France associates itself with the statement to be made shortly by the Permanent Representative of Spain on behalf of the European Union.
We know that today some of the most flourishing activities in the world are associated with all types of organized crime; they generate exponential turnover but have also resulted in scores of casualties and victims among civil society and established bodies.
These illegal activities make a mockery of the borders and preventive measures implemented to eliminate them; criminal multinationals, better known as cartels, mafias or triads are responsible for these activities. These ruthless companies are able to exploit all of the criminal opportunities that result from economic, political and social instability. Organized crime has taken advantage of the mechanisms of globalization to become more powerful; it has become a threat to our democracies, in particular by being able to blend into lawful society.
But now that we have made a clear assessment of the situation, it is up to us to establish - with resolve and without fatalism - a coherent and effective international strategy aimed at combating transnational crime. This is the only way to fight this criminal phenomenon.
I am convinced that by re-establishing the rules we will be able to control this crime which has led to rampant lawlessness on a global scale and includes human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trafficking and counterfeiting and forgery, whether of consumer goods or medical-related goods.
The fight against these phenomena falls within the framework of joint and shared responsibility. It is a political responsibility that requires an integrated approach in order to deal with all aspects of these threats.
Our meeting, within the UN General Assembly, reflects our commitment to bring this issue to the political level.
The road map that we established at the 12th United Nations Congress in Salvador de Bahia (April 12-19, 2010) seems, in this respect, to be encouraging.
Since this is issue is a primary objective, France would like it to be debated in all UN forums, and at all levels. It is with this goal in mind that we organized a thematic debate on February 24 on drug trafficking and cross-cutting threats at the Security Council.
France is convinced of the urgent need to highlight the security dimension in addition to the measures taken in the economic, social and health fields to promote a global approach. We welcome the fact that some of the countries most severely affected by transnational organized crime are resolutely committed to using this approach to tackle these cross-cutting threats.
We welcome in particular the initiative of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria which, at the 19th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Vienna May 17 to 21, 2010) wanted to present a draft resolution aimed at strengthening international cooperation in this area.
The high-level General Assembly meeting allows us to reaffirm the great importance we attach to the universalization and effective implementation of the existing legal framework of the UN, in particular the one provided by the Palermo Convention, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
The Palermo Convention remains the benchmark instrument for effectively combating transnational crime. Its implementation is however incomplete. We need to jointly reflect on the best way to use this remarkable instrument in preparation for the 5th Conference of the States Parties to this Convention.
In this respect and in anticipation of the next meeting planned for October in Vienna, we would like today’s debates to represent an opportunity to signal our determination to make full use of the potential opportunities presented by the Palermo Convention, notably with respect to cooperation, mutual legal assistance and joint inquiries, in the fight against transnational organized crime.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime must therefore focus on effectively implementing the opportunities offered by this text. A reflection process aimed at establishing a mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Palermo Convention must also be launched.
Lastly, I would like to reaffirm the importance of the technical assistance that we must provide to the most vulnerable States; I’m thinking in particular of regional cooperation in West Africa, the Caribbean and along all drug trafficking routes that have also now become terrorism routes.
As you will have understood, France is convinced that only a global and political response can effectively combat these criminal scourges which, by definition, do not recognize any borders. We believe that the Palermo Convention is an essential instrument that must now be developed. The democratic future of our States and our fundamental freedoms are at stake.