Statement of the G-77 and China during the 12th UN
Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Salvador, Brazil, 11-19 April
2010 - delivered by H.E. Ambassador Taous Feroukhi, Permanent
Representative of Algeria
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group 77 and China. The Group is pleased to see you chairing the twelfth United Nation Congress on crime prevention and criminal justice and assures you of its support in the tasks ahead. We would like also to congratulate the other Members of the Bureau.
The Group would like to take this opportunity to thank the government of Brazil for the hospitality and efforts made in preparing and hosting this important event.
We also extend our thanks to the Secretariat, for its work in the preparation of our meeting and making the documents available.
The Group recalls that this Congress marks the fifty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations Congress on crime prevention and criminal justice .The Group recognizes the contribution of the UN Congresses to enhance international cooperation to exchanging views between Member States, sharing and disseminating experiences, good practices and formulating international guidelines and standards regarding the complex current crime issues as well as the emerging ones.
The Group of 77 and China appreciates the work of the regional preparatory meetings for the 12th United Nation Congress and believes that their recommendations and conclusions are important for the outcome of this Congress.
The Group of 77 and China strongly recommends that the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice are fully implemented and are disseminated in order to ensure greater respect for the rule of law and human rights, which in turn will contributes to further promote economic and social development.
The Group of 77 and China expresses its appreciation to all States that have signed, ratified or accepted the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Group acknowledges the adoption of the review mechanism of the Convention of the United Nation against Corruption, and underlines the importance of a mechanism for reviewing the implementation of the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. Furthermore, the Group recalls the importance of international cooperation and technical assistance for such implementation.
In this context, the Group acknowledges the increasing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, in particular drug trafficking and including money laundering and, in some cases, terrorism and its financing, and reaffirms the need for enhancing bilateral, regional and international cooperation in the area of exchange of information, extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with domestic legislation and with the aim to contributing to countering the threat posed by transnational organized crime.
The Group of 77 and China conceives the Crime Congress not only as a forum for debating issues relating to crime prevention and criminal justice, but also and, perhaps, most significantly - as an opportunity for the international community to provide strategic orientation to the relevant organs, in particular the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), on developments and tendencies of crime and tools for its prevention, prosecution and punishment.
In this context, the Group welcomes the possibility that the Congress addresses emerging manifestations of crime, as well as existing modalities of crime that have been reinforced in recent years.
Among these the group whishes to highlight and expresses its particular concerns for the illicit trafficking of cultural property, which is causing increasing damages to the cultural heritage of our nations -and thus, to part of our own identities. The Group considers that this Congress is the appropriate instance to raise awareness on this crime, and thus serve as a framework for the CCPCJ to adopt practical measures to address it, in particular as regards the recovery and return of property, within its competence and with the assistance of other competent organizations. The Group encourages States that have not yet done so to develop effective legislation to prosecute and punish this form of crime as well as to strengthen international cooperation in this field.
The Group of 77 and China strongly condemns all forms of violence against women, including violence against women migrant workers, and calls upon the international community to prevent, prosecute and penalize such crimes and punish its perpetrators, according to their domestic legislations, and to provide victims access to justice and effective remedies for the harm suffered, as one additional way of integrating gender perspectives into criminal justice system consistent with the outcome of the intergovernmental expert group meeting held in Bangkok in March 2010
The Group of 77 and China also reiterates its general and strong concern with the violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families. In particular, the practice of mandatory detention of irregular migrants, their criminalization and ill treatment in the context of border control is inconsistent with international human rights law and thus must cease. The Group encourages States to respect and protect the human rights of, migrants regardless of their immigration status in this regards the group call upon states to consider ratifying the existing relevant international legal instruments, including, inter alia, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrants Workers and Members of their Families.
The Group of 77 and China wishes to highlight that smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons are growing in scale and complexity worldwide. These criminal activities have numerous and multi-dimensional root causes, involving economic, social and political aspects. States should, within the framework of their international obligations and domestic laws, provide appropriate protection and assistance to the victims of traffickers.
The Group of 77 and China supports restorative justice and alternatives to imprisonment as measures to address overcrowding in prisons and to achieve the social reintegration of offenders. The Group emphasizes that the overcrowding of prisons is a global concern and that urgent measures need to be taken to address it. In this respect, the Group recommends the updating of the UN minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, taking into account the draft UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders, which is the outcome of the expert group meeting, held in Bangkok in November 2009.
The Group of 77 and China also recognizes the importance of prison reform, independence of the judiciary and awareness raising and capacity-building of prosecution authorities.
The Group considers that the prevention of urban crimes has to be integrated as a cross-cutting issue into all social and economic policies, public health and programmes including employment, education, housing and urban planning, as well as justice system and social services. The prevention of urban crime should constitute an important element in the definition of policies of local governments, guided and supported by strong national government, commitment and leadership.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates that UNODC needs adequate and sustainable resources to allow it to effectively implement an increasingly complex mandate. In this regard, the Group appeals to all States and the donor community to increase their efforts in this regard.
The Group of 77 and China places great emphasis on the importance of the outcome of this Congress as well as on an adequate follow-up of the commitments adopted in its framework, taking also into account other relevant instruments such as the Vienna and Bangkok Declarations.