1. On behalf of the Group 77 and China, let me congratulate you on your election. I also extend my Group's congratulations to the other Members of the Bureau. I wish to assure you of the Group's support in the task ahead.
2. Let me also convey our appreciation to the Executive Director, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa for his introductory statement and to Secretariat for the preparation of this session and for the documentation made available.
3. The Group of G77 and China whishes to highlight its particular concern over the illicit trafficking of cultural property, which is damaging the cultural heritage of our nations, thus, our own identities. The Group reiterates its view that the Commission has to play a role in formulating a robust crime prevention and criminal justice response to all aspects of trafficking in cultural property. We welcome the thematic debate, initially proposed by the Group of 77 and China. We look forward to concrete and practical outcome in this respect.
4. The Group of G77 and China welcomes the recommendations of the open ended Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting on protection against trafficking in cultural property, held in Vienna on November 2009, as well as the recommendations of the Twelfth United Nations Crime Congress on the issue and looks forward to their adoption and effective implementation. The Group urges the CCPCJ to adopt practical measures to address this issue and in particular to develop specific guidelines for crime prevention relating to trafficking in cultural property including, inter alia and as appropriate, the criteria of due diligence.
5. The Group believes that international cooperation, especially for the return of cultural property to the countries of origin, constitutes a major element of protection against this increasingly evolving transnational form of crime. Accordingly, all available tools and options within the legal framework set by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime might be used by the States Parties to effectively address this matter.
6. Furthermore, we urge States Parties to fully implement the relevant treaties inter alia, The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954 and its additional protocols.
7. The Group of 77 and China invites the CCPCJ to consider convening the open-ended intergovernmental Expert Group to conduct a comprehensive study on the problems of cyber crime and responses to it as recommended by the Political Declaration of the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
8. The Group welcomes the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and expresses with satisfaction the increasing number of ratifications of the Convention, which testifies the collective will of Member States to promote cooperation and combat transnational organized crime. In this regard the Group appreciates the upcoming special treaty event that will be held in New York to promote ratification of or accession to the Convention and its protocols. At the same time, the Group looks forward to the recommendations of the 5th Conference of State Parties of UNTOC to be held in Vienna in October 2010.
9. In this regard, the Group looks forward to the high level segment discussion at the upcoming fifth session of the COP TOC on the current and emerging challenges, new trends and pattern of emerging forms of crime and its outcome. The Groups wishes to highlight the importance of capacity building, technical assistance and international cooperation in helping Member States to deal with these challenges.
10. With respect to the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption, the Group welcomes the recently established Implementation Review Group, especially its work on technical assistance and welcomes the establishment of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on preventive measures, as well as the tasks of the working group on asset recovery and looking forward to its recommendations.
11. The Group emphasizes that one of the main priorities in the fight against corruption is to ensure the return of illegitimately diverted assets to the country of origin and urges all States to facilitate the quick return of those assets.
12. 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.
13. The Group emphasizes the importance of updated information and relevant data on transnational organized crime trends and patterns provided by Member States as a basis for comprehensive, objective and transparent assessment, in order to assist them in the implementation of the pertinent Conventions and Protocols. In this regard, the Group calls upon all Member States to avoid unilateral actions that might weaken the multilateral framework.
14. The Group of 77 and China underlines the importance of the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Furthermore, the Group recalls the importance of international cooperation and technical assistance for such implementation. In this context, the Group takes note of ongoing initiatives aimed at exploring options regarding an appropriate and effective mechanism to assist the Conference of the Parties to UNTOC in the review of the implementation of the Convention.
15. The Group acknowledges the increasing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, in particular drug trafficking 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.
16. The Group recalls the importance of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, as one of the main priorities of the UN, in promoting effective action to strengthen international cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice.
17. The Group attaches high importance to the ownership by Member States of national and regional programmes designed in close consultation with them aimed at preventing and combating crime and the world drug problem. Furthermore, the Group stresses the important role of UNODC in fostering regional cooperation in this field.
18. The Group attaches great importance to the recommendations contained in the Salvador declaration which was adopted at the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and looks forward to the consideration and appropriate follow-up by the CCPCJ.
19. 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 context, the Group recommends the updating of the UN minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners and supports restorative justice and alternatives to imprisonment as measure to address overcrowding in prisons and to achieve the social reintegration of offenders. The Group recognizes also the importance of prison reform, the independence of the judiciary and the awareness raising and capacity-building of prosecution authorities.
20. The Group of 77 and China strongly condemns all forms of violence against women, including violence against women migrant workers and calls for prevention prosecution and penalization of such crimes including providing the victims access to justice and effective remedies for the harm suffered. In this context, the Group welcomes the submission of the outcome of the Intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting in Bangkok in March 2009, which finalized the draft Updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, for the Commission's consideration.
21. The Group stresses the importance of the promotion of gender sensitivity in the treatment of women prisoners and offenders and addressing their specific needs inter alia through supplementary rules to the Standard Minimum Rule (SMR). In this context, the Group welcomes the draft United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders, which are a concrete outcome of the open-ended intergovernmental Expert Group Meeting, held in Bangkok in November 2009, as mandated by the Commission's resolution 18/1. The Group also recalls the recommendations of the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to the Commission to consider them as a matter of priority for appropriate action.
22. The Group of 77 and China also reiterates its strong concern with the violence against migrants, migrant workers and their families. The Group encourages States to respect and protect the human rights of, migrants regardless of their immigration status. In this regard the Group calls 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.
23. The Group reiterates the need to continue providing UNODC with the sufficient, stable and predictable funding from the regular budget to promote, inter alia, for the implementation of the Convention against Corruption and to ensure full and effective functioning of the new mechanism for the review of its implementation, in line with Conference of States Parties resolution 3/1, adopted in Doha in 2009.
24. The Group reiterates the need that the core activities of UNODC, including its country and regional offices should be funded from the regular budget. While not discouraging voluntary funding to the UNODC, there should not be a heavy reliance on the extra-budgetary resources to finance core activities.
25. The Group of 77 and China welcomes the establishment and the continuation of the Working Group on the financial situation and Governance of the UNODC and looks forward to its establishment as a permanent consultative body. In this context the Group seizes this opportunity to express its appreciation to the Co-Chairs of the Working Group, Ambassador Norma Goycochea Estenoz and Mr. Ignacio Baylina for their excellent job.
26. Finally, the Group of 77 and China stresses that to successfully combat all forms of transnational organized crime, an effective international cooperation is necessary, based on full respect for International Law, the principles of the UN Charter and the sovereignty of Member States.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.