2 December 2003

UNODC Holds Regional Seminar in Mali to Promote Ratification of UN Conventions on Crime and Terrorism

VIENNA, 2 December (United Nations Information Service) -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) jointly organized a "Sub-Regional Seminar for the ratification and the implementation of the Universal Instruments against Terrorism and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols" with the Government of Mali. The seminar took place in Bamako, Mali, from 25 to 28 November 2003.

The provisions of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols as well as the 12 universal instruments against terrorism were largely analysed, with special emphasis on the mechanisms for extradition and mutual legal assistance. Special attention was given to Resolution 1373 of the Security Council, notably on the requirements to combat the financing of terrorism.

The Seminar concluded with a series of concrete recommendations such as: the need of taking the above-mentioned instruments as a legal basis for extradition and mutual legal assistance; the lifting of bank secrecy for effective international cooperation; the obligation of prosecuting in cases of non-extradition; the impossibility of invoking reasons of a political nature for denying extradition and the insertion of the status of ratification of each country in the agenda of the meetings of the sub-regional and regional organizations.

UNODC counted on the expertise of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council and the International Monetary Fund. Around 50 participants attended the Seminar. Representatives from the following regional organizations were also present: The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC),  African Union (AU) and the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI). Twenty countries were represented by senior officials and experts.

The Seminar was closed by the Minister of Justice of Mali who thanked UNODC for this initiative. The participants agreed to disseminate the conclusions and recommendations of this Seminar to their own national authorities, in order to follow up the progress of their national legislations and their ratification and implementation status.

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