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    5 September 2017

    Statement by the Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, at the summary panel of the fifth informal thematic session on Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and contemporary forms of slavery

    VIENNA, 5 September (UN Information Service) - Over the last two days, we have heard a rich diversity of views in this fifth thematic session.

    Such insights now need to be turned into commitments for bold action. There is a dramatic and compelling need.

    Criminals profit from instability driven by the agony of conflict and economic uncertainty. Women and children seeking safety are falling prey to criminals.  

    The New York Declaration provides a powerful statement that refugees and migrants must be assisted and protected.

    It urges us to combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling through support and assistance, and by adopting and implementing the UN  Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its relevant protocols.

    The Global Compact can compel action by ensuring proper resources for identification and referral processes tailored to the challenges of conflict and mass migration.

    Tools to disrupt organized crime networks through intelligence sharing, joint operations, financial investigations and coordination across local and regional borders are also necessary.

    Criminals exploit weaknesses that leave people defenceless and vulnerable to violence.

    Our response to the criminals must be rooted in the rule of law; and we need to work together, share responsibility and acknowledge that we can and must do more to stop human suffering.

    You will soon begin negotiations on the Global Compact.

    Action underscored by the New York Declaration, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the General Assembly's Global Plan of Action and the rapid march towards universal ratification of the protocols in smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.

    Let us not forget that our work is driven by one simple word: respect.
    o    Respect for human rights and human life;
    o    Respect for the rule of law; and
    o    Respect for dignity, for safety and for security.

    I wish you every success in your future deliberations that can and will transform people's lives.

    Thank you.

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    For further information, please contact:
    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]