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Summary record of the 8th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Monday, 21 December 1996, New York, General Assembly, 51st session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/51/SR.8
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 51st
Type Document

16 p.

Subjects Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice, Drug Control, Transnational Crime, Youth, Ageing Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Family

Extracted Text

General Assembly
Official Records
8th meeting
held on
Monday, 21 October 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York
Chairman: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)
* Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the
delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records
Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.
13 December 1996
96-81518 (E) /...
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The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.
(continued) (A/C.3/51/L.4)
Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.4
1. Ms. ENKHTSETSEG (Mongolia), speaking on behalf of the sponsors, introduced
draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.4, entitled "The role of cooperatives in the light
of new economic and social trends", and said that Bangladesh, Guinea-Bissau,
Myanmar and Nigeria had joined the sponsors. She read out some minor changes to
the draft resolution.
2. The Secretary-General’s report on cooperatives (A/51/267) had emphasized
the important role played by the cooperative movement in the social and economic
development of all countries. In particular, cooperatives provided an
affordable means of empowering economically the poorest and most disadvantaged
members of society. The sponsors were therefore convinced of the need to
continue, within the United Nations, constructive consideration of the role of
cooperatives. The draft resolution urged Governments, relevant international
organizations and specialized agencies to utilize fully the potential of
cooperatives to contribute to the attainment of social development goals. In
particular, Governments must facilitate the development of cooperatives by
providing a supportive legal environment.
3. In 1996, the theme chosen for observance of the United Nations
International Day of Cooperatives had been "Cooperative enterprise - empowerment
for people-centred sustainable development". It had been designed to promote
better understanding of the unique capacity of cooperatives to create productive
employment, eradicate poverty and enhance social integration. The sponsors
believed that the International Day of Cooperatives was a valuable way of
raising awareness of the role of cooperatives. The draft resolution therefore
invited Governments to continue to observe it annually. The sponsors trusted
that the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus, as in the past.
(Parts I and II), A/51/208-S/1996/543, A/51/327, 357 and 450)
AGENDA ITEM 102: INTERNATIONAL DRUG CONTROL (continued) (A/51/3 (Parts I and
II), A/51/68, 87, 93, A/51/129-E/1996/53, A/51/208-S/1996/543, A/51/295, 375,
436, 437 and 469)
4. Mr. BIGGAR (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and
associated States, namely, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia,
Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and also on behalf of
Iceland and Norway, said that the globalization of the world economy had allowed
drug traffickers and organized criminals to operate on a much larger scale than
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ever before, spreading corruption, undermining legitimate economic structures
and threatening the security and stability of States. The extent of the problem
was such that it could be combated only through a concerted effort by the
international community.
5. The fight against money laundering must remain an important component of
broader anti-drug and anti-crime strategies. Universal adherence to the
relevant international instruments and, in particular, their full
implementation, would greatly enhance the ability of national economies to
withstand the financial threats resulting from criminal activities. The 40
recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force constituted, in his view, the
leading international initiative on money laundering and should therefore be
adopted by all countries. In addition, greater use must be made of article 7 of
the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and
Psychotropic Substances of 1988, which established a framework for mutual legal
assistance in the fight against money laundering.
6. The threat posed by drugs to both developed and developing countries had
both grown and changed in nature. The traditional distinction between producer,
transit and consumer countries had become blurred, with ever greater numbers of
so-called producer and transit States experiencing drug addiction and its
consequences within their own societies, while certain drugs and psychotropic
substances were now being produced in the consumer States. At the same time,
there was a new trend towards the use of synthetic substances, such as
"ecstasy", which required a concerted international effort to control precursors
and their substitutes used in the illicit manufacture of controlled substances.
7. Enforcement must, however, be complemented by education and demandreduction
initiatives addressing the social factors which led to drug addiction.
Civil society, including non-governmental organizations, the mass media and
sporting bodies, had an important role to play. Alternative development
programmes were essential if the supply of drugs was to be reduced. Their
ultimate aim must be the complete eradication of illicit crops. Drug-control
activities should be an integral part of development strategies and, given the
scale of spending required, there must be a rational division of labour between
the various agencies involved. The European Union, for its part, was allowing
agricultural and industrial products from certain Latin American countries to be
imported into member States free of duty in order to support the diversification
of their exports.
