Criminal groups undermine state authority and the rule of law by fuelling corruption, compromising elections, and hurting the legitimate economy. In all cases, criminal influence and money are having a significant impact on the livelihoods and quality of life of citizens, most particularly the poor, women and children. In the Declaration of the High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law, Member States stressed the importance of strengthened international cooperation in order to dismantle illicit networks, counter the world drug problem and transnational organized crime, including money-laundering, trafficking in persons, trafficking in arms and other forms of organized crime, all of which threaten national security and undermine sustainable development and the rule of law
The United Nations system assists Member States in their fight against transnational organised crime. A number of international conventions on drug control , and more recently the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on human trafficking, migrant smuggling and trafficking of firearms , as well as the UN Convention against Corruption, constitute the key framework for a strategic response. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is the guardian of the related international conventions.