Statement on Transnational Organized Crime Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission

18/10/2010

Statement on Transnational Organized Crime

Statement by H. E. Ambassador G√ľnther A. Granser

Permanent Observer to UN and IAEA
at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention
against Transnational Organized Crime

Vienna, 18-22 October 2010

* Check against delivery *

Madame President, Executive Director, Distinguished Delegates,

It is my pleasure to congratulate you on your election as President of the Conference. I would like to assure you, the members of the Bureau and the Secretariat of the full support of the Delegation of the Sovereign Order of Malta. I would also like to express the warmest congratulations to the new Executive Director of UNODC Mr. Yury Fedotov for his recent appointment by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With the signing of the UN Convention against Transnational Crime in Palermo, Italy, in December 2000, which this year marks its important l0th anniversary, the international community demonstrated the political will to answer a global challenge with a global response, supplementing the Convention with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, with the Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts, Components and Ammunition.

The Order of Malta is particularly sensitive on the problem of trafficking in persons and is particularly engaged in the migration phenomenon in the Southern Mediterranean Sea. The Order is confident that the Convention will emerge much stronger after the deliberations of the Conference. The UNODC report on Transnational Organized Crime shows that billions are being diverted into criminal markets. Organized crime is now global and became one of the foremost economic and armed powers. A collective will to confront it has to be shown and countries must cooperate with each other to ensure the efficient implementation of UNTOC and its protocols.

Human trafficking is dynamic and adaptable and is constantly changing in order to defeat efforts by law enforcement to prevent it. The responses to the problem are also rapidly evolving. International cooperation, which is so crucial to the success of most interventions against human trafficking, is gaining a new momentum and new mechanisms are being developed. The adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons last July underlines the Governments‘ willingness to take concrete action to prevent trafficking in persons, protect and assist victims, prosecute related crimes and strengthen partnerships among Governments and all the stakeholders involved. The plan also recognizes the human rights-bases approach in its implementation, which the Order of Malta highly welcomes.

UNODC plays a central role in the fight against human trafficking. As custodian of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, UNODC works to combat all forms of human trafficking and assists Nations in their efforts to combat trafficking in human beings. The Trafficking Protocol emphasized the need to balance criminal justice concerns with the protection and assistance of victims. This comprehensive approach sets the legal and conceptual framework for UNODC’s trafficking activities. The Sovereign Order of Malta fully supports the activities and efforts of UNODC to fight all forms of modern day slavery.

Thank you, Madame President