Building Partnerships to Help Victims:
The United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking
New York, 22 September 2010
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to join you today for the First Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus for hosting this event.
I would also like to thank the members of the Group of Friends for their kind invitation to participate.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime applauds the initiative led by 20 countries (Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, the Philippines, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Venezuela) to create the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking in February 2010.
UNODC firmly supports the commitment of the Group of Friends to promote decisive actions at national, regional and international levels to strengthen the fight against trafficking in persons.
We also recognize and commend the important role that the Group of Friends played in supporting the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and in its adoption by the General Assembly on 30 July 2010.
The Global Plan of Action is an impressive achievement.
• It demonstrates in no uncertain terms the political commitment of all Member States to end human trafficking in all its forms through the adoption of a coordinated, comprehensive and consistent call for action across the globe.
• The plan also recognizes the human rights-based approach in its implementation, which UNODC welcomes.
I would like to express my gratitude for the recognition of UNODC's work in the Global Plan of Action, most especially because our clear mandate is to assist the efforts of Member States.
UNODC's comprehensive strategy focuses on prevention of trafficking in persons, prosecution of perpetrators, and protection of victims. Our work is multi-dimensional:
• we collect and analyze data and information on a global basis that enables evidence-based policy and targeted interventions;
• we provide technical assistance to legislators, law enforcement and other relevant actors;
• we coordinate global anti-trafficking policy within the United Nations and the international community;
• and now, through the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund, we will be building partnerships to support and protect victims.
I would like to thank the Group of Friends for supporting UNODC in its activities coordinating the work of (1) the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT), and (2) UN.GIFT (the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking).
ICAT and UN.GIFT are important mechanisms to foster coordination and cooperation among relevant United Nations agencies and other international organizations and partners involved in combating trafficking in persons.
I would also like to emphasize UNODC's commitment to the establishment of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking.
• The Trust Fund is one of the plan's most important elements.
• It will provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking through established channels of assistance, such as governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
• The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is currently developing the mechanics to establish the Fund and its founding trustees.
However, right now what the Trust Fund needs most is the fuel to make it run. I call on Member States, the private sector and philanthropists to contribute generously to this Trust Fund when it is launched in a few months' time. It is your financial support that will be pivotal to the success of the Fund.
I look forward to supporting ongoing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in a climate of global political commitment symbolized by the adoption and the strong support for the implementation of the Global Plan of Action.
Working together is the only way to bring an end to the shameful crime of human trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is firmly committed to the Global Plan, and to our coordinating role for ICAT and UN.GIFT.