Mr. Chairman,

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 16th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Group is confident of your ability to successfully conduct the activities of this Commission and I wish to assure you of the Group's support in the task ahead. Let me also extend the Group's appreciation to the Secretariat for putting together the documents for this session.

The G-77 and China would like to condemn the terrorist attacks perpetuated in Algeria and Morocco and expresses its condolences to the governments and people of both countries, extending the deepest sympathies to the victims and families of the terrorist blasts. In the same line the Group wishes to express its condolences to the families of the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech University in the USA and denounces this criminal act.

Item 3 Thematic discussions

The G-77 and China attaches great importance to the two topics selected for the thematic debate for this session of the Commission that is urban crime and combating sexual exploitation of children.

Since urban crime is universal and constitutes a threat to safety and social stability, the need to find adequate responses, to develop and implement comprehensive and integrated strategies is of utmost importance. The G-77 and China expresses its concern about the increase of violent crimes in cities all over the world, which has a negative impact on sustainable economic development and the quality of life.

The Group considers that the prevention of urban crime 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, justice system and social services. The prevention of urban crime should play a key role in the policies of local governments, guided and supported by strong national government commitment and leadership. There is also a need to counter the gang related activities and their ties with transnational organized crime.

Mr. Chairman,

The G-77 and China strongly condemns sexual exploitation of children and calls upon the International community to criminalize and punish sexual exploitation of children, wherever it occurs, and to fully comply and implement all relevant international instruments.

The Group looks forward to active participation in the debates and to substantive outcome of the discussions on the issues of concern to the Group.

Item 4: World crime trends: TOC, corruption and terrorism

Mr. Chairman,

The G-77 and China would like to express its satisfaction as regards to the promotion and increased number of ratification to the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols as they constitute a legal framework for international cooperation in the fight against the scourge of transnational organized crime.

The Group is of the view that a collective stand of the international community is required to promote cooperation to combat transnational organized crime more effectively through close and dynamic international cooperation including the adoption of concrete measures for mutual legal assistance, extradition, law-enforcement, technical assistance and training.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group of 77 and China welcomes the holding of the first session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP) to the Convention against Corruption, which was hosted by the Government of Jordan from 10 to 14 December 2006. The Group believes that this first session has successfully laid the foundations for future work in the fight against corruption, particularly on the major issues of technical assistance, asset recovery, and the review of implementation.

The Group looks forward to the outcome of the upcoming meetings of the open-ended working groups established by the Conference of State Parties and requests the UNODC to assist them in the performance of their respective functions, including by providing required services and sharing relevant information.

The Group also looks forward to the second session of the COSP, to be held in Bali, Indonesia in the beginning of 2008 and hopes that it will further promote the effective implementation of the Convention.

Mr. Chairman,

The Group underscores the central role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism. In this context, the Group appreciates the activities of the Terrorism Prevention Branch in providing legal expertise and technical assistance, upon request, to Member States with a view to assist them to accede to the relevant United Nations conventions and protocols against terrorism. The Group also welcomes the information provided by the Secretariat on the activities of TPB as contained in the document E/CN.15/2007/9 and looks forward to similar information for the future sessions of the Commission as well.

Item 5: Standards and norms

Mr. Chairman,

The G-77 and China notes the report of the Secretary General on 'UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice' and considers that there are still major challenges in formulating effective crime prevention policies.

The Group of 77 welcomes the report of the Secretariat on Strengthening the Ethical Conduct of Judges and the implementation of ECOSOC Resolution 2006_23 on the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct. The Group urges UNODC to finalize the work on the Commentary on the principles as soon as possible, and publish and disseminate to Member States in all UN languages.

Item 6 and 7: UNODC Policy directives, strengthening of the Crime programme, budgetary and administrative issues

Mr. Chairman,

On the issue of the functioning of the Commission and its revitalization, the Group of 77 and China welcomes the adoption of General Assembly Resolution 61/252 that grants budgetary authority to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

The Group of 77 and China also welcomes the Medium Term Strategy of the UNODC for the period 2008-2011, and reiterates its appreciation to the Chairpersons of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the extensive consultations they held within the framework of the open-ended informal Group of Friends. This strategy should be reflected in the Strategic Framework and implemented through the two Consolidated biennial budgets for the periods 2008/2009 and 2010/2011. These biennial budgets should provide the core resources for the UNODC to carry out its functions and to enable the implementation of the respective mandates and policies set by Member States.

The Group of 77 and China reaffirms its position that resources approved by the CCPCJ should be commensurate with all the mandated programmes and activities in order to ensure their full implementation. The Group reiterates that the continued over-reliance on extra-budgetary resources and in particular earmarking has led to highly fragmented, unpredictable, constrained funding patterns, and encouraged duplication and inefficiency. This led to donor priorities rather than multilateral mandates determining some of the actions of UNODC. In addition to that, it limits the UNODC ability to make strategic decisions, and undermines the principles of multilateralism and country ownership.

The Group considers that the inclusion of the phrase "within existing resources" is in violation of current budgetary practices and procedures, as well as of General Assembly resolutions 41/213 and 45/248B. Thus, the CCPCJ should refrain from the inclusion of the phrase "within existing resources" in its decisions/resolutions.

The Group underlines the importance of conducting Consultations with the host and concerned Member States before considering the opening or closing of Field Offices, and that the decision to close any field office should not be based solely on financial consideration.

Item 8 Follow-up of the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Preparation for the Twelfth Congress

Mr. Chairman,

The Group of 77 and China takes note with satisfaction of the outcome of the meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Lessons Learned from the United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Bangkok on 15 to 18 August 2006 pursuant to the ECOSOC resolution 2006/26. For the first time the meeting provided Member States with an opportunity to analyze the whole processes of organizing the UN Crime Congresses namely preparation, conduct, and follow-up. The Group is of the view that the checklist for the implementation of the Bangkok Declaration developed by the Government of Thailand can be a useful tool for Member States in their reporting on the follow-up to the Eleventh Congress.

With regard to the Twelfth Congress to be held in 2010, the Group urges UNODC to intensify its consultations with the concerned Governments with a view to finalizing the issues of host country and venue.

The Group stresses the importance of providing interpretation in the UN official languages for all the intergovernmental experts working group meetings in order to allow active and effective participation of interested Member States and to facilitate the adoption and the implementation of the outcomes of those working groups.

The G-77 and China welcomes the Global initiative to fight Human Trafficking, recently launched by UNODC. However, the Group is concerned about the context in which the terms "slavery" and "modern slavery" were used. The Group is of the view that the Initiative should exclusively focus on Human trafficking.

The Group of 77 and China regrets that while Executive Director conducted consultations with the NGOs and the private sector on this Global Initiative, no consultations were conducted with Member States prior to its launching, since the Group does not consider briefings by the Executive Director as consultations. The Group believes that the preparatory process of such an Initiative should be Member States driven.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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