The Review Mechanism established by the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) marks today a very important milestone: the launch of the third and final group of 64 country reviews. By launching the last group of country reviews today, all States Parties to the UNTOC are now engaged in the UNTOC Review Mechanism process.
The review process
The UNTOC Review Mechanism was launched in October 2020 and it is composed by 4 thematic clusters of articles of the UNTOC and its Protocols that will be examined progressively. The process started with the review of the implementation of the cluster relating to criminalization and jurisdiction. As per the procedures and rules for the functioning of the UNTOC Review Mechanism, States Parties were divided into three groups and as a result of the drawing of lots: the first group (starting the process in 2020) saw the participation of 131 countries in 62 reviews, the second group (starting the process in 2021) saw the participation of 131 countries in 63 reviews and the third group will see the participation of 134 countries in 64 reviews.
The next steps for States Parties
In line with the timeline provided by the Mechanism’s Procedures and Rules, each State Party would need to appoint within two weeks from today, a focal point to coordinate its participation in the review process and, within four weeks, governmental experts to carry out the country review. A total number of 142 focal points and 835 government experts (30% women) were appointed so far to participate in the reviews of group one and group two.
Challenges and good practices
The role of non-governmental actors in the review process was also emphasised by Ambassador Alessandro Cortese, in his opening remarks, "Cooperating with NGOs, academia and the private sector helps us to create policies that are more informed and closer to the needs of the society at grassroots level”.
To facilitate broader stakeholder engagement in the review process, UNODC recently launched and published “Country profiles” for the UNTOC Review Mechanism: specifically developed public web pages which contain the main information on the status of the review process by country and other relevant information to engage in the process.
Another lesson learnt, shared by Dr. Pham Van Cong, Focal Point of Viet Nam, is that "the process of coordination is not limited to the Reviewing States and State under review, it is necessary to expand the information exchange and coordination with the Secretariat to have the support to overcome challenges faced during the review process".
Since 2020, the Global Programme to Support the Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the UNTOC and the Protocols Thereto provided training to more than 1,500 government officials (618 women) from 120 States Parties on the UNTOC Review Mechanism, its methodology and the use of the online portal REVMOD.
The UNTOC Review Mechanism Secretariat encourages nominating female focal points and government experts to reach a higher female participation in the overall review process and stands ready to support States Parties throughout all phases of the review process.
For further information:
UNTOC Review Mechanism Information Portal
 In line with the applicable rules and regulations, the Holy See decided to opt out of review process.