The Group would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences and sympathy to the people and Governments of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India for the recent earthquake which caused loss of thousands of human lives and damage to properties.
Permit me to express on behalf of the Group of 77 and China my warm congratulations to you on your election as well as to other members of the Bureau to direct the proceedings of this Second Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. I wish to assure you of the Group's support in the task ahead.
The Group welcomes the entry into force of the protocol on fire arms as well as the increasing number of ratifications of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto, since the last session. The Convention and its protocols constitute a framework for international cooperation.
The G-77 and China believes that the main role of the COP is to enhance the implementation of the Convention and its protocols through the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate this aim. Therefore the Group attaches great importance to the agenda items of this session, especially agenda item 6 on technical assistance activities.
As the COP embarks upon the activities envisaged under the Convention and its protocols, the Group wishes to recall the commitments undertaken during the negotiations of the Convention and its protocols to provide technical assistance to the developing countries for their implementation, in accordance with Article 30 of the Convention.
We would like to recall the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice, which recognized that comprehensive crime prevention must address the root causes related to crime through social, economic, health, education and justice policies. In this context, we call upon the international community to assist developing countries in effectively addressing the root causes of crime and for better implementation of the TOC convention.
The Convention and its three protocols represent a significant step forward in the fight against transnational organized crime and signifies the collective will of Member States to promote cooperation and 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.
As regards the mechanisms to review periodically the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols which are already in force, the G-77 and China believes that such mechanisms must include technical assistance projects aimed at better implementation of the Convention by State parties. The process leading to the adoption of these mechanisms must be open to all Member States with a view to encourage the ratification and to ensure the universal character of the convention. Any reviewing process should aim at improving the implementation of technical assistance projects. In this context, the follow-up evaluation of the technical assistance projects would in effect be the review of the implementation of the Convention.
The G-77 and China expresses its appreciation to the UNODC for organizing the Round Table Meeting on Africa with the theme "Crime and Drugs as impediments to Security and Development in Africa", that took place in Abuja, Nigeria from 5-6 September 2005. The Group hopes that the African States will benefit from the implementation of the Programme of Action that emanated from the meeting and it would facilitate the implementation of the TOC Convention. The Group calls upon UNODC to take similar initiatives for other regions in accordance with their requirements and upon their request.
The Group would like to highlight the challenges faced by Member States in the implementation of the TOC, especially on issues related to capacity and capability of Member States in solving the problems of the victims of human trafficking especially women and children. The Group calls upon UNODC to provide technical assistance and cooperation to Member States in meeting these challenges.
Thank you Mr. President.
The G-77 and China has keenly followed the discussions in the Plenary regarding the issue of providing technical assistance. We believe this is one of the most important elements of the implementation of the UN Convention against TOC, as has already been stated in our opening statement to the second session of the COP.
The Group wishes to recall its proposal for a working group on technical assistance during the first session of the COP. We welcome the non paper circulated by the US delegation on establishing an interim working group in this regard and wishes to make the following comments:
It is the Group's firm view that any working group on technical assistance has to be an open-ended group and that any separate core or representative group is not necessary. It is also the Group's view that the interim working group should work under the authority of the President and the Bureau of the COP.
We would like to suggest that the mandate of this working group should be of general nature related to providing effective technical assistance. It should not go into specific details as contained in the non-paper under circulation. The mandate of the interim working group should flow from article 32.1 as well as articles 29 to 31 of the Convention, which could be discussed at the current session of the COP.
The Group is of the view that funding for the administrative support of the interim working group should be within existing resources.
The interim working group should meet during the session of the COP and as necessary during the intersessional period and report to the COP.
The Group looks forward to working with other Member States in evolving the mandate of this working group in the current session of the COP.
Thank you Mr. President.