- Adoption of the Organized Crime Convention
- Historical context: why Palermo?
- Features of the Organized Crime Convention
- The protocols
- Related international instruments
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Published in May 2018.
Regional Perspective: Eastern and Southern Africa - added in April 2020
This module is a resource for lecturers
Adoption of the Organized Crime Convention
The Organized Crime Convention was adopted in November 2000 by General Assembly resolution 55/25 following two years of drafting and negotiations (the official record of negotiations can be found in the Travaux Préparatoires). In December 2000, the Convention was signed by Member States in Palermo, Italy, with the Convention finally entering into force on 29 September 2003. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations at the time, stated that with the signing of the Convention "the international community demonstrated the political will to answer a global challenge with a global response" (UNODC, 2003).
In the years following its adoption, an increasing number of countries have become party to the Organized Crime Convention. The Convention has reached near universal adherence, representing the overwhelming majority of the world's nations. For the list of countries that have ratified the Convention, please visit the Treaties section of the SHERLOC Portal. The portal contains legislation, case law and other relevant information regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
"If crime crosses borders, so too must law enforcement. If the rule of law is undermined not only in one country, but in many, then those who defend it cannot limit themselves to purely national means. If the enemies of progress and human rights seek to exploit the openness and opportunities of globalization for their purposes, then we must exploit those very same factors to defend human rights and defeat the forces of crime, corruption and trafficking in human beings" (UNODC, 2003).
- Secretary-General Kofi Annan