Statement of the G-77 and China delivered by Ms. Avril Coetzee, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., Permanent Mission of Namibia during the Twenty-Fifth Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 23 May 2016

Mr. Chairman,

1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to congratulate you on your election as Chair of the 25th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), as well as to the other members of the Bureau. You can count on the full support of the Group for the successful conclusion of this meeting.

2. The Group also commends the Secretariat for their efficient preparations for this session.

Mr. Chairman,

3. At the outset, we would like to underline the significance of this year's thematic discussion. Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains one of the major challenges in many parts of the world with its attendant loss of lives, property, infrastructure, including commercial infrastructure and resources, as well as damages, inter alia, religious, educational and cultural sites in some parts of the world.

4. The Group reaffirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, civilization, nationality or ethnicity, and reiterates that all efforts to counter it should be in line with international law, in particular the Charter of the United Nations, international human rights law, refugee and humanitarian law.

5. Within the past decades unfortunately the transnational dimension of terrorism has exacerbated to encompass new forms such as foreign terrorist fighters, kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorist groups as some of the methods to finance their activities as well as the use of the internet for incitement and recruitment.

6. In this regard and while taking note of the importance of the existing universal legal instruments for the prevention and countering of terrorism, we call upon the enhancement of technical and financial assistance, including those provided by UNODC within its mandate, to requesting Member States to continue building their capacities in order to effectively respond to the new strategies employed by terrorists.

7. We also call upon Member States to strengthen cooperation at bilateral, sub-regional, regional and international levels including, inter alia, through the sharing of best practices, exchange of information, extradition, mutual legal assistance and logistical support, training of counterterrorism experts, as well as facilitate conclusions of Memoranda of Understanding and other forms of arrangements in countering terrorist activities.

8. In this interdependent world, no country can tackle terrorism effectively alone. Therefore, cooperation among States to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, is significant.

Mr. Chairman,

9. The Group takes note with satisfaction of the increasing number of ratifications of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the three international drug control conventions as well as the international conventions and protocols related to countering terrorism, which reflect the collective commitment of Member States to promote cooperation in combating transnational organized crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit drug related activities. Furthermore, the Group urges all Member States that have not yet done so to consider ratifying or acceding to the above-mentioned instruments.

10. The Group strongly calls for a full and effective implementation by the States Parties, of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Any strategy to combat trafficking in persons should be comprehensive and integrated, taking into account the prevention aspect, effective law enforcement, assisting the victims especially women and children and international cooperation. In this context, due emphasis should be given to address the demand side of this modern form of slavery.

11. The Group expresses concern over the violation of the rights of migrants and urges the international community to ensure that the human rights of smuggled migrants, particularly the unaccompanied children and adolescents are respected and that the safety and security of smuggled migrants are granted utmost priority regardless of their immigration status, nationality, gender, ethnicity, age or religion. In this connection, we strongly encourage all States Parties to the Protocol against Smuggling of Migrants to avoid making migrants liable to criminal prosecution as stated in Article 5 of the Protocol while ensuring that organized criminal groups are brought to justice.

12. With reference to the trafficking of firearms, the Group reaffirms its concerns about the continuing problem of illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts, components and ammunition as another manifestation of transnational organized crime. Traffickers have developed global networks that must be tackled through international cooperation and the provision of technical assistance to requesting Member States. The Group takes note of the work carried out through various regional organizations. In this sense, the Group encourages the continuation of UNODC’s “Study of the transnational nature of and routes used in trafficking in firearms”, in collaboration with Member States.

Mr. Chairman,

13. The Group welcomes the progress made by States Parties in implementing the United Nations Convention against Corruption and in this context highlights the importance of its review mechanism in achieving this goal. The Group looks forward to the commencement of the second review cycle at the seventh session of the Implementation Review Group to be held here in Vienna next month, which will focus on the review of implementation of Chapter II entitled “Preventive Measures” and Chapter V entitled “Asset Recovery”.

14. Furthermore, the Group calls on the necessity to take urgent measures to prevent, prosecute and deter all forms of corruption, as well as the transfer abroad and laundering of assets derived from corrupt activities and insists on the need to strengthen international cooperation for their identification, freezing and seizure, as well as to speed up their recovery and return in accordance with Chapter V of the United Nations Convention against corruption.

15. The Group would like to underscore the importance of addressing the challenges posed by emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on the environment, such as trafficking in endangered species of wildlife, including flora and fauna as protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, timber and timber products, illegal mining, fisheries related crimes, hazardous waste, as well as poaching, by strengthening legislation, international cooperation, capacity-building, criminal justice responses and law enforcement efforts aimed at, dealing with, inter alia, transnational organized crime, corruption and money-laundering whenever linked with such crimes.

16. The Group would also like to reiterate its concern over the emerging trends in the criminal activities in the urban settings in some parts of the world. In this regard, we consider that further research on the links between urban crime and other manifestations of organized crime in some countries and regions, including crimes committed by gangs, must be conducted as well as to exchange experiences in and information on effective crime prevention and criminal justice programs and policies among Member States and with relevant international and regional organizations.

17. The Group wishes to express its particular concern for the illicit trafficking of cultural property and related offences, including the involvement of organized criminal groups, which continues to inflict increasing damage to the cultural heritage of our nations, and thus, to part of our identities.

18. In this sense, 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 periodically reviewed and, if needed, modified accordingly.

19. The Group expresses its serious concern over cybercrime, including recently emerging trends, and attaches great importance to the work of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime and welcomes the Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime that examined the problem at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. The Group calls upon the Commission to take further steps, through the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to continue examining the problem of cybercrime and the responses to it, for enhanced international cooperation, proposes new national and international legal responses to tackle this problem, on the basis of the above comprehensive study on cybercrime.

Mr. Chairman,

20. The Group attaches great importance to the United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, including their review and update, where necessary, in order to respond adequately and effectively to the changing nature of crime.

21. The Group calls upon all Member States to integrate children’s perspective when developing and implementing comprehensive crime prevention and criminal justice policies, with a view to preventing their involvement in criminal activities, promoting the use of alternative measures to incarceration, such as diversion and restorative justice, adopting reintegration strategies for former child offenders and complying with the principle that deprivation of liberty of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time, as well as to avoid, wherever possible, the use of pretrial detention for children as a last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

Mr. Chairman,

22. The Group expresses its serious concern over any form of ranking of Member States for the purposes of international cooperation in criminal matters, in countering, 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.

23. The Group acknowledges the increasing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, in particular drug related crime and money laundering and, in some cases, terrorism and its financing, and reaffirms the need for enhanced 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.

24. In conclusion, the Group underlines the importance of predictable, effective and sustainable technical and financial assistance to Member States, upon request, in order to enhance their capacity to effectively counter transnational organized crime, corruption, and terrorism while ensuring their ownership of such activities.

25. The Group welcomes the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and emphasizes the need for its full and effective implementation.

26. The Group reaffirms its commitment towards the objectives set forth by the Doha Declaration and highlights the importance of international cooperation, including South-South and triangular cooperation, to enhance capabilities of Member States to implement crime prevention and criminal justice programs.

27. This Session of the Commission is timely for reassessing our work. Hopefully the outcome of this meeting will pave the way for better global responses and concerted actions in countering the challenges in the years ahead.

28. Finally, the Group wishes you and the members of the Bureau success in your work.

Thank you very much for your attention.
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