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UNIS/CP/475
31 March 2004

Countries from Asia and the Pacific Discuss the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

VIENNA, 31 March (UN Information Service) -- The Asia and the Pacific regional preparatory meeting for the Eleventh Crime Congress, which convened in pursuance of the General Assembly resolution 58/138, concluded its work in Bangkok, Thailand, today.  The Congress was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in cooperation with the Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).  The meeting was the second of four regional preparatory meetings being organized for the world Congress that will take place in Thailand in April 2005.  The Meeting elected the following bureau:  Chairperson:  Kampee Kaocharem (Thailand), Vice-chairpersons: T. P. Sreenivasan (India), Hirokazu Urata (Japan), Taukelina T. Finikaso (Tuvalu), and Rapporteur: Ali Hajigholam Saryazdi (Iran).

Over 120 experts from Member States of Asia and the Pacific region, as well as observers from other Member States, representatives of intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies, United Nations-affiliated and regional institutes, and non-governmental organizations met to discuss, from the Asian and Pacific perspective, the issues to be considered at the Congress, in order to highlight special problems and concerns, as well as successful experiences and promising approaches deserving wider application. 

On the five substantive agenda items of the Congress, the Meeting made a variety of recommendations, including the following:

On “Effective measures to combat Transnational Organized Crime” the Meeting recommended that all States should become parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols.  In the age of globalization, the Meeting recognized that information technology and the rapid development of new telecommunication and computer network systems had been accompanied by the abuse of those technologies for criminal purposes and recommended that the Eleventh Congress consider proposing the negotiation of a new convention against cyber crime.

On the question of “International cooperation against terrorism and links between terrorism and other criminal activities in the context of the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”, the Meeting recommended that States ratify or accede to the 12 international instruments against terrorism. The Meeting recommended that the mandate of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of UNODC be expanded and that the resources available to the Branch be strengthened so that it could better provide technical assistance to States.

    

In considering the item on “Corruption: threats and trends in the twenty-first century” the Meeting recognized the devastating effect that the transfer of illicit assets and funds had on national economies and development and recommended that, as asset recovery was an essential component of the new United Nations Convention against Corruption, States should give the highest priority to adopting the measures necessary to make asset recovery possible. 

On “Economic and financial crimes: challenges to sustainable development”, the Meeting recognized that new forms of economic and financial crime, involving offences related to credit card fraud, consumer fraud, identity theft and cyber crime, had emerged as significant threats to the national economies of States in the region. The Meeting recommended that the Eleventh Congress explore the

possibility of negotiating international legal instruments in those fields, as well as  against money-laundering.

On “Making standards work: fifty years of standard-setting in crime prevention and criminal justice”, the Meeting recognized the importance of the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice and recommended that States pay particular attention to juvenile justice and to measures to ensure adequate treatment of children in conflict with the law.

The Meeting also made a variety of recommendations on the six workshops to be held within the framework of the Eleventh Congress.

The delegation from Thailand, the host country of the Eleventh United Nations Crime Congress (Bangkok, from 18 to 25 April 2005), attended Asia and the Pacific meeting, with an exhibition on the arrangements being put in place for the Congress. 

The Asia and the Pacific regional preparatory meeting will be followed by a two-day seminar, from 1 to 2 April 2004, to provide participants with the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols, as well as the promotion of the ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. 

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