Islamabad, March 07, 2021 (PPI-OT): Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am honoured to virtually address the 14th UN Crime Congress.
The theme for this year’s Congress: “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda…” is both timely and appropriate. SDG 16 is central to the achievement of all SDGs. There can be no sustainable development without justice, the rule of law and prevention and control of crime. Like all other aspects of our daily lives, the impact of Covid-19 on transnational organized crime has been significant.
There is a compelling case for enhanced international action to combat and dismantle networks and platforms that perpetrate these crimes and undermine progress towards 2030 Agenda. Given the special theme of this year, I hope that the Congress can prioritize certain key issues: First, the bleeding of the resources of developing countries through illicit financial flows must be halted. It is nothing short of criminal to allow such flows to continue during this crisis when developing countries are already struggling to overcome the challenges posed by shrinking fiscal space to fight the Pandemic and achieve the SDGs.
In this regard, I hope that the Crime Congress could consider the important recommendations contained in the latest report of International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) Panel for follow up action. Second, environmental crimes and ever-growing illegal trade in wildlife – which could lead to other zoonotic diseases – must be dealt on priority basis. Third, change in labor and migration laws is also critical in addressing the demand for the services of human traffickers. Opening up additional avenues for legal migration is one way to reduce the demand for smuggling services and to meet migration related SDGs.
Fourth, in the context of Covid-19, there is need for effective action against falsified and fake medical products (such as Covid-19 vaccines) and to strengthen international cooperation in this regard. As President of the Economic and Social Council, I am proud that the Council is continuing its tradition of policy discussion and standard setting on the various dimensions of sustainable development, including crime prevention.
I believe that the discussions and recommendations of the 14th Crime Congress will also greatly contribute to the 2021 High Level Political Forum to be held in July this year. In conclusion, Coordinated approaches to preventing and combating transnational organized crime is critical to recover better from the crisis, help achieve peaceful and inclusive societies, and make progress towards all of the Sustainable Development Goals., says a statement received here today from New York. I Thank you.
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