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UNICRI Board of Trustees Report to the Economic and Social Council - 2020


The report of the Board of Trustees of UNICRI contains information on the work of, and the results achieved by, the Institute in 2020. It also contains substantive information on the implementation of the UNICRI Strategic Programme Framework for the period 2019–2022. The Commission is requested to welcome the implementation of the Framework and to invite Member States to cooperate with UNICRI and make voluntary contributions to various activities for the implementation of the Framework.

The mission of UNICRI is to advance justice and the rule of law in support of peace and sustainable development. UNICRI works in specialized niches and selected areas within the fields of crime prevention, criminal justice, security governance and the risks and benefits of technological advances. The Institute provides a vital foundation for United Nations policy and operations through its specialized, cutting-edge and action-oriented research, training, capacity-building and policy support programmes. The Institute serves as a conduit for channelling innovative ideas from within and outside the United Nations system.

Prompted by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, UNICRI expanded its online training programmes. Furthermore, UNICRI adapted its tools and expertise in order to address the challenge of new and emerging criminal activities as terrorist, violent extremist and organized criminal groups sought to take advantage of the pandemic. Moreover, as the pandemic exacerbated the pre-existing vulnerabilities of certain groups, UNICRI placed particular emphasis on mitigating the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable groups by enhancing resilience, preventing crime and promoting peaceful, safe and inclusive communities.

The work of UNICRI made a broad impact at the country, regional and international levels, and the beneficiaries of its assistance were wide-ranging. Its programme of activities was delivered through UNICRI headquarters in Turin, Italy, and an extended network of offices, including the Liaison Office in Rome, the project offices in Brussels and Geneva and the centres of excellence on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk mitigation in Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Amman, Manila, Nairobi, Rabat, Tashkent and Tbilisi.

The work undertaken by UNICRI in 2020 was funded exclusively from voluntary contributions. Its primary donors were Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the European Union, the Office of Counter-Terrorism of the United Nations, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, Société Industrielle et Commerciale de Produits Alimentaires (SICPA), 1Qbit, Compagnia di San Paolo and several other private companies, foundations and international organizations.


Strategic Programme Framework for the period 2019–2022

UNICRI has identified the following threats and challenges in its Strategic Programme Framework for the period 2019–2022:

  1. Radicalization and violent extremism: the lack of context-specific responses, weak criminal justice systems, and gaps in national and transnational cooperation;
  2. Transnational organized crime involvement in licit and illicit markets: shadow economies, illicit financial flows and possible links with terrorist networks;
  3. Weak security governance, poor rule of law and lack of accountability of institutions in post-conflict areas; High-tech security: encompassing global threats and solutions;
  4. Threats to crowded spaces and vulnerable targets;
  5. Vulnerabilities to criminal exploitation, gender inequalities and human rights violations against vulnerable populations;
  6. Emerging trends in crimes having an impact on the environment: illegal extraction, use of and trade in environmental resources and trafficking in hazardous substances.

The Framework contains the following six strategic priorities:

  1. Preventing and countering violent extremism;
  2. Countering organized crime and fighting all forms of trafficking and illicit financial flows;
  3. Reinforcing the rule of law in post-conflict countries;
  4. Security through research, technology and innovation;
  5. Threat response and risk mitigation: security governance;
  6. Preventing crime through the protection and empowerment of vulnerable groups.

The responses to the criminal justice, security and governance issues highlighted within the Framework have been carefully crafted to support and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The priorities of the Institute are aligned in particular with Goal 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels), but they are also linked to several other Goals (2–6, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 15).

Report of activities 2021


Report of activities 2020

Report to Ecosoc 2020, Arabic



Report to Ecosoc 2020, Chinese



Report to Ecosoc 2020, English



Report to Ecosoc 2020, French



Report to Ecosoc 2020, Russian



Report to Ecosoc 2020, Spanish




Report of activities 2019



Report of activities 2018


Report of activities 2017


Report of activities 2016


Report of activities 2015