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PressRelease No:  UNIS/CP/377/Rev.1*

ReleaseDate:  3 May 2000
UNCommission Paves Way for Substantial Action on
Transnational Crime at Vienna Meeting

Approves Vienna Declarationon Crime and Justice; Discusses Anti-Corruption Measures and International Victims Assistance Fund;  

 VIENNA, 20 April (UN Information Service) -- Reviewingand approving the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice was the mainfocus at the three-day meeting of the Commission on Crime Prevention andCriminal Justice, held in Vienna from 18 to 20 April.

 As the Tenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and theTreatment of Offenders was held prior to the Commission’s meeting (10 to17 April), the Commission gave priority attention to the results of theCongress.

Vienna Declaration

 The Vienna Declaration, which was concluded by the Tenth Crime Congress, was reviewed and accordingly forwarded to the General Assembly, which is expected to adopt the Declaration at its Millennium session this fall.

 The Declaration, as Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Officeof Drug Control and Crime Prevention, put it, “will serve as a guidinglight for years to come”. Member States agreed to intensify cooperationand to provide mutual assistance, legal and technical, to combat transnationalcriminal activities.

 The Commission also elaborated possible follow-up measures tothe Congress to be recommended to the General Assembly. 

Transnational Organized Crime

 The Ad Hoc Committee, set up by the General Assembly in 1998, to elaborate ways and means of establishing international instruments against transnational crime, presented the results hitherto achieved.

 Negotiations on the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime and the three protocols on illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition; illegal trafficking in and transporting of migrants; and trafficking in human beings, especially women and children are likely to be concluded this year culminating witha high-level signing ceremony in Palermo, Italy.

 The Commission emphasized that, in future, the Convention andits protocols will play an essential role in the international community’s fight against transnational crime. “Just as criminal groups have globalized their actions, so must we”, Mr. Arlacchi said strikingly.

 Therefore it was stressed that negotiations should receive specialattention to make sure they were concluded on time, so the Convention wouldbe before the Millennium General Assembly in fall. 


 The General Assembly, in its Resolution 54/128, requested theaforementioned Ad Hoc Committee to explore the desirability of an international instrument against corruption. Accordingly the views and recommendationsof the Ad Hoc Committee were presented at this week’s three-day Commission meeting.

 The Commission agreed to request the General Assembly to establish a new mechanism to enable it to develop the new instrument. Corruptionposes a serious threat for both, developed and developing countries, hencethe international community has to set measures to fight such a threat.

Victims Assistance

 The views of an expert working group on the foundation of an InternationalFund for Support to Victims of Transnational Crime were presented to thedelegates.

 The Commission discussed the issue and decided to consider itagain at the Tenth Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2001.

Technical Cooperation

 Through its global programmes on trafficking in human beings, corruption and organized crime, standard-setting, legal-advisory services and technical assistance activities, the Centre for International CrimePrevention (CICP) will continue to provide technical support to MemberStates. 

 The Commission agreed that the international community should act at the policy and at the operational level to encourage reforms andto bring national legislation in line with United Nations policy and instruments.

Backgroundon the Commission

 The 40-member Commission was set up by the Economic and Social Council in 1992. It develops and reviews the UN programme on crime prevention and mobilizes support for it among member states. The Centre for International Crime Prevention acts as the Secretariat of the Commission.

Commission Membership

 For the ninth session, the 40 member of the Commission will includeAlgeria, Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico,Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea,Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, South Africa,Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, United States of America.

* Re-issued to incorporate revisions on the International Victims AssistanceFund.

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