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First of all, allow me to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election and express my confidence that the session will resolve its tasks under your professional leadership.
The Russian Federation has consistently supported the UN’s central coordinating role in international cooperation against global challenges and threats, primarily, transnational organised crime and terrorism. We believe the efforts of the international community to counter these challenges and threats should be based on the solid foundation of international law.
We are convinced that UN forums in Vienna, above all the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, are the main multilateral formats for expert debates on countering crime, sharing experience and best practices, and mapping out main areas of anti-crime cooperation, including the elaboration of new field-specific international legal instruments.
Russia considers very important the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC), the only universal document on fighting international crime.
We would like to emphasise the importance of the efforts to launch the mechanism of monitoring compliance with this convention, and we have high praise for the results of the conference on drafting the rules and procedures for this mechanism, which took place in Vienna on April 24-26 of this year.
We welcome the initiative to a hold high-level discussion of the UN General Assembly on the problems of implementing UNTOC and its protocols in New York on June 19 and are ready to fully engage in it.
The accelerating pace of globalisation is adding new dimensions to the problem of transnational organised crime that is increasingly threatening the social, economic, humanitarian and cultural development of states and whole regions, as well as their political stability and security.
In these conditions we must obviously continue building up international law-enforcement cooperation and take robust joint action to eliminate transnational criminal networks and curb existing and newly emergent types and forms of criminal activities.
The task of fighting ICT-based crime has been acquiring special importance recently. Cooperation in this area is considerably impeded by the lack of uniform international legal approaches to its conduct.
We welcome the results of the third session of the intergovernmental expert group for the comprehensive examination of cybercrime, held in Vienna on April 10-13 of this year. A relevant draft of the Commission’s resolution has been prepared on the basis of the agreements reached at this meeting and submitted for discussion of the current session. We are inviting all delegations to take part in its coordination and perhaps become co-authors.
We are planning to authorise our leading experts to present a draft UN convention on countering information crime on the sidelines of the session on May 24 as Russia’s contribution to cooperation in this area. We hope for broad participation of interested delegations in this event and professional dialogue.
We attach great importance to the problems of international cooperation on criminal cases. All states without exception have a practical interest in making cooperation among law-enforcement agencies more efficient. Such widespread issues as refusals to consider and implement requests for extradition and legal aid in criminal cases are complicating the work in this area and impeding the implementation of the principle of the inevitability of punishment.
We are urging the members of the Commission to focus on searching for ways to remedy the current shortcomings, primarily by consolidating the legal framework of international cooperation against crime.
Issues related to recovering proceeds of crime are becoming increasingly important and deserve the close attention of the international community. We believe the UNTOC and the UN Convention against Corruption contain only framework provisions that refer to relevant bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Therefore, we suggest considering the elaboration, under the aegis of the UN, of a separate convention on recovering assets, which could create a comprehensive and effective legal foundation for international cooperation. That said, we are convinced that practical efforts on this track must be completely free from politics.
We recognise the importance of the work done by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to prevent crimes involving flora and fauna, particularly to implement the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime. Obviously, this serious international challenge requires a consolidated response based on universally accepted approaches. The lack of a uniform international legal foundation covering all aspects of protecting wildlife against criminal threats is becoming increasingly problematic.
Trafficking in cultural property conducted by terrorist groups, among others, is also a source of special concern. We would like to emphasise the importance of fostering cooperation against this type of crime.
The need to counter human trafficking, especially women and children, also remains urgent. We would like to thank the Belorussian delegation for submitting a relevant draft resolution to the current session and intend to take an active part in working on this document.
Mr Chairman, in conclusion please allow me to express once again the commitment of the Russian Federation to the cause of fighting crime in all of its forms and manifestations and to reaffirm our readiness to continue promoting equitable anti-crime cooperation in support of the supremacy of the law.
Thank you for your attention!
Building of the Russian Embassy in Kingston