efforts are aimed at the grassroots level and include ensuring that people have access to legal aid; confronting rampant corruption, halting children's drugs use; and advising on anti-terrorism, drugs, and crime prevention policies.

    As a member of the wider UN family, all of UNODC's efforts are undertaken in accordance with the values and principles of the UN Charter and international human rights law. These rights underpin our ongoing work to protect people from drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism.

    Human Rights Day is, therefore, an opportunity for us all to affirm our belief in the universality of these fundamental rights, which govern our relations and drive our aspirations for a brighter and better world.  

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    For further information please contact:

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

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Message on Human Rights Day