On July 16, the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) released a public service announcement (PSA) as part of a media campaign underscoring the serious and widespread harm resulting from transnational organized crime. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs sponsored the production of the 60-second PSA, which will be distributed worldwide through major international television networks and other media outlets.
The PSA will heighten international public awareness of the vast profits, estimated by UNODC to reach $870 billion annually, which transnational illicit networks and criminalized markets have reaped at the expense of legitimate businesses and human security.
Raising awareness of the cost of transnational organized crime to people and businesses is a priority action of President Obama’s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime. The presence of the global illegal economy and the activities that sustain it – from bribery and money laundering to drug trafficking, environmental crime, and counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals – threaten foreign direct investment, economic growth, market integrity, and the ability of companies everywhere to maximize profits.