8. Within the European Union, the fight against drugs would be a central theme
at the forthcoming European Council in Dublin. Recent anti-drug initiatives
included agreements between the European Union and third countries on the
identification, control and sale of precursors; memoranda of understanding
between customs administrations and private-sector entities; and new measures to
combat the importation of drugs by land, sea and air. In accordance with the
Global Programme of Action, (General Assembly resolution S-17/2, annex) the
fight against drugs was an integral part of the Union’s development cooperation
policy. Accordingly, funding had been made available, under the Phare
programme, for work with countries in Central and Eastern Europe, while a
mechanism for cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean countries had also
been established. It was important to obtain reliable information on which to
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base decisions concerning drug-related issues. A European monitoring centre was
carrying out a three-year programme to investigate the causes, extent and
consequences of the drug problem in the Union. The Europol Convention would
enhance cooperation between European police forces and their counterparts in
other countries in the fight against drugs.
9. The special session of the General Assembly on international drug control
to be held in 1998 would provide a valuable opportunity to review the progress
made in implementing the Global Plan of Action and to develop it further in the
light of experience. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs, as the preparatory body,
should ensure that there was high quality input from Governments, specialized
agencies and non-governmental organizations. The United Nations International
Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) was playing an important part in coordinating
anti-drug initiatives, while its experience in the field had enabled it to
assist individual countries in planning drug-control measures suited to local
conditions. However, the financial resources available to UNDCP were in no way
commensurate with the growing number of tasks assigned to it, nor with the
extent of the drug problem. There was a need to broaden the Programme’s donor
base since, at present, it was dependent on a very limited number of donors,
with the European Union and its member States providing 75 per cent of all
contributions. Similarly, the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division
required additional personnel and resources to enable it to respond to the
increasing number of requests for technical assistance. Cooperation between the
Division and UNDCP must be strengthened.
10. Turning to agenda item 101, he said that effective action against crime was
one of the prerequisites for a stable society. However, all anti-crime measures
must respect human rights. He welcomed, in that regard, the ongoing cooperation
between the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division and the Office of the
High Commissioner for Human Rights. Some crimes were a cause for particular
concern. He therefore commended the work of a recent conference in Vienna on
trafficking in women and another in Stockholm on the sexual exploitation of
children, and called upon the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice to take full account of the outcomes of those important meetings.
11. The humane administration of justice and the observance of the rule of law
were a fundamental component of development and the building of democratic
institutions. Yet recent experience had shown that the criminal-justice system
of a country was among the institutions that suffered most in conflict
situations. A priority of peacekeeping operations must therefore be to
re-establish a criminal-justice system capable of maintaining law and order
while guaranteeing human rights.
12. The European Union was convinced of the need for international cooperation
against organized transnational crime. He welcomed the decision by the
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-
General to consult with Governments regarding the possibility of elaborating a
convention against organized transnational crime. He had noted with interest
the draft United Nations framework convention against organized crime proposed
by Poland (A/C.3/51/7) and called upon the working group of the Commission to
examine that document in the light of the outcome of the Secretary-General’s
consultations with Governments. Corruption was an equally pernicious phenomenon
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which must be rooted out wherever it occurred. The European Union was
elaborating a draft convention on the subject and welcomed the International
Code of Conduct for Public Officials (A/C.3/51/L.2), which the Economic and
Social Council had recommended for adoption by the General Assembly.
13. The member States of the European Union firmly believed that all
Governments should meet their citizens’ need for security by improving
substantially the means and instruments available to fight terrorism, organized
crime and drug trafficking and by enhancing international cooperation to that
14. Mr. BORDA (Colombia) said that the problem of illicit drugs was currently
an international priority requiring full implementation of the United Nations
anti-drug strategy; the individualist approach, which had failed to solve a
worldwide problem, must end. While national efforts to address drug trafficking
and related crimes were necessary, full international cooperation was the ideal
approach. In response to the increasingly sophisticated methods employed by
drug traffickers and the level of organization of transnational crime, current
trends towards reducing resources for international cooperation must be
reversed. A world strategy against drugs had been developed, but its results
left a great deal to be desired. Drug abuse continued to increase steadily;
deaths related to substance abuse had increased threefold in the past decade;
and in some countries, the consumption of synthetic drugs was more than five
times that of cocaine and heroin together. It was essential to work together to
modernize cooperation mechanisms, to implement them more efficiently, and to
complement them with new initiatives. All Governments should be committed to
that effort.
