Transnational organized crime requires a transnational response. As organized criminal networks span the globe, efforts to combat them must likewise cross borders so as to ensure that organized crime networks do not simply divert their activities to countries or regions where weak cooperation means weak criminal justice responses.
The key feature of the UNTOC is its emphasis on international cooperation, in particular in the area of cooperation in criminal matters, but the Convention also contains provisions which aim to facilitate and promote international cooperation in other ways.
International cooperation against organized crime must, as a matter of urgency, be reconceived as a tool for strengthening sovereignty and security, not of surrendering it.
The role of UNODC
UNODC promotes and facilitates formal and informal cooperation between different types of authorities of countries in different ways (for example to share criminal intelligence as well as to support judicial cooperation in criminal matters) and between and among different actors (for example, between criminal intelligence analysts and central authorities).
UNODC also acts as a liaison between States and international organizations and facilitates regional networks of cooperation against organized crime around the world (Networks fighting criminal Networks).
International Cooperation in Criminal Matters
International cooperation against organized crime must, as a matter of urgency, be reconceived as a tool for strengthening sovereignty and security, not of surrendering it. The UNTOC provisions on mutual legal assistance, extradition, transfer of sentenced prisoners, and asset confiscation make it a practical tool in this area.
UNODC actively contributes to conferences, meetings and specialized workshops at regional and international levels, and delivers training to promote cooperation in the implementation of the UNTOC and its supplementary Protocols. An Open-ended Working Group of Government Experts on Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance and International Cooperation for Purposes of Confiscation is held concurrently with the regular sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the Organized Crime Convention biennially.
Since the Seventh United Nations Conference on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1985, UNODC has played an active role in facilitating the transfer of sentenced persons so as to ensure their fair treatment and effective rehabilitation.
UNODC's International Cooperation Resources
UNODC has developed a variety of tools to facilitate international cooperation, including an online directory of competent national authorities, a mutual legal assistance request writer tool, a legal databases and best practices case law.