Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director


CCPCJ Side-Event: the importance of strong Public-Private-Partnerships in countering cybercrime

  19 May 2021


Ladies and gentlemen,

My thanks to the US Permanent Mission for inviting me to speak at this event.

Preventing, detecting and countering cybercrime effectively depends on alliances between the public and private sectors, and I am grateful to the distinguished speakers from the US Department of Justice, Microsoft, ShadowServer, Chainalysis and the Korean National Police Agency for sharing their experience and expertise today.  

UNODC has been proud to work with all three companies in supporting Member States to protect critical infrastructure, build cryptocurrency investigative and seizure capabilities, and to deliver training, and I hope we can further expand our cooperation.

Joint, coordinated efforts to tackle cybercrime are needed more than ever. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, cybercriminals were quick to exploit vulnerabilities, including through attacks on critical infrastructure, ransomware and distribution of child sexual abuse material.

Even prior to the pandemic, UNODC research on trafficking in persons documented the growing use of digital platforms by traffickers.

In 2020, US-based National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children received over 21 million reports of online child sexual exploitation, up 28 percent over the previous year.

We have also seen a strong rise in online trafficking of falsified medical products by organized crime groups, as well as procurement scams and data compromise frauds targeting people, hospitals and government agencies.

To help countries counter these growing threats, UNODC’s global programme on cybercrime delivered training to 105 Member States last year despite pandemic-related restrictions, helping to build capacities, strengthen prevention and promote international cooperation on operational casework and evidence exchange.

Our Office has provided support to States to counter cybercrime since 2013, and the global programme now has dedicated staff based in El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Senegal, Thailand, and Vienna. For this I would like to thank our donors Austria, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, the UK and the US for their continuing support.

Our Office also provides support to the open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study on cybercrime, which has submitted 63 recommendations to the Crime Commission on strengthening the responses to cybercrime.

Furthermore, UNODC has been active in promoting online safety and justice with Member States, our UN partners, the private sector, civil society, educators, parents, and children.

In order to better protect people online and tackle digital inequalities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to draw on the experience and expertise of all partners and all sectors, to stop cybercriminals from exploiting vulnerabilities and harming the people who can least afford it.

I hope today’s event will drive awareness of the need for stronger public-private partnerships to deter, detect and disrupt criminal groups.

I once again thank the distinguished panellists taking part today, and I wish you a productive discussion.