15. Shared responsibility was vital for the fulfilment of the international
community’s obligation to address the multiple aspects of the drug problem.
Just as the most successful enterprises had been restructured to make them more
efficient than their rivals, the United Nations should make its anti-drug
strategy more competitive at the national and international levels.
16. In Colombia, draft laws had been submitted to Congress to increase
penalties for drug trafficking and related offences and to expedite judicial
assistance to foreign authorities for the seizure of assets arising from illegal
activities such as drug trafficking. The Cali drug cartel had been destroyed
and its leaders brought to trial. In the interests of more effective
investigation and punishment of money laundering, the judicial and financial
authorities had established agreements for improved detection and information
exchange. Programmes for drug-abuse prevention and rehabilitation of addicts
were being strengthened. A wide programme of eradication of coca plants,
poppies and marijuana crops continued to be carried out, and continued efforts
were being made to obtain additional resources through international cooperation
to complement those already invested in the country’s alternative development
programme, which constituted an economically sustainable solution for peasant
and indigenous families, and a long-term solution for elimination of the illicit
supply of drugs.
17. Many such efforts were being made by various States, but were not
coordinated; cooperation and complementarity in such programmes were vital if
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satisfactory results were to be achieved from the worldwide strategy against
drugs. His Government reiterated its offer to convene a high-level governmental
group of experts to give inputs to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in its
capacity as the preparatory body for the special session of the General Assembly
to be held in 1998. All initiatives aimed at strengthening international
cooperation in the fight against drugs would be welcome.
18. Mr. GIROUX (Canada) said that Canada had long recognized that combating
drug abuse and trafficking required international cooperation and bettercoordinated
action on the part of Governments and regional and multilateral
organizations. The cost of the worsening global drug situation was enormous. A
Canadian study published recently estimated that in 1992 the drug problem had
cost Canada over $1 billion.
19. Canada had first launched its coordinated anti-drug initiative in 1987.
Its main goal was to reduce the harm caused by substance abuse to individuals,
families and communities by means of a balanced approach by reducing demand
while controlling supply. Programmes for demand reduction had raised awareness
of the effects of drug abuse and limited the growth of drug consumption in some
social groups. Abuse of alcohol and a range of other drugs among school
children had fallen. Progress had also been made on limiting supply, and
seizures of drugs at the country’s borders had increased dramatically. However,
getting at the organized criminals who trafficked in drugs was more complicated.
Legislation passed in 1989 permitted the seizure of assets derived from criminal
activity such as drug trafficking. That was intended to enable law-enforcement
officers to reach beyond the street level and to close down the traffickers’
operations. In 1992 it had been found that, although drug abuse in the general
population had decreased, it had worsened in specific groups; moreover, drug
traffickers had become more sophisticated. The Government had reviewed its drug
strategy, focusing on the more vulnerable groups such as young people, women,
seniors and indigenous peoples, and had directed more resources to law
enforcement and border interdiction.
20. Three special pilot units had been set up, dedicated to proceeds-of-crime
investigations. They had succeeded in disrupting the operations of major
organized criminal groups, bringing about a large number of arrests.
Consideration was being given to increasing the number of such units.
21. Canada believed that the special session of the General Assembly to be held
in 1998 would be an important occasion for the international community to
confirm its commitment to combating drug abuse and to improve the coordination
of anti-drug activities.
22. All States should be concerned about drug production and trafficking
wherever it occurred, since drugs produced in one country or region could find
their way around the world. The international community should take a balanced
look at refining anti-drug strategies, with equal emphasis on demand reduction,
supply reduction, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, training, research,
community action and enforcement. Canada strongly supported efforts to produce
a declaration on the guiding principles of demand reduction. In a period when
resources were declining, the best use must be made of available opportunities.
The next two sessions of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs could, with focus and
Page 7
discipline, be used effectively to prepare for the forthcoming special session
of the General Assembly.
