Director General/Executive Director
Remarks at the launch of the UNODC Global Programme on Building Effective Networks Against Transnational Organized Crime
15 December 2015
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us today for the launch of UNODC's new Global Programme on Building Effective Networks Against Transnational Organized Crime - BENATOC.
Transnational organized crime thrives on the global economy, while taking advantage of new technologies and capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of the weak and the fragile.
Across the world, organized crime networks are involved in a disturbing array of different crimes, including: drug trafficking, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, wildlife and forest crime, trafficking in cultural property and many others.
Transnational organized crime represents a vast global web of interconnected activity driven by the need to make huge profits from the pain and suffering of millions of women, children and men.
UNODC can also attest to the growing relationship between organized crime groups and terrorists and violent extremism in some parts of the world.
The terrorists and violent extremists are profiting from these links and using the funds to finance deadly acts of terrorism.
But, if globalization has been exploited by sophisticated criminals, let us also acknowledge that it offers us greater opportunities to hone our own strategies and operations.
In the face of the nexus between criminal networks and terrorists, we now have the ability to act together in real time not just across countries, but across regions and the entire world.
Using interconnectivity and the drive for increased coordination as its founding principle, the BENATOC global programme has been developed by UNODC and its partners to enhance these activities.
BENATOC has its roots in a series of resolutions from the UN Security Council and the General Assembly that stress the need for trans-regional and international cooperation and addressing the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
And, the global programme follows from a number of internal discussions and papers that promoted a model of cooperation in countering drug trafficking and organized crime that covers both the local and the global.
Having developed the idea of the connectivity model, UNODC has sought to create a series of practical and concrete measures, as requested by Member States, to promote more effective and efficient cooperation at the regional, interregional and international levels.
One such initiative is the Interregional Drug Control Approach that promotes law enforcement related "networks" across regions to counter the criminal networks.
The primary focus of BENATOC will be on the "Networking the Networks" initiative, which aims to improve operational structures and practices, enhance information exchange and operational cooperation, and improve training for personnel.
"Networking the networks" was launched in December 2013 in Istanbul, and a follow-up meeting in October 2014 in Doha, Qatar enhanced this process. More recently Azerbaijan hosted the initial meeting of the Network of the Law Enforcement Training Institutions in Baku in April of this year.
In Baku, the "LE TrainNet" was endorsed, while a November 2015 meeting in Delhi hosted financial intelligence bodies to create a network designed to combat illicit financial flows.
The "networking the networks" initiative has already brought together agencies including CARICC, JPC and GCC CIC, as well as Europol, INTERPOL, the WCO, ASEANAPOL, the Egmont Group the OSCE, and others.
Our relationship with INTERPOL is especially critical. UNODC recently signed a joint action plan with the organization, which creates a joint partnership for the implementation of BENATOC.
The Global Programme will have four key elements:
- Improvement of intelligence-sharing and enhancing capacities to collect and analyse data;
- Promoting a network of law enforcement training and educational institutions;
- Strengthening capacities to target illicit financial flows and 'dirty money'; and
- enhancing maritime cooperation through the use of network of regional and international law enforcement organizations.
All of these activities are to be undertaken within the overall framework of UNODC partnerships, both inside and outside of the UN, as well as our integrated field network.
The target is to ensure that law enforcement agencies in various countries "speak a common language" and are bound together in the delivery of operations to deliver on the overall strategy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
BENATOC articulates UNODC's vision of a highly interconnected law enforcement network that is not just reactive, but is powered by the ability to be proactive. In this way, we can help regain some of the momentum against the criminals.
But to achieve real-time operations and coordination, we rely on your assistance.
I hope that you will give your full support to this global programme, and in doing so, assist every nation in countering the damaging impact of illicit drugs, transnational organized crime and terrorism and violent extremism.