I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. I am pleased to convey to you our pleasure in seeing you presiding over the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Group is confident of your ability to successfully conduct the activities of this Congress and I wish to assure you of the Group's support in the task ahead.
I also take this opportunity to thank the efforts made by the Government of Thailand to prepare for the hosting of this important event, as well as the Secretariat for their work in assisting you in the preparation of our meetings and for making the documents available.
1. The United Nations Congress remains a unique forum for the meeting and exchange of views by Governments, International Organisations, Non-governmental Organisations and Experts from the various fields of crime prevention and Criminal Justice. The past UN Congresses have provided valuable advice and suggestions to the United Nations and the Member States in formulating the policies and strategies for crime prevention in different areas of criminal justice systems. The Group is therefore, of the view that the present practice and frequency of holding the Congress should be continued.
2. The Group appreciates the work of the regional preparatory meetings for the 11th United Nations Congress, and holds the view that, the recommendations and conclusions made by the regional preparatory meetings should be reflected in the outcome of the Congress. The Congress should further continue to provide advice to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Group also recommends that "follow up of the UN Congress" should be included as a separate agenda item in every annual session of the CCPCJ.
3. The G77and China strongly believes that during this Congress the highest priority should be given to the effective implementation of of the already existing legal instruments. The Group attaches great importance to the commitments made in the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century, which, acknowledged that comprehensive crime prevention strategies must address the root causes and risk factors related to crime. The Group is concerned about the lack of follow up to the Action Plans for the implementation fo the Vienna Declaration and stresses the need to strengthen these activities. The Group further stresses the need for adequate follow up of the Vienna Declaration and the allocation of adequate recourses.
4. The Group further believes that, effective implementation of the obligations set forth in existing international crime prevention instruments requires international cooperation, technical assistance and capacity-building. Therefore, the Group of 77 and China urges donor countries and financing institutions to make adequate regular voluntary contributions to enable developing countries and countries with economies in transition to become parties to and/or implement those treaties, namely TOC Convention and its three protocols, Convention against Corruption, as well as the 12 UN anti-terrorism instruments.
5. The G-77 and China welcomes the signing in Merida, Mexico of the United Nations Convention against corruption and underscores the need for the speedy entry into force and the subsequent implementation of the Convention by all Member States of the United Nations. The Group commends the efforts of the UNODC for initiating regional workshops to promote the entry into force of the Convention and calls on the Office to expand its activities to support and facilitate the process of ratification and subsequent implementation of the Convention. The vigor which marked the ODC endeavors to promote the ratification and implementation of the TOC Convention or the 13 international instruments on terrorism is also required in pursuing technical assistance activities in relation to the Convention against Corruption.
6. Given the importance of asset recovery as an essential component of the Convention against Corruption, we shall give the highest priority to adopting the measures necessary to make asset recovery possible, in accordance with the Convention. We welcome the Asset Recovery Initiative launched on 9 December 2004 by the UNODC, which aimed at assisting developing countries and countries with economies in transition in building and strengthening their capacities to recover assets; and call on donor countries and financing institution to make voluntary contributions to facilitate the effective implementation of the Initiative.
7. As regards kidnapping, the G-77 and China notes with concern the risk of kidnapping in many areas of the world as a means of funding criminal organizations and terrorist activities, and due to the increasing evidence of links with transnational organized crime and the international drug trafficking networks, urges the international community to enhance cooperation and take urgent measures to combat it in a resolute and coordinated manner.
8. The Group of 77 and China is concerned about the increased involvement of organized criminal groups in trafficking in looted, stolen or smuggled cultural property as well as illicit trafficking in protected species of flora and fauna and their by products. Therefore, the Group calls upon Member States to continue adopting effective measures, strengthening their international cooperation and joining efforts with relevant regional and international organizations and networks in order to prevent, combat, punish and eradicate these forms of crime more effectively.
9. Concerning money laundering, the Group calls for the strengthening and expansion of the activities of UNODC under the Global Programme against money laundering.
10. The G77 and China is of the view that an open-ended Expert Group should be established to examine the feasibility of an international convention for facilitating international cooperation in areas such as money laundering, trafficking in and theft of cultural properties, kidnapping and cybercrime.
11. The Group of 77 and China supports efforts to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism. The Group wishes to underscore the need for enhanced international cooperation in combating terrorism, according to Security Council Resolution 1373 and other relevant resolutions. It also wishes to stress the importance of finding a long-term and comprehensive strategy to prevent and eradicate terrorism. The Group underscores the central role of the United Nations in fight against terrorism and supports the ongoing negotiations in New York on the draft UN Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism, based on the determination of a universally accepted comprehensive definition of terrorism in conformity with the UN Charter and relevant UN resolutions.
12. The Group further believes that a broad and sustained strategy to combat terrorism must include increased Inter-agency cooperation and capacity building, both at the national, regional and international levels. Sufficient training and other forms of technical assistance, transfer of technology and also more adequate donor assistance to developing countries are needed to facilitate implementation of international instruments relating to terrorism. In this context, we urge the Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC within its mandate and on request of the Member States to continue to provide all necessary assistance and provision of expertise needed to strengthen the rule of law and to build national capacities to implement the Conventions and Protocols relevant to terrorism.
13. The Group is convinced that it is imperative that any effective crime prevention strategy should adequately address the breeding grounds and risk factors of crime such as, injustice, poverty, unemployment, marginalization of vulnerable people, lack of education, as well as double standards.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I would like to assure you that the Group would continue to provide its active support for successful conclusion of the 11th Congress.
I thank you.