Statement of the G-77 and China during the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Doha, Qatar, 12-19 April 2015 - delivered by H.E. Ambassador Evandro DE SAMPAIO DIDONET, Permanent Representative of Brazil

Mr. Chairman,

1. I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Group 77 and China. The Group is pleased to see you serving as Chairman of the General Committee of the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and expresses to you its full support in the tasks ahead. We also congratulate the other Members of the Bureau for their election.

2. The Group would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Qatar for its hospitality and efforts made in preparing and hosting this important event.

3. We also extend our thanks to the Secretariat, for its work in the preparation of the Congress and for making all relevant documentation available to the delegations.

4. This Congress marks the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations congresses on crime prevention and criminal justice. This forum remains a unique opportunity for bringing together representatives from governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and individual experts to address various topics in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.

5. The Group expresses hope that building on the contributions of previous United Nations Crime congresses, this Congress will continue providing valuable advice and recommendations to the United Nations and its members in formulating policies and strategies for crime prevention in different areas of criminal justice, as well as influence national policies and practices and promote international cooperation in that field.

6. The Group appreciates the work of the regional preparatory meetings for the 13th United Nations Crime Congress and believes that their recommendations and conclusions have provided valuable inputs for the debates and will contribute to the outcome of this Congress.

Mr. Chairman,

7. The Group welcomes the theme for this Congress, entitled: “Integrating Crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider United Nations agenda to address social and economic challenges and to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels, and public participation”.

8. The Group is of the view that sustainable development and the rule of law are strongly interrelated and mutually reinforcing and in this regard welcomes the inclusive and transparent intergovernmental process for the Post-2015 Development agenda, which aims at developing global sustainable development goals to be agreed by the General Assembly. The Group also takes note of efforts to integrate sustainable development goals into the post-2015 development agenda.

9. The Group considers that respect for and promotion of the rule of law, at national and international levels, are essential elements in preventing and countering crime in all its forms and manifestations, and notes that the rule of law requires strong and efficient justice sector coordination, as well as effective interagency cooperation and coordination with other relevant United Nations offices and activities.

Mr. Chairman,

10. The Group observes with satisfaction that, since the past Congress which took place in Salvador, an increasing number of States have ratified, accepted or acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols, as well as to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

11. The Group encourages all States Parties to fully implement these instruments and acknowledges the role played by the Review Mechanism in improving the implementation of UNCAC and the provision of technical assistance. The Group also looks forward to the commencement of the second review cycle of the Review of Implementation of the UNCAC, which will focus, inter alia, on the review of implementation of Chapters II and V of the Convention.

12. The Group further underlines the importance of establishing an intergovernmental, transparent, efficient, non-intrusive, inclusive, impartial mechanism, fully funded through the regular budget, for reviewing the implementation of the UNTOC and its Protocols. This shall be fully consistent with the UNTOC as well as with the principles and characteristics set out by the Conference in Resolution 5/5. Furthermore, the Group recalls the importance of implementing in good faith States parties obligations set forth in article 32 of the Convention, which will enable provision of technical assistance and strengthen international cooperation for implementing the Convention and its protocols.

13. The Group wishes to underscore that the full and effective implementation by States Parties of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children necessitates continuous enhancing the capacity of States Parties. Any strategy to combat trafficking in persons should be comprehensive and integrated, taking into account the dimensions of prevention and effective law enforcement against this crime, as well as assistance to the victims.

14. In addition, the Group reiterates the importance of strengthening the effectiveness of international cooperation in targeting the proceeds of crime and, in this regard, underlines the innovative nature of the provisions of Chapter V of the United Nations Convention against Corruption on asset recovery. The Group recalls that the Convention against Corruption was the first international instrument incorporating a separate chapter on this form of international cooperation and treating asset recovery as a fundamental principle with positive development impacts.

Mr. Chairman,

15. The Group conceives the Crime Congress not only as a forum for debating issues relating to crime prevention and criminal justice, but also as an opportunity for Member States to provide strategic orientation to other policy-making bodies in this area, in particular the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), on developments and trends of crime and tools for its prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment.

