Italy is a staunch supporter of UNODC and commends the Office and its Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, for organizing today’s event.
The CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy signifies an historic and defining moment for the Community. It clearly articulates the Caribbean States’ security interests within the wider context of the shifting balance of global geopolitical power, threats of climate change, increasing market competiveness, public debt financing and profound economic uncertainties.
Today’s risks and security threats are multidimensional and interconnected, especially for regions, like the Caribbean, naturally exposed to the imbalance of global demographic trends, and massive flows of illicit trafficking.
This is why the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy is so important and the support UNODC is providing to it is so crucial.
As the Caribbean, Italy is a geographic, demographic and economic bridge between regions and peoples. Italy speaks from experience, for this is a reality we came to know from our own suffering and from our own successes in the fight against organized crime.
Italy is deeply committed to the fight against transnational organized crime, and will continue to play a leading role in raising awareness about the gravity of the threat, keeping the theme high on the UN agenda, supporting the UNODC, and building the political consensus to second the actions of the international community, regional organizations, and individual States.
Every year Italy introduces the annual Crime Resolution in the General Assembly, following an inclusive, non-divisive approach that was rewarded this year with 135 co-sponsorships and its adoption by consensus.
In the same spirit we support our Caribbean friends through initiatives in the form of bilateral agreements, memoranda of understanding, and, now, the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy. Allow me to reiterate our firm commitment to working with the CARICOM Countries in implementing every action and form of collaboration needed to fight organized crime and foster development and economic growth.
We are thus particularly pleased to see in the CARICOM Strategy a specific focus on law enforcement measures addressing the profits derived from illicit activities.
Our experience has taught us how crucial it is to follow the money trail: transnational organized crime operates as a global business that seeks to reap big profits. Curbing its financial power is thus a powerful way to hit it where it hurts.
For that reason Italy’s Calabria Region has recently provided 1.200.000 USD funds for UNODC Programme StAR – Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative. The Initiative is meant to strengthen international cooperation in the area of management, use and disposal of seized and confiscated assets, including through the elaboration of specific guidelines. We hope that this project can also be beneficial to CARICOM countries.
It is in this spirit that Italy will sponsor a training course for police officers from CARICOM Countries, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. The course is organized by the Ministry of the Interior, and seeks to address the needs repeatedly voiced by both Italy and CARICOM, most recently during the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Getting down to particulars, the course is designed for sixteen police officers, and will take place by the end of 2014. The goal is to instruct the participants in the discipline and technique of countering drug trafficking, undercover work, infiltration, money laundering, and asset recovery. It will include site visits to the Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome, the port of Civitavecchia, the Port Authority, the Canine Training Center of the Guardia di Finanza, and the Scientific Investigations Unit and Special Ops Unit of the Carabinieri Corps in Rome.
As countries join together in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, I think we have a great deal to learn from each other, and this course will be an excellent opportunity for our law enforcement experts to do so.
In closing, let me say how pleased I am that this project is coming to fruition in the broader framework of the CARICOM Crime and Security Strategy and that our law enforcement officers will be working together on an issue of vital importance to us all.