Press Releases

                                                                                                                            29 June 2004

    Secretary-General Urges Full Implementation of Landmark UN Treaty against Transnational Organized Crime

    NEW YORK, 28 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the first session of the Conference of the Parties to the Untied Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime delivered by Antonio Maria Costa, Director-General, United Nations Office at Vienna, in Vienna, 28 June:

    It gives me great pleasure to convene the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The entry into force of the Convention and two of its Protocols in such a short period of time is a landmark in international efforts to combat organized crime, and a powerful demonstration of the world’s determination to fight it with more determination than ever before.

    Organized crime is prominent among the new threats to peace and security.  It undermines efforts towards sustainable development and respect for the rule of law. The link between ongoing conflicts and the formation and growth of criminal networks cannot be ignored. Countries in post-conflict situations are especially vulnerable to the threat posed by organized crime.

    That is why the full implementation of the Convention and its Protocols are an important part of our efforts to meet the threats of our age. Today, you begin to build the mechanisms that will ensure such implementation. At the same time, the obligation rests with the States Parties to ensure that all measures taken to combat organized crime comply with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights and humanitarian law.

    It was the “Vienna spirit” that led to the successful conclusion of the negotiations of the Convention and the Protocols. I am confident that that same spirit will be brought to bear on ensuring full implementation. Such implementation can make a real difference to millions of peoples’ lives, and will be an important contribution to saving succeeding generations not only from organized crime itself, but also from the scourge of war and the misery of poverty. The United Nations will spare no effort in supporting you in that effort.  I therefore send you my best wishes for a successful Conference.

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