Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for strengthened global cooperation and more innovation in the battle against organized crime, including the emerging danger of cyber-crime, warning that it threatened world peace, security and vital economic development.
“Organized crime poses a threat to international peace and security like never before,” he said in a message to the 12th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Salvador, Brazil, delivered by John Sandage, Officer-in-Charge of the Division for Treaty Affairs in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“It is a major impediment to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he added, referring to the ambitious targets set by the UN Millennium Summit of 2000 to slash world poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality and vastly increase access to education and health care – all by 2015.
“Sharpening our legal weapons is a must,” he declared, urging all States to ratify and implement the 10-year-old UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three additional Protocols, which aim to suppress trafficking in persons, especially women and children, the smuggling of migrants, and the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and ammunition.
Calling for strengthened bilateral, regional and international cooperation, he said this must be more than an inter-governmental process. “It should involve civil society, the media, the private sector, criminal justice experts, social scientists, and local and regional authorities,” he declared. “We are all affected by crime; therefore we have a shared responsibility to act.
“Finally I urge you to be more innovative,” he concluded. “When it comes to emerging threats such as cyber-crime, environmental crime and counterfeiting, we must stay one step ahead of the criminals. We must also be more effective in stopping the money flows enabled by corruption and money-laundering.”