Fragmented but Far-Reaching: The UN System-Wide Response to Organized Crime

To better understand the UN’s overall framework for addressing organized crime, the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime conducted a survey of UN entities to identify working agendas related to organized crime, and more specifically on six specific crime types: financial crimes, environmental crimes, arms trafficking, illicit drugs, human trafficking and smuggling, and cybercrime.

From peace operations to better managing forests and food supply chains, the GI-TOC analysis found that at least 75 per cent of the UN Secretariat, Agencies, Funds and Programs are occupied in some form of organized crime response in connection to the UN’s wider goals: peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development.

Mandates relating to key crime types are allocated to divisions across the UN System, yet information about these mandates and the relevant programs and activities carried out by agencies are fragmented and scattered, resulting in a lack of coherence, efficiency and the inability to learn key lessons across the System.

The resulting policy paper and interactive online graphic aims to be a useful information tool for those wishing to better understand the UN’s counter-crime work and serve as a basis for discussion about how organized crime mandates can be distributed effectively and how different agencies may coordinate more effectively.

Resolutions passed by the UN Security Council (UNSC) provide a well-documented overview of the major conflicts around the world that have received priority attention at international level. In the past ten years, the UNSC has increasingly recognized the role that organized crime and illicit markets play in sustaining and fuelling contemporary conflicts.

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