Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the 3rd Committee Meeting on “Strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity” —
In addition to the statement made by the European Union, with which Italy aligns itself, I am honored to take the floor to illustrate my country’s priorities in the work of the Third Committee on preventing crime and tackling illegal drugs, which reflects the Italian longstanding engagement in this field.
This year’s General Debate of the General Assembly clearly highlighted the commitment of Member States to tackling organized crime and dismantling terrorist networks – a goal that the growth of connectivity and mobility in the global world has made more complex.
Reports delivered in the past twelve months show that the illegal drug market is growing in terms of quantity and new substances. Trafficking in persons and the exploitation of migrants continue to cause unbearable suffering to thousands of people, while lining the pockets of their perpetrators. Likewise, illegal financial flows are funding criminal and terrorist activities, while connections between organized criminal groups and terrorists are increasingly evident. Finally, modern technologies are increasingly misused to commit and facilitate criminal actions.
This panoply of organized criminal phenomena poses a concrete threat to peace, security and sustainable development. It calls on us to promote the full implementation of the Palermo Convention and its Protocols, which are essential components of any crime prevention and criminal justice program. The need to fully implement the Convention clearly emerged from the conclusions of the GA High-level Debate on the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in combating organized criminal activities, which took place on the 6th of June 2019. We must also ensure the implementation of the review mechanism that was adopted by the States Parties to the Convention in 2018.
In order to achieve these ambitious goals we are keen to continue our long-standing cooperation with UNODC, the major UN actor in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, and with all other relevant international institutions.
We strongly support the work of Central Authorities and Specialized Agencies, which enable effective judicial cooperation at the international level. Italy has been a pioneer in establishing such structures, specifically in the fight against organized crime, and we are willing to offer our experience and expertise in this field.
Italy remains steadfast in its support for Goal 16 of Agenda 2030, which aims for genuinely transparent societies and institutions. Building upon the preparatory conference held in Rome last May, this ambitious objective can be achieved by working along three interconnected tracks:
1) Disseminating a culture of legality, with a particular focus on youth and education. Italy does this through multiple initiatives coordinated with schools, universities and civil society;
2) Enhancing access to justice, including by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by information technology;
3) Advancing the protection of human rights for all, through a functional justice system for both the victims and the perpetrators of criminal actions.
In this current work session, the Committee should pay close attention to defending the rights of the most vulnerable, including the victims of crime.
It should also focus on the challenges posed by digitalization. We must find new and effective ways to take on the threat posed by virtual-assets and related payment methods, as well as by the reinvestment of criminal profits and all forms of financing to terrorists. In this context, enhancing data collection, statistics and analysis will be needed to support evidence-based policies.
All of the issues I mentioned will be taken into consideration in the draft resolution on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that, as in past years, Italy will be honored to submit to this Committee in the coming weeks. The resolution will also carefully consider related negotiations on drugs and the misuse of Information Communication Technologies for criminal purposes, thus ensuring their necessary coordination. With your cooperation and through open, transparent and inclusive negotiations, we hope to build successfully on last year’s Resolution, that was co-sponsored by 117 Member States.
I thank you.