Statement on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Order of Malta - Permanent Observer Mission


Statement on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

By H. E. Ambassador G√ľnther A. Granser

Head of the Permanent Observer Mission to the UN
at the 20thsession of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Vienna, 11-15 April 2011

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Thank you, Chairperson for the opportunity to speak, and let me begin by congratulating you, and the other member of the Bureau on their election.

The Commission is meeting at a critical juncture-whether we speak about the threat of terrorism and the insecurity caused by crime. Criminals have posed a threat to people, property and activity since time immemorial. Yet in the past quarter century, the nature of crime has changed. It has become organized and transnational; it has reached macro-economic dimensions; it has turned into a global business operating in collusion with legitimate activity. It has become more than a localized threat to personal safety-it has turned into a widespread threat to the security of cities, states, even entire regions.

The UN Security Council has dealt with the issue of national security threatened by organized crime in a number of countries. Around the world organized crime has changed strategic doctrines and threat assessment. It is causing alarm among citizens, politicians and media alike. The organized crime has reached such a magnitude with different root causes in different regions. In the firmament of our society the stars are now lined up in an adverse constellation that causes anxiety, even fear.

We have to scrutinize how we are equipped to face global crime. Member States have agreed upon the UN Conventions against Crime and against Corruption, as well as the 3 TOC protocols. Several instruments related to terrorism have also entered into force. But implementation remains somewhat partial. As a result, the potential of these legal instruments has not been reached, while a global crime wave has gotten out of hand.

The Sovereign Order of Malta views this crisis as an unparalleled opportunity-an urgent necessity to change the way to fight organized crime. We must do this together, in the same way we have united to face terrorism, the AIDS pandemic, climate change, or the financial crisis. It is time now for a global action against organized crime. Across the board, efforts to fight organized crime must become more operational. Since international mafias exploit inter-national ties, the only way to protect national sovereignty is to collaborate across borders.

Moreover, added value can be given at the Commission to develop useful synergies by recognizing the relevance between the work of the Crime Commission and the work of the treaty bodies that play an important role in promoting implementation of the anti-crime commitments. There might be instances in which the Conference of parties could beneficially consider particular topics that have been discussed within the Commission.

One could encourage and promote synergies between the Commission and the treaty bodies in a way that respect their respective authorities and mandates of the Conference of Parties for implementation and careful review of anti-crime treaties. One can support this role without intruding on it.

In concluding we face a crime wave that has become a security crisis. The Sovereign Order of Malta believes that working together against crime does not mean surrendering sovereignty, it means defending it. Making better use of international instruments to enforce the rule of law where uncivil society prevails should be a way to fight organized crime.

Thank you for your attention.