Conference of the Parties
to the United Nations Convention
against Transnational Organized Crime
(Vienna, 15-19 October 2018)
National statement by Ambassador Gerhard Küntzle
Agenda Item f of the General Debate
Thank you, Mr Chair.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Germany aligns itself with the statement by the EU representative. I also wish to thank the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for its work in preparing this conference.
Transnational organised crime, trafficking in Persons, the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in firearms have become extremely serious and ubiquitous issues. They pose a threat to international and national security, the safety of populations and fundamental, legally guaranteed human rights such as freedom, physical integrity and, above all, human dignity.
We therefore commend the UNODC for its dedicated work in supervising UNTOC and promoting compliance. UNTOC and the additional protocols facilitate effective cooperation among the member states to fight and prevent transnational organised crime, trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in firearms.
Germany supports a number of UNTOC programmes. Let me give you some examples:
We are assisting conceptual work with a view to providing analytical and conceptual guidance on the issue of trafficking in persons for marriage.
In Mali and Niger, terrorism, the fight against smuggling, trafficking in persons and corruption are issues that must be taken seriously. That is why we are helping UNODC to strengthen its capacities to prevent these crimes.
Since June 2018, we have supported UNODC’s efforts to enhance national capacities for detecting and investigating cross-border organised crime in Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
Moreover, Germany and France have joined forces this year to inject momentum into the control of small arms and light weapons in the Western Balkans. We are looking forward to welcoming you to our side event to this Conference, which will take place at 1.10 p.m. in the Press Room and which will give you an update on the status of a regional roadmap for effective SALW control in the Western Balkans and on the full range of underlying national and regional activities that are being coordinated between us and the UNDP-South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
This conference will be an important opportunity for us to continue our discussion on the creation of a review mechanism for UNTOC. I welcome the considerable efforts that have been devoted to it. We are grateful to all those who have contributed to the discussions to date, and especially to Costa Rica and Italy for their hard work on the draft text of the resolution. Your tireless efforts to simplify the mechanism have brought us very close to viable results and consensus.
We have managed to carve out many features of a future review mechanism. A positive approach should underpin this mechanism. All of us will benefit from an effective mechanism that focuses on the most relevant parts of the Convention and the key challenges that arise when applying the Conventions and its Protocols.
The review mechanism should not be overly burdensome. We should strive for a clear structure of the potential mechanism that will not unduly draw on resources which are needed elsewhere. We must also be mindful not to overburden experts in our capitals and other practitioners who are committed to fighting organised crime in their daily work. The review mechanism should, as far as possible, make use of readily available information and existing structures and resources. The existing working groups, including those on the Protocols, should be consulted in an effective manner. Lessons can be learned from the review mechanism for UNCAC, and we would be well-advised to make optimal use of existing information and structures and avoid duplication of work. We also believe that civil society involvement in such a review mechanism is important. Relevant non-governmental organisations should be invited to offer their input at several stages of the process.
In our opinion, the creation of a review mechanism for UNTOC is a worthwhile aim, and we feel that, after long negotiations, there is a window of opportunity during the conference to reach an agreement.
In the event that the review mechanism is realised, Germany is willing to consider making a voluntary contribution towards funding of the mechanism in 2019.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m looking forward to discussing these points and many other important topics at this conference.
Thank you, Mr Chair.