Launch of UNICRI’s New Strategic Programme Framework: 2023-2026
15 February 2022
Opening Remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative, Ambassador Gianluca Greco
Good morning Colleagues,
Welcome to our Mission and thank you for being with us this morning. First, let me acknowledge the presence of Ms. Antonia De Meo, Director of UNICRI, of Mr. Joel Antonio Hernández García, President of UNICRI’s Board of Trustees, and of Ms. Carolina Lizárraga Houghton, Vice-President of UNICRI’s Board of Trustees.
We are very happy to host the launch event of UNICRI’s new strategic programme framework for 2023-2026. Italy is proud of hosting UNICRI in Turin, not only, of course, because of the historic ties between the city of Turin and the United Nations System, but also because of the importance Italy has always attached to the fight against organized crime, terrorism and all forms of criminal activity, which is at the core of UNICRI’s mandate. We all know the extent to which crime and terrorism erode the full enjoyment of the rights of individuals and are a major obstacle to the full development of societies.
In support of UNCRI’s critical mandate, Italy is proud to have played an important role in the establishment of a direct reporting line between the Institute and the United Nations Economic and Social Council. We look forward to tabling and facilitating the first ECOSOC resolution highlighting UNICRI’s mandates to be adopted by the Council in the management segment in June. We trust that the adoption of the resolution will be a significant step forward in enhancing Member States’ awareness of UNICRI’s ability to provide assistance and capacity building to the whole UN system, so that the international community is better equipped to prevent and address emerging threats in the transnational crime landscape.
I am keen to hear Member States’ perspectives on UNICRI’s new strategic programme framework, which will guide the Institute in the delivery of its mandates for the next four years. Among the new set of priorities, we welcome the enhanced focus toward the achievement of SDG 16. UNICRI’s work in broadening the knowledge and tools at our disposal to measure and address the impact of illicit financial flows on peace, justice and development is highly instrumental in the achievement of this goal. Of course, we fully supports UNICRI’s longstanding efforts in this area. In May later this year, Italy will host again the SDG 16 Conference in Rome. It will be dedicated to “SDG 16 and the intersecting crises”, with a specific focus on conflict prevention, trust in institutions and inclusive governance, as well as other key aspects of SDG 16.
We are also particularly pleased that another strategic focus in the Institute’s work to contrast criminal enterprises and illicit financial flows is the recovery and repatriation of public and cultural assets. This is another area of paramount importance to Italy. Our generation is faced with an unprecedented scale of organized looting and illicit trafficking in cultural objects. These acts are more and more often meant to generate income for terrorist groups, to support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks. Protecting cultural heritage is therefore not only a moral obligation – it is also a political and security imperative. It is also an area where cooperation between the judiciaries of countries is essential. We look with great interest at UNICRI’s efforts in the development of knowledge and more effective modalities to counter these kinds of crimes.
In closing, allow me to thank Ms. Antonia De Meo, for her dynamism and enthusiasm in her advocacy of UNICRI’s mandate. Thank you, Antonia. I look forward to our continued engagement and partnership in support of UNICRI’s initiatives and objectives.