Press Releases

    16 December 2002


    Bonn conference on cross border crime, 16-17 December

    VIENNA, 16 December (UN Information Service) -- Tackling organised crime and high-level corruption is one of the main challenges of international development cooperation in the third millennium, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa told a conference on cross border crime in Germany today. In a speech delivered by the Deputy Director of the Centre for Crime Prevention, Jan van Dijk, Mr. Costa spoke about the global security implications of organized crime and stressed the link between development and the growth of organized crime.

    The conference entitled ‘Tackling Cross Border Crime’ being held in Bonn, Germany (16-17 December 2002) has been organized by the German Federal Government and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

    In his keynote address Mr Costa said: "Organized crime and terrorism, with their relation to corruption and lack of development are mutually reinforcing social evils. Many countries are locked in a double bind of lawlessness and poverty."

    Research by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (ODC) and the World Bank confirms the clear link between organized crime and economic stagnation in developing societies.

    Top-level executives and policy makers from governments, parliaments and the private sector in the major affected regions and key representatives from international organizations and civil society will discuss how to combat trafficking in drugs, human beings, small arms, money laundering and corruption.

    The conference aims to raise awareness of the problems and assist developing and transitional countries to formulate policies to prevent and combat cross border crime.

    Germany’s role in connection with policing in Afghanistan was praised by Mr. Costa as an exemplary intervention and he added: "The most critical intervention that can be made in post-conflict societies …. is to concentrate on re-establishing the rule of law. Development cannot coexist with internal insecurity."

    Mr. Costa said there was a need for international systems to be integrated to successfully combat cross border crime. The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocols against trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of firearms provides the legal and political framework for this. The Convention has been signed by the majority of countries in the world and is likely to enter into force next year. "There can be no better foundation for improved international cooperation," he said.

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