C3: Crime prevention and criminal justice; International drug control

Last updated: 10/5/2011 // Norway welcomes the adoption of a review of implementation mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption to assist countries in the implementation of the convention. This Statement was delivered by Minister Counsellor and Police Adviser, Mr. Odd Berner Malme.

Mr/Madame Chair,

Organized crime, drugs, and terrorism threaten development, peace, security and the rule of law.

According to the World Drug Report, the global trade in cocaine and heroin, which are largely produced in countries affected by conflict and violence, is valued at $153 billion. The drug trade is the largest income component of global organized crime and is roughly comparable to the global total of official development assistance (ODA, which equaled $110 billion in 2010).

Interstate war and civil war are still threats in some regions, but they have declined over the last 25 years. Many countries and subnational areas now face cycles of repeated violence from organized criminal groups. They are not easy identifiable actors, such as sovereign states or clearly defined rebel movements. One in four people on the planet live in fragile and conflict-affected states or in countries with very high levels of criminal violence.

We need to respond in a concerted way. We need to do it effective. We need to do it right.

Acceptance of corruption and corrupt practises makes it possible for criminal groups to operate and grow. We need to do more to end corruption.

The UN conventions against drugs, transnational organized crime, corruption and the universal legal instruments against terrorism were developed by us as a collective response. They must be implemented.

Norway welcomes the adoption of a review of implementation mechanism for the UN Convention against Corruption to assist countries in the implementation of the convention. We hope countries will agree on the last fine tuning of the mechanism during the 4th Conference of States Parties in Marrakech later in October, in particular in securing the important role of the civil society.

We also supported the decision last year to start the important work on developing terms of references for a review of implementation mechanism for the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Our ambitions are a strong, effective, transparent and neutral mechanism.

The General Assembly has decided that drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism is one of the eight priorities for the UN in 2012-2013. This underlines the important work not only of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), but also the rest of the UN-system, including the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). We welcome the decision of the Policy Committee of the Secretary-General to establish a UN Task Force against Transnational Organized Crime, to develop an effective UN system-wide approach that integrates responses to transnational organized crime into its peacekeeping, peacebuilding, security and development activities, with UNODC and the Department of Political Affairs as co-chairs.

Lessons learned from Norway have been that measures to increase transparency and to identify illicit financial flows have contributed substantially in our fight against organized crime. We believe more focus should be paid to the organizers of crime, including efforts to freeze and confiscate their proceeds. In particular we welcome the important work undertaken by the Financial Action Task Force against money laundering and emphasize the need to implement the FATF-standards. We welcome the UNODC-study on illicit financial flows resulting from the proceeds of drug trafficking and other transnational organized crime. Norway also applauds the resolution on strengthening international cooperation in combating the harmful effects of illicit capital flows resulting from criminal activities, adopted by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in April this year for submission to the General Assembly.

The fight against drugs, transnational organized crime and terrorism needs to take into account the protection of human rights and to take place according to rule of law. We do not accept death penalty for these offences or any denial of offenders or victims basic rights.

Targeting organizers of crime require long term police work and effective international cooperation. At the same time we need to make crime less profitable by minimizing illegal markets and continue the focus on the demand side.

We are concerned by the spread of drug-related HIV-infections among persons with a drug dependency problem and in prison populations. In addition to effective and evidence-based drug demand reduction measures, including prevention, we need to implement evidence based harm reduction measures in order to promote health and dignity of these persons, to be able to achieve zero new infections of HIV among injecting drug users and other users.

We welcome the role of UNODC as secretariat of intergovernmental bodies and as technical assistance provider. In particular we welcome the move by UNODC away from a project-based to an integrated programme-based approach and support the development and implementation of regional and thematic programmes. These programs open the door for a holistic and more effective approach by UNODC together with the UN-family to better address huge challenges ahead.

Thank you

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