Biographical notes


Pino Arlacchi is a leading authority and a scholar of international renown in the field of organized crime, illegal markets and global security. Arlacchi is a member of the European Parliament and President of the Magna Grecia Project, a development agency whose mission is the valorisation of the archaeological and cultural heritage of his native Calabria region.

From September 2012 he is Special Advisor of the Prime Minister of Romania for combating organized crime and corruption. Professor Arlacchi was an adviser of the Government of China about the security of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2004 Arlacchi was in Kosovo, where, on behalf of the European Union, he built the Financial Intelligence Center on money laundering. From 1997 to 2002 he was Under-Secretary General of the UN, charged with the task of fighting major evils like terrorism, organized crime, money laundering and drug trafficking. He brought to the United Nations strong academic, legislative and executive credentials, and a life-long commitment to the struggle for a more decent world.

Arlacchi’s main achievements during his UN mandate are the signing by 124 countries of the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), and the strategy “a Drug Free World” for the elimination of coca and opium cultivation worldwide approved by the UN General Assembly in 1998. The impact of this strategy has been evaluated in March 2009 by the Un Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which decided to reconfirm it for another ten years.

Pino Arlacchi is the author of many books and publications that have been translated into several languages. Some of his books, like "Men of Dishonor: Inside the Sicilian Mafia : An Account of Antonino Calderone", (Morrow, 1993), become bestsellers and theatre plays. His research and policy prescriptions have been extensively drawn upon in Italy, the European Union as well as Asia and Latin America, in the adoption of new legislation and action against organized crime.

In Italy, as Senior Adviser to the Ministry of the Interior, Pino Arlacchi was responsible for the executive project that led, in 1991, to the creation of the DIA, a police agency specialized in the investigation of major criminality. This action has been instrumental in the  subsequent successes of Italian law enforcement in the fight against the mafias. The DIA example has been replicated in Tajikistan during Arlacchi’s UN mandate with the creation of the very successful Tajik Drug Control Agency. This agency, in turn, has been taken as a model by several Governments in Central Asia for their drug control strategies.
Totò Riina, the “Capo dei Capi” of Cosa Nostra sent in public, during a 1994 trial, a death threat to Pino Arlacchi, who was protected by an armed police escort for 14 years, until 2005. Arlacchi survived a mafia assassination attempt in 1993.

Pino Arlacchi was elected in 1994 to the Italian Chamber of Deputies for the constituency of Florence, and to the Italian Senate in 1996. He has served as Vice President of the Italian Parliamentary Commission on the Mafia Phenomenon.

Pino Arlacchi was the Honorary President of the Giovanni Falcone Foundation, named after the great Italian prosecutor, a close friend, who was assassinated by the Mafia in 1992. He has been the President of International Association for the Study of Organized Crime, and is the current Vice-President of the International Forum on Crime and Criminal Law”, a Beijing- based association of prominent criminologists and jurists belonging to 20 nationalities.

Arlacchi got many awards and decorations. He is particularly attached to one of them: The “ El Condor de los Andes – Grado di Gran Cruz”. It is the highest national honour received in the year 2000 from the President of Bolivia in recognition of his contribution to the elimination of narcotic production through alternative development.

Pino Arlacchi is full professor of Sociology at the School of Political Science of the University of Sassari. He was a visiting professor at Columbia University (New York), and associate professor at the University of Florence. Arlacchi belongs to the Honorary Committee of the Foundation for the Dialogue among Civilizations, chaired by the former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami.

In 2009 Pino Arlacchi returned to the public affairs arena, and was elected to the European Parliament for the constituency of Southern Italy. As a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Arlacchi belongs to the Foreign Affairs Committee and to the Development Committee. Arlacchi is also President of the "European Parliamentarians for Afghanistan" group, Vice-President of the Delegation for the Relationship with Afghanistan, member of the Delegation for the Relationship with Iran, and  Rapporteur for the New EU strategy for Afghanistan, approved by the EU Parliament in 2010 with a large majority. From September 2011 Arlacchi is responsible for International Security Affairs for the Partito Democratico, the largest Italian political party. 

Pino Arlacchi was born in Calabria in 1951, and lives in Rome with is wife and two children. His great passion, along with science and politics, is sailing. In 1999 Pino Arlacchi crossed the Atlantic Ocean with his small sailboat and two companions, and brought the boat back to Europe in 2008.


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