Parliamentarians around the world united to fight organized crime

1 April 2010, Bangkok, Thailand

Today, the 122nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) ended with the adoption of the IPU Resolution on Cooperation and Shared Responsibility in the Global Fight against Organized Crime, in particular Drug Trafficking, Illegal Arms Trafficking, Human Trafficking and Cross-Border Terrorism.

UNODC strongly welcomes the adoption of this resolution. In his address to the First Standing Committee on Peace and International Security, Mr. Gary Lewis, UNODC Regional Representative for East Asia and the Pacific, recalled the power of parliamentarians in fighting crime, drugs, corruption and terrorism: "You are the agents of change… That is why UNODC applauds you for having taken this initiative to further strengthen global efforts to fight organized crime. You, the Parliamentarians of the world play a key role in this. It is you who initiate changes in legislation or enact new legislation. It is you who decide upon the priorities to be tackled. It is you who vote on the resources to be allocated in this struggle."

Further to Mr. Lewis's intervention, the Drafting Committee of the First Standing Committee decided to highlight in the Resolution that " migrant smuggling is often facilitated by organized crime networks, generating huge profits for the smugglers, while exposing irregular migrants to serious personal risks and making them vulnerable to trafficking" and insist on a clear call to IPU Member Parliaments to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three supplementary Protocols against human trafficking, migrant smuggling and arms trafficking.

But implementation is the "need of the hour... and we must know the threat, act operationally and cooperate regionally" as Mr. Lewis put it. "We must know the threat better. For this, we need to improve the quality of the information we have… Second, we need to sharpen our technical capacity to act operationally. By this I mean that we need to develop better techniques. Techniques which can match up to the knowledge and prowess which our adversaries possess… Thirdly, we need to cooperate better across a region and across regions."

Recognizing UNODC's unique expertise in providing technical assistance to Member States, the IPU resolution ends by inviting parliamentarians to make use of the technical services and expertise which are provide by UNODC.

Related websites

Upcoming: UNODC Model Law against the Smuggling of Migrants.

Website of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Website of the host parliament of the 122nd IPU Assembly

Related documents

Combating Trafficking in Persons: A Handbook for Parliamentarians

handbook for parliamentarians

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNODC, in the framework of the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), launched the publication Combating trafficking in persons: A Handbook for Parliamentarians.

As public awareness of human trafficking grows, people are demanding that action be taken to end it. As elected representatives, parliamentarians have a responsibility and the power to ensure that laws and other measures are put in place and implemented to that end. The Handbook is intended to inspire them to enact sound laws and adopt good practices that will strengthen national responses to human trafficking.

The UNODC Model Law against Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC Model Law against Trafficking in Persons has been developed to assist States in implementing the provisions contained in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing that Convention. It aims to facilitate the review and amendment of existing legislation as well as the adoption of new legislation.

More UNODC publications can be found at the Tools and Publications website.

Find about more about migrant smuggling here.