Vienna, 22 April 2013
Mr. Chairman,

1. On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, allow me to express my warm congratulations to you on your election, as well as to other members of the Bureau to conduct this 22nd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). I wish to assure you of the Group's support for the successful conclusion of our work.

2. The Group wishes to extend its gratitude to the Secretariat for the preparation of our meeting and for making documents available.

Mr. Chairman,

3. The Group would like to underscore the significance of this year's thematic discussion on "The Challenge posed by emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on the environment and ways to deal with it effectively". Although, environmental issues are dealt with in different intergovernmental forums, crimes related to the protection of the environment need to receive proper attention from this Commission while avoiding institutional overlap and duplication of work. The Group looks forward to a productive discussion that responds to the call of the Salvador Declaration for Member States to adopt measures for preventing and addressing effectively cases of such emerging forms crime.

4. The Group is aware of the challenges related to defining "environmental crime", and encourages the international community to further discuss such challenges. However, this should not prevent us from addressing this issue from a criminal perspective targeting the emerging forms of crime that have a significant impact on the environment.

5. The Group takes note with satisfaction of the increasing number of ratifications of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which reflects the collective will of Member States to promote cooperation in combating transnational organized crime and corruption.

6. The Group 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 transnational organized crime and corruption. Furthermore, the Group wishes to underline the importance of capacity building and technical assistance in helping Member States to deal with these challenges.

Mr. Chairman,

7. Regarding the UNCAC, the Group welcomes the progress made by States in implementing the Convention, especially with the assistance of its review mechanism. The Group would also like to recall the outcomes of the 4th session of the Conference of the States Parties (COSP), held in Marrakech in October 2011, particularly with regards to the prevention of corruption, technical assistance, as well as asset recovery and looks forward to the next Conference that will be held in Panama in November 2013.

8. The Group notes that the Sixth Conference of Parties to the UNTOC failed to adopt a mechanism or mechanisms to assist the Conference in the review of the implementation of the Convention and Protocols thereto and wishes to reiterate its position regarding the core elements of such eventual mechanism or mechanisms like the governmental nature or regular budget funding. In the meantime, the Group acknowledges that improving the capacity of states parties and promoting implementation of the Convention and protocols thereto, which is the ultimate purpose of the Conference of Parties, would be achieved through effective international cooperation and better utilizing those treaties in practice.

Mr. Chairman,

9. The Group reiterates its particular concern over the trafficking of cultural property, and related offences, which is causing increasing damages to the cultural heritage of our nations and thus, to part of our identities. In this regard, the Group has tabled along with Italy a draft resolution entitled "Strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice responses to protect cultural property, especially with regard to its trafficking".

10. In this resolution, the group wishes to recognize the indispensable role of crime prevention and criminal justice responses in combating all forms and aspects of trafficking in cultural property and related offences in a comprehensive and effective manner, and welcomes the recommendations of the meeting of the open-ended intergovernmental expert group on protection against trafficking in cultural property held in Vienna from 27 to 29 June 2012.

11. The resolution also addresses issues such as data analysis, prevention and criminalization of trafficking in cultural property, protection of cultural property, encouraging international cooperation and technical assistance as well as specific guidelines for crime prevention and criminal justice responses with respect to trafficking in cultural property and the model treaty. The Group looks forward to the adoption of this resolution during this session.

12. The Group emphasizes the great importance of the work of the intergovernmental expert group in examining the options to strengthen existing and to propose new national and international legal or other responses to cybercrime. In this regard, the Group welcomes the outcome of the second session of the intergovernmental experts group on cybercrime held in February 2013 in Vienna, including the comprehensive study on cybercrime prepared by the UNODC under the auspices of the expert group, and looks forward to the adoption by this commission of a resolution that will promote international cooperation in addressing the challenges to the preventing and combating cybercrime, including by appropriate normative developments. The Group also calls upon this Commission to take further actions, including by establishing an open-ended intergovernmental working group to further examine the problem of cybercrime and response to it, to strengthen international cooperation to combat cybercrime.

Mr. Chairman,

13. 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. In this context, we look forward to the deliberations to take place during this session with regard to the follow up of the work done by the expert groups established by the Commission, in particular, the Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting to exchange information on best practices and on the revision of existing United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which the Group believes should continue its work.

14. The Group considers that the application of restorative justice programmes can be a useful complementary mechanism to the ordinary criminal justice system to promote rehabilitation and social reintegration of the offender, and in particular for juvenile offenders.

Mr. Chairman,

15. The Group underscores the important role played by the UN Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in strengthening high-level political will and the commitment of Member States in promoting international cooperation by facilitating exchange of views and experience, mobilizing public opinion and recommending policy options at the national and regional level in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice. The Group is of the view that these Congresses are ready for a process of streamlining with regard to their organization, outcome and follow-up, so their potential could be optimized.

Mr. Chairman,

16. The G-77 and China recalls and reiterates 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.

17. 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. In this regard there is also a need to counter the gang related activities and their ties with transnational organized crime.

18. The G-77 and China calls upon all Member States to integrate crime prevention considerations into all relevant social and economic policies and programmes in order to effectively address the conditions in which crime and violence can emerge. To this end is necessary to continue supporting the work done and initiatives promoted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to exchange good practices that integrate crime prevention and criminal justice. In this regard, the Group underscores the importance of enhancing technical assistance, capacity-building and training programmes to face and prevent urban crime.

Mr. Chairman,

19. The Group welcomes the adoption by the recent session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of two resolutions related to the standing open-ended intergovernmental Working Group on Improving the Governance and Financial Situation of UNODC and looks forward the adoption by this commission of the same. The Group of 77 and China hopes that the working group, through its renewed mandate, provides for concrete steps in appropriately addressing fragile financial situation as well as governance gaps of UNODC.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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