|UNITED NATIONS OFFICE|
FOR DRUG CONTROL AND CRIME PREVENTION
Introductory Statement to Permanent Missions on the Technical Cooperation Activities of CICP
11 March 1999
Over the past few years, the enormous growth in transnational crime has been matched by increasing concern at the international level. Here at the Centre for International Crime Prevention we find ourselves at the heart of this new concern. Part of the reform of the United Nations created a new mandate for the Centre to address transnational crime. Since then, and particularly since the negotiations for the new Convention began, Member States are looking to us to play a leadership role in this area.
I feel increasingly confident that in the last year what we are seeing at the world level is being reflected in the changes here. This is also confirmed in my meetings with senior Government officials around the world and with other international organisations like the World Bank ? all show great support for the Centre?s new role.
The three new Global Programmes that will be presented to you today will help to give a clearer focus to our technical assistance priorities. Technical cooperation has always been a key task of the Centre. And these new Programmes will allow the Centre to build expertise and to specialise in key areas.
Two of the Programmes relate directly to the draft Convention and Protocols. As these new legal instruments will become the linchpin of the global strategy to fight international crime countries should be able to participate on an equal basis in putting it into practice. As most of you know, the Group of 77 and China have requested assistance in this area.
Our Programme on the ?Assessment of Transnational Organised Groups? and another on ?Trafficking in Human Beings? are designed to pave the way for a smooth implementation of the Convention and the Protocols on Trafficking and Smuggling. They will promote collaboration among countries and provide assistance where it is needed.
The third Global Programme ? which addresses corruption ? was also guided by the agenda of the Crime Commission. As you all know the Commission was behind the General Assembly?s Resolutions on the Code of Conduct of Public Officials and the Declaration Against Corruption and Bribery. And since then corruption has become more and more topical.
Two weeks ago a Conference chaired by Vice-President Al Gore brought together leaders from some 80 countries. On that occasion I presented our Programme on Corruption which received a very enthusiastic response. It was clear from the statements of many participants, including Vice-President Gore, that the involvement of the UN in this area is strongly welcomed.
These Global Programmes are joint projects of the Centre and our research arm ? UNICRI. To avoid overlap the projects were designed in close consultation with our major partners, including the World Bank, UNHCR, UNDP, the IMO, and the European Commission, along with several NGOs and research institutes.
Before Mr. van Dijk and his colleagues from the Centre and UNICRI present the Programmes in greater detail I would like to make a short announcement. I know that many of you here are involved in the negotiations this week on the Convention. I am pleased to inform you that we are now in a position to assist about a dozen Least Developed Countries attend future negotiations. This funding stems from contributions from both Japan and the United States in addition to some resources of the Centre. We will consult with the relevant regional groups further on this matter.