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UNIS/CP/463
6 February 2004

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime Concludes Its Session in Vienna

VIENNA, 6 February (UN Information Service) -- The Ad Hoc Committee on the Elaboration of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which carried out the negotiation of the Convention held its thirteenth and last session in Vienna (2-6 February 2004). It completed its assigned task of elaborating the draft rules of the procedure for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.

The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted in November 2000, entered into force on 29 September 2003. Currently there are 147 States Signatories and 60 States Parties. During the Ad Hoc Committee several signatories announced their imminent ratification.

Three Protocols supplement the Convention; the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Air and Sea were adopted together with the Convention and have entered into force on 25 December 2003 and 28 January 2004 respectively. The third Protocol -- against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition -- was adopted in May 2001, and is not yet in force.

The Convention provides for the establishment of a Conference of the Parties to promote and review the implementation of the Convention and supplementing Protocols, which should meet within one year of the Convention’s entry into force. The inaugural meeting of the Conference will be held in Vienna from 28 June to 9 July 2004 and will begin by adopting its rules of procedure on the basis of the draft rules prepared this week by the Ad Hoc Committee.

In preparing the draft rules, the Ad Hoc Committee discussed various issues regarding the functioning of the Conference of the Parties, in particular the role of the States Signatories (and not yet Parties), and the possible need in future for subsidiary mechanisms and bodies.

Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) praised the spirit of cooperation that inspired the Committee throughout its work and enabled it to complete the first set of truly global instruments against transnational organized crime. He stressed the importance of this last session that has set the stage for the effective and flexible functioning of the Conference of the Parties, an implementation mechanism with great potential. He urged Member States from all geographical regions to expedite their ratification processes and join the Conference next June in the capacity of full participants. He finally made an appeal to States to provide their full political, technical and financial support to the implementation of the Convention.

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