Austria - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will later today sign an agreement pledging closer cooperation to tackle human trafficking and migrant smuggling, and to improve border management, bearing in mind the cross-cutting theme of corruption.
The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov on the margins of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Central Asia Border Security Initiative, which is currently taking place in Vienna.
"The signing of this cooperation agreement confirms IOM's determination to step up its cooperation with UNODC to further combat trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling and to ensure borders are managed in an integrated, modern and humane way," said IOM Director General Swing.
The agreement seeks to enhance coordination, to further exchange of information and to extend joint activities between both agencies. It builds upon joint cooperation with the Global Migration Group (GMG), the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons and the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UNGIFT), among others.
UNODC Executive Director Fedotov said: "According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), human trafficking generates USD 32 billion annually, making it a threat of extraordinary proportions. It will require a coordinated and meaningful response at all levels: local, regional and international, if we are to have success against this global crime."
IOM and UNODC have a long-standing partnership formalized in a 1996 United Nations Cooperation Framework, which is now reaffirmed by today's agreement with more specific cooperation measures.
UNODC is already working closely with IOM in the area of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Southern Africa, West Africa, the Horn of Africa and Colombia.
In addition to cooperation in technical assistance delivery in the field, IOM has provided expert input to a number of UNODC technical publications including the International Framework for Action to Implement the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, and the International Framework for Action to Implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol.
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