UNODC's mandate on trafficking in cultural property
Pursuant to ECOSOC resolutions 2004/34 and 2008/23, entitled "Protection against trafficking in cultural property", UNODC was requested, in close cooperation with UNESCO, to convene an open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting to submit relevant recommendations on protection against trafficking in cultural property to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Crime Commission).
UNODC convened the open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on 24-26 Nov 2009 in Vienna. The expert group recommended that the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) explores ways of using the provisions of the Organized Crime Convention as a legal basis for international cooperation for the purpose of protection against trafficking in cultural property. For more information about the expert group meeting see [link to heading below].
The 2010 Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) was held in Vienna. Draft Resolution I titled "Crime prevention and criminal justice responses to protect cultural property, especially with regard to its trafficking" was adopted by ECOSOC at its 45 th plenary meeting on 22 July 2010 in resolution 2010/19. In that resolution, UNODC was requested to work with UNESCO and others to follow up on the expert working group's recommendations, and convene at least one other such meeting and submit resulting practical proposals for their implementation to the 22 nd CCPCJ. Further UNODC was requested to join UNESCO, Interpol and others with respect to awareness raising, capacity-building and technical assistance activities, and to explore possible analysis and dissemination of data on trafficking in cultural property. Finally, UNODC was requested to report on the implementation of this resolution at the 21 st CCPCJ.
The 12 th Crime Congress held on 12 to 19 April 2010, resulted in the Salvador Declaration. Paragraph 12 of that Declaration urged States to develop effective legislation to prevent, prosecute and punish the crime strengthen international cooperation and technical assistance (including the recovery and return of cultural property) bearing in mind relevant international instruments including the UNTOC.
In October 2010, the fifth Conference of Parties marked the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the UNTOC. The Secretariat provided a discussion note on the use of the UNTOC for protection against cultural property. The Conference of the Parties adopted resolution 5/7 entitled "Combating transnational organized crime against cultural property" in which it urges States parties to use the UNTOC for broad cooperation in preventing and combating criminal offences against cultural property, especially in returning such proceeds of crime or property to their legitimate owners, in accordance with article 14, paragraph 2, of the UNTOC.
Pursuant to ECOSOC resolutions 2010/19 and 2011/42, UNODC developed guidelines on crime prevention and criminal justice responses to assist States in better fighting against trafficking in cultural property [link to guidelines, forthcoming].
For more information, see: