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Transnational crimes threaten MDGs – UNODC

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Speakers at the recently-held 21st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice have acknowledged that transnational organized crime is one of the main challenges of the 21st century and a threat to sustainable development and the rule of law.

The Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly, Mutlaq Al-Qahtani in a message indicated that drugs and crime are an impediment to the social and economic development of countries. “When combined, these crimes generate enormous profits every year: not in the millions, not in the billions, but in the trillions of dollars,” he said.

Mr Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in his speech to the commission, stated that, as the international community moved closer towards 2015 and took stock of the Millennium Development Goals, there was growing recognition that transnational threats were a major hindrance to achieving the Goals.

Weak and fragile countries were particularly vulnerable to the effects of transnational organized crime as the UNODC says those countries, devastated by war or making the transition to democracy, were often preyed upon by criminals.

“As a result, organized crime flourishes, successes in development are reversed, and opportunities for social and economic advancement are lost,” said Mr. Fedotov.

Mr. Fedotov however made some suggestions to change the situation. He said that anti-crime activities had to be integrated into the sustainable development agenda, along with programmes of action for the rule of law, which formed the foundation for human rights.

He stressed on the strength of UNODC derived from its long experience of working with partners and nations on drugs, crime and terrorism.

The 21st session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice opened on April 24, 2012 and was chaired by Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand. It was attended by around 800 people, representing 111 States and 38 non-governmental organizations.

By Ekow Quandzie

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