23. Miss GORDON (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the 13 States of the Caribbean
Community (CARICOM) which were Members of the United Nations, said that she
would highlight the issue of drug control, which was a central concern in the
region. Given their location on the maritime routes between the major
production and consumption centres, the CARICOM countries had witnessed the
increasing use of their territorial waters, airspace and land mass by drug
traffickers, often operating in cartels. Trans-shipment had led in turn to
rising levels of drug abuse, accompanied by the growth of violent and organized
crime. As a result, the Governments of the CARICOM States had been forced to
commit an increasing share of their scarce resources to law enforcement and the
treatment of addicts, to the detriment of other sectors such as social
development. Recently, they had adopted a plan of action on drug-control
coordination and cooperation in the Caribbean.
24. The CARICOM States were aware that a country’s economy could easily come
under the control of drug traffickers and other criminal groups if the problems
of corruption and money laundering were not properly addressed. Some States had
made money laundering a criminal offence, while others were drafting legislation
to allow the confiscation of assets derived from drug trafficking. All the
CARICOM States were working in close collaboration with the Caribbean Financial
Action Task Force.
25. Owing to their small size, CARICOM nations had always joined forces to
share information and to instigate joint action on drug control. That principle
worked even better when applied at the international level. CARICOM had
therefore intensified its intraregional cooperation with the continued
assistance of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP),
which had assisted in the organization of regional workshops and seminars to
train law enforcement officials in such area as precursor control, investigation
techniques and intelligence gathering and analysis. In the Latin American and
Caribbean region, progress had been made in elaborating a hemispheric strategy
to combat drug trafficking and related crimes; bilateral cooperation programmes
were also ongoing with Canada and the United States.
26. During recent deliberations in the Economic and Social Council, it had
become obvious that there was much coordination at the subregional, regional and
intraregional levels, but less at the international level. As a result, member
States were not able to get a holistic picture of the status of the global fight
against drugs, but only views of the situation from the perspectives of each
region, subregion and country. That gave a fragmented and often conflicting
picture of the global situation, made worse by the lack of harmonization among
regions and the varying approaches adopted by them.
27. CARICOM member States supported the recommendation that a special session
of the General Assembly should be held. They would particularly welcome
discussion of the reduction of demand for drugs, eradication of illicit crops,
alternative development, and strengthening of the United Nations machinery for
international drug control.
Page 8
28. In response to the increasingly sophisticated methods used by drug
traffickers, many States were reacting in frustration by taking unilateral
action, which sometimes undermined existing cooperation with other States. All
Governments should strengthen their commitments to multilateralism and concerted
29. In terms of law enforcement activities, a consensus seemed to be emerging
for an urgent re-examination of methods currently used in the fight against
drugs. In the light of the detailed accounts already given by many States
regarding their national efforts, and the limited success achieved, it was
clearly desirable to make better use of innovative techniques and advances in
technology to counter the intelligence capabilities of the drug cartels. That
question, including the possibility of rendering further technical assistance to
developing countries, should be thoroughly examined during the proposed special
30. CARICOM Governments continued to be seriously alarmed at the linkage
between the illicit drug trade and the trade in arms. States which manufactured
and sold arms should devote greater attention to strengthening their internal
control measures to prevent the illegal export of weapons, particularly to
Caribbean and other developing countries. All States engaged in the fight
against the illicit drug trade should adhere to the principle that there could
be no justification of violating the principles of international law,
particularly respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States and
non-use of force or the threat of force in international relations. It was
gratifying that States were gradually moving towards increased cooperation in
international drug control efforts. Governments must resist the urge to revert
to outmoded practices, which could bring about a new era of mistrust among
States and hamper global efforts. The prevailing mood among Member States to
deal aggressively with the drug trade presented the international community with
a precious opportunity in its efforts to eliminate that scourge.
31. Mr. JASSAN (Argentina), speaking as Vice-Chairman of the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, said that the Commission was one of the
most important forums within the United Nations system and had fulfilled its
mandate with a reasonable degree of success during its first five years of
existence. It must continue to confront with realism and determination the
challenges from new types of criminal activity. Recently, the Commission had
received increasing numbers of mandates and requests from both the 1994 World
Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime and the 1995 Ninth
United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of
Offenders. From the operational point of view, positive results were being
achieved through close cooperation between the Crime Prevention and Criminal
Justice Division and UNDCP particularly in the areas of money laundering and
legal assistance to States.
