147 Nations meet in Vienna to intensify the fight against organized crime

VIENNA, 8 October 2008 (UNODC) - Representatives of the 147 countries that are Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (also known as the Palermo Convention) will hold a high-level conference in Vienna from 8-17 October to review implementation of the world's foremost legal instrument for fighting organized crime, and its three Protocols (covering Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants, and Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms).

The Convention, which came into force in September 2003, obliges Parties to create domestic criminal offences to fight organized crime (including participation in an organized criminal group, money-laundering, corruption and obstruction of justice). It also includes measures to facilitate extradition, mutual legal assistance, joint investigations and other forms of international cooperation to fight this trans-national threat.

The Conference will review implementation of the Convention's obligations, examine ways of strengthening international cooperation, and identify needs for training and technical assistance to reduce vulnerability to organized crime.

An extensive programme of side events will be open to the media, including presentations on  21st century IT systems for intelligence and law enforcement, environmental crime, and a mock trial for the conviction of offenders.

New anti-corruption academy

On the margins of the Conference, at 12.15 p.m. on 13 October in room 7, UNODC and Interpol will sign a partnership agreement on the establishment of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg, near Vienna.  The Academy, to open in 2009, will be a centre of excellence in anti-corruption education, research and professional training.

Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC, will sign the agreement with Mr. Ronald Noble, Secretary-General of Interpol, in the presence of Ms. Maria Fekter, Federal Minister of the Interior of Austria.

All plenary meetings and special events will be open to the media. For more details on the Conference, please click http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/CTOC-COP-session4.html


For information, please contact:

Mr. Walter Kemp

Spokesman and Speechwriter

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Telephone: (+43-1) 26060 5629

Mobile : (+43-699) 1459-5629

E-mail: walter.kemp@unodc.org