16. In this context, we welcome 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 wishes to highlight and expresses its particular concerns for the illicit trafficking of cultural property and related offences, including the involvement of organized criminal groups, which continues to inflict increasing damages to the cultural heritage of our nations, and thus, to part of our identities.

17. The Group underlines the need to promote international cooperation to combat such crime in a concerted manner and welcomes the adoption of the International Guidelines on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses with Respect to Trafficking in Cultural Property. Those Guidelines represent a useful framework to guide Member States in the development and strengthening of their criminal justice policies, strategies, legislation and cooperation mechanisms in the area of protection against trafficking in cultural property and other related offences. The Group believes that the applicability and usefulness of the Guidelines, as well as the efficiency and sufficiency of the international legal instruments in this field should be continuously reviewed and, if needed, modified accordingly.

18. The Group acknowledges the increasing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, in particular drug trafficking and 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.

19. We note with concern that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, remains a major challenge in many parts of the world with its loss of lives and other resources as well as damages to the religious and cultural sites in some parts of the world. While taking note of the importance of the existing universal legal instruments for the prevention and countering of terrorism, we call upon requested Member States to continue to assist requesting Member States with technical assistance to build capacity in order to effectively respond to the new strategies employed by terrorists.

20. The Group expresses its serious concern over cybercrime and in this light, we attach great importance to the work of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime and welcome the Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime that examined the problem at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. We call upon Member States to continue examining the problem of cybercrime, for enhanced international cooperation, and exploring new national and international legal responses to tackle this problem, on the basis of the above comprehensive study on cybercrime.

21. We would also like to underscore the importance of the challenges posed by emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on protected species of wild fauna and flora, such as illicit international trafficking in forest products, wildlife and other forest biological resources. Although, environmental issues are dealt with in different intergovernmental forums, crimes related to the protection of the environment need to receive proper attention while avoiding institutional overlap and duplication of work. And, in that sense, recalls the central role of the Convention on international trade in endangered species. We look forward to a productive discussion for preventing and addressing effectively cases of such emerging forms crime.

Mr. Chairman,

22. The Group reiterates the importance of implementing the United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in support of effective, fair, humane, and accountable criminal justice systems, especially for women and children. We encourage member states to give due consideration to United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders or the Standard Minimum Rule of the treatment of prisoners, when considering gendered-specific measures for the treatment of women prisoners. The Group also welcomes the work of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Expert Group on the Revision of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and looks forward to the consideration of the updated Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

23. The Group strongly condemns all forms of violence against women, including gender-related killing of women and girls which is the most extreme form of violence against women and calls upon the international community to prevent, prosecute and penalize such crimes and punish its perpetrators, according to their domestic legislation. We also encourage the provision of access to justice and effective remedies to victims for the harm suffered, as an important way of integrating gender perspectives into criminal justice system.

24. The Group recalls the need to protect children from all forms of violence. In that sense, we welcome the adoption of the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice by the 69th United Nations General Assembly.

25. The Group of 77 also reiterates its general and strong condemn with the violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families. The Group encourages countries to enhance cooperation in a comprehensive manner to develop effective measures to prevent the smuggling of migrants, while ensuring the protection of their rights, including access to justice regardless of their immigration status, nationality, race, gender, ethnicity, age or religion, and non-criminalization in accordance with parties’ obligations under the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

26. The Group expresses its serious concern over any form of ranking of Member States for the purposes of international cooperation in criminal matters, including, inter alia, trafficking in persons, terrorism financing, money laundering, trafficking in firearms, migrant smuggling and other forms of organized crime as well as corruption. In this sense, it calls upon all Member States as well as other relevant regional and international organizations to avoid such rankings and unilateral actions and sanctions that might weaken the international cooperation framework and Member States capabilities to fight against such crimes.

Mr. Chairman,

27. The Group reiterates that UNODC needs adequate and sustainable resources to allow it to effectively implement an increasingly complex mandate. Therefore, the Group urges all States to increase their unconditional contributions, specifically to the General Purpose Fund of UNODC.

28. 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.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

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