32. Technical cooperation had an essential role to play in improving the
ability of States, particularly the developing countries, to deal with crime.
The resources available to the Division had been reduced as a result of the
cost-cutting measures implemented throughout the United Nations budget. Those
resources, which had always been modest, no longer made possible a sufficient
response to the numerous requests for assistance from States. The regular-
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budget resources for technical cooperation should be increased in line with the
rapidly growing demand for assistance. The Commission had expressed on a number
of occasions the need to strengthen the Division’s human resources.
Regrettably, for budgetary reasons, the two additional posts which had been
planned had not been filled, and the Division was operating with fewer resources
than in the previous year.
33. Speaking as the representative of Argentina, he said that the Commission
could become a useful instrument when Governments negotiated with flexibility,
good faith and commitment. His delegation supported the content of the United
Nations Declaration on Crime and Public Security (A/C.3/51/L.3), which the
Economic and Social Council had recommended for adoption by the General
Assembly. The various measures proposed in the Declaration would improve the
effectiveness of Governments’ efforts in the struggle against criminal
activities of all kinds.
34. Corruption, in its various manifestations, was spreading through many
countries, organizations and activities. It led to economic destabilization and
undermined State institutions. The international community had reacted
promptly: a number of agreements had been reached within international
organizations including the Organization of American States, the European Union
and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The time had
come for global action through concertation by all Member States to deal with
the corrupt practices afflicting their societies. He welcomed the recent
statements by the governing bodies of the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank.
35. His country had eliminated "structural corruption" and the Government was
determined to eradicate all cases of individual corruption at the various levels
of State institutions. Argentina had worked seriously on the elaboration of the
International Code of Conduct for Public Officials (A/C.3/51/L.2) and fully
supported the elaboration of an implementation plan in that regard. It had
offered to be the host country for a meeting of a group of experts to elaborate
such a plan and revise the manual on practical measures.
36. In recent years, his delegation had stressed in various forums the need for
the international community to address the problem of organized transnational
crime and had submitted a proposal at the 1994 Naples Conference on the
elaboration of a general convention on that question. In view of the new forms
of such crime, there was a need for urgent action by Member States. The
countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region had taken the first steps
towards identifying a number of elements to be included in such a convention.
His delegation therefore fully supported the submission by Poland of a draft
framework convention against organized crime (A/C.3/51/7). That document
constituted a minimal basis for beginning work within the Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice.
37. Although all delegations condemned terrorism, there were serious obstacles
to reaching agreement on basic principles. Nevertheless, Governments should
endeavour to agree on essential elements as soon as possible in order to make
progress in that field. His country attached importance to the work of
elaborating an international convention against illicit trafficking in minors in
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view of the widespread nature of that problem and the lack of legislation
dealing with it. The Commission had made progress in that regard and he hoped
that agreement could be reached on basic criteria for drawing up a convention to
provide adequate protection to minors.
38. Mr. CHANG SEE TEN (Malaysia) called for greater coordination by the world
community in its efforts to combat international crime. Mechanisms for sharing
information and intelligence should be upgraded. In that connection, he
welcomed the recommendations of the Ninth United Nations Crime Congress
concerning international cooperation. Malaysia believed that countries that
were parties to the various international conventions must implement them and
strongly supported the establishment of an international criminal court. The
adoption of the United Nations Declaration on Crime and Public Security
(A/C.3/51/L.3) would be a step forward. Malaysia supported the proposal to
increase resource allocations to the United Nations Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice Programme, commensurate with the demands placed on it.
39. Drug trafficking could be reduced through concerted international efforts
based on supply and demand reduction by preventing the movement of drugs and
conducting effective drug-rehabilitation programmes. In view of the everchanging
nature of the drug threat, the strategy to combat the illicit
production, trafficking and distribution of drugs should be continually
reviewed. Anti-drug measures must follow a comprehensive, ongoing, balanced and
multidisciplinary approach.
40. Renewed efforts were necessary to address the social and economic aspects
of the problem. Alternative economic activities and alternative crops should be
introduced. Malaysia had embarked on a long-term strategy to combat drug
trafficking through a demand- and supply-reduction programme. A mandatory drugtreatment
and rehabilitation programme had begun. Legislation had been enacted,
and state and federation bodies had stepped up cooperation in order to stem the
flow of drugs. The National Drug Information System had been established to
monitor and plan prevention programmes. At the regional level, Malaysia had
been cooperating with other ASEAN members to combat the drug menace. Together
with them and with support from UNDP, his country had identified preventive drug
education, treatment and rehabilitation, law enforcement and research as
priority areas for reducing drug abuse and trafficking.
41. Mr. SHI Weiqiang (China) noted with satisfaction that Member States had
been calling for intensified efforts against drug-related crime and for enhanced
international cooperation in drug-control activities. China supported the
convening of a special session of the General Assembly on international drug
control, which should set forth clear strategic goals and measures giving
impetus to the worldwide efforts to counter the drug problem. All the necessary
preparations should be made to ensure the success of the special session.
Combating drugs should be a priority on the United Nations agenda. The
international community should enhance cooperation and take more effective
measures in combating the illicit supply, demand, production, marketing and
trafficking of drugs and against smuggling and money laundering in order to
eliminate the damage done to the social development and economies of various
Page 11
42. Shared responsibility among producing, consumer and transit States and
joint efforts at the national, regional and international levels were required.
To that end, developing countries should receive more technical and financial
assistance through international cooperation. However, the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of States should be strictly respected in efforts to
combat drug abuse; no interference in another State’s internal affairs on the
pretext of cooperation should be allowed.
43. The Chinese Government accorded high priority to drug control and was
earnestly implementing the Global Programme of Action by prohibiting illicit
trafficking, cultivation and consumption and attacking the root causes of drug
abuse. Special attention was paid to strengthening regulations on licit
narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors to prevent their
diversion. China had been cooperating with UNDCP and with other States.
Formidable tasks, however, remained, including the elimination of drug
trafficking in the "Golden Triangle". His country would continue to strengthen
its drug control measures and participate in regional and international
cooperation and hoped that the international community would provide it with
more support for that effort.
44. Mr. HAMIDA (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said that he welcomed the international
community’s efforts to coordinate and strengthen international cooperation in
the fight against organized crime. With regard to the draft United Nations
framework convention against organized crime submitted by Poland in document
A/C.3/51/7, there were a number of points on which he sought clarification.
45. In article 1, which defined "organized crime", the basic elements
comprising a crime did not appear clear. An arbitrary figure was given for the
minimum number of people in a group which would allow their activity to be
defined as "organized". The meaning of the term "personal relationships" was
not clear, nor why the earning of profits by their leaders rather than anyone
else should make the crime "organized". Nor was it clear how those persons
established control over internal or foreign markets, and what markets were
meant, nor how they could infiltrate the legitimate economy. The definition of
"organized crime" contained terms on which the international community was not
agreed, such as "terrorist acts": he wondered what acts exactly were meant by
that. He also wondered what was meant by the "illicit traffic in or stealing of
motor vehicles" referred to in draft article 1. The draft gave no clear
definition of transnational crime, and paragraph 2 of article 1 was unclear:
clarification was needed of the terms "act", "group" and "organization".
Articles 4 and 6 would need further study, and there was a contradiction between
the two paragraphs of article 8.
46. The great importance of the subject made it imperative to give those
matters serious consideration. Since the Committee might not have sufficient
time in which to consider the matter, it should perhaps be assigned to the
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
47. Mr. DONOKUSUMO (Indonesia) said his delegation had noted the considerable
progress made in recent years towards increasing cooperation and commitment
among the international community in order to forge an effective crime
programme. Money laundering was an example of the serious questions that needed
Page 12
to be resolved by the international community, as had been stressed in Economic
and Social Council resolution 1996/27, on follow-up to the Naples Conference.
Solutions could only be found through international cooperation, and developing
countries would be in a better position to contribute, given proper technical
assistance and advisory services, which were also necessary in order to
facilitate a response to the many other challenges of both national and
transnational crime.
48. With regard to firearms regulation, initiated by the Ninth United Nations
Crime Congress, his delegation supported the endorsement by the Economic and
Social Council in resolution 1996/28 of the preparation of a survey and country
reports on that issue. His delegation also supported the Council’s request to
the Secretary-General in resolution 1996/27 to continue collecting and analysing
information on the structure, dynamics and other aspects of all forms of
organized transnational crime. The establishment of a central repository for
national legislation, information on the organizational structures designed to
combat organized transnational crime and instruments for international
cooperation would greatly facilitate the international anti-crime effort.
49. At the national level, his Government had drafted a new penal code that
included provisions against money laundering. Gun control laws had kept the
rate of crimes involving firearms to a low level. A national standing committee
had been established in order to coordinate efforts against transnational crime,
and the establishment of the central repository of information would greatly
assist efforts. Through its work in the Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice and in other forums, Indonesia would continue to work with the
international community in order to strengthen cooperation and implement a
successful anti-crime programme.
50. Substantial progress in activities to combat organized transnational crime
could only be made if technical cooperation and the advisory services of the
United Nations were available, and as long as the operational activities of the
crime prevention programme continued to be improved. But the programme must be
provided with the resources it needed. It was therefore encouraging that the
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was moving to address the
problem, and had established an informal consultative group which would report
annually on activities undertaken and results achieved. The momentum required
for an effective response to crime must be maintained.
51. Mr. SÁNDOR (Hungary) said that his delegation associated itself with the
position set out by the representative of Ireland on behalf of the European
Union and associated countries.
52. Transnational organized crime posed a serious threat to civilized societies
throughout the world. In order to preserve the international legal order and
the achievements of democracy and development, more concerted and sustained
efforts were required. Hungary supported any substantive joint international
initiatives, convinced that only a universal effort coordinated by the United
Nations through its crime-prevention mechanisms could combat transnational
organized crime. Deeply concerned about the rising level of crime in many parts
of the world, jeopardizing political stability and the internal and external
security of States, his country supported the draft United Nations framework
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convention against organized crime submitted by Poland (A/C.3/51/7), and other
relevant initiatives.
53. Regional and interregional cooperation should be enhanced in the fields of
crime prevention and criminal justice. In that respect, Hungary was playing an
active role in the fight against the growing new challenge of illegal migration,
a vector of transnational crime. His country had modified its penal code in
order to deal with such new challenges.
54. Concerted international cooperation was necessary in order to tackle drug
abuse and trafficking. His country, while still not a major consumer of hard
drugs, was an important transit route. Two thirds of the heroin seized in
Europe and originating from South-West Asia had been trafficked along the Balkan
route. One tenth of European seizures were made by the Hungarian lawenforcement
authorities in cooperation with those of other countries, indicating
the magnitude of the threat that was faced.
55. In February 1996 the Hungarian Parliament had ratified the 1988 United
Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances, thereby expressing its determination to prevent the country from
becoming a significant area for distribution and consumption. A national
strategy against drug abuse was being prepared, a well-functioning network of
local drug prevention committees had been established, and a national data
collection system covering law enforcement, justice and treatment was now
operational. Hungary, in common with other Central European countries, had
received valuable support from UNDCP and from donor countries, within the
framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Prague in 1995. Several
major projects were being implemented in the region relating to information
exchange, law enforcement and the enhancement of the operational capability of
the drug-related institutions of the region. Hungary had expressed its support
for the convening of a special session of the General Assembly on international
drug control, and was prepared to examine any proposal intended to make those
efforts successful.
56. Ms. AKICHEVA (Kazakstan) said that drug trafficking was a more serious
threat for States undergoing a period of transition, where the uneven pace of
economic and structural reforms created favourable conditions for criminal
elements. Accordingly, she stressed the need to strengthen the capacity of the
United Nations as a basic coordinating centre for combating crime in all its
forms. It was extremely important to continue cooperation on the basis of the
Naples Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action against Organized
Transnational Crime. Her delegation also favoured the adoption of the United
Nations Declaration on Crime and Public Security (A/C.3/51/L.3) and the
International Code of Conduct for Public Officials (A/C.3/51/L.2), as
recommended by the Economic and Social Council. She noted with appreciation the
submission by Poland of a draft United Nations framework convention against
organized crime (A/C.3/51/7), which should be given very careful consideration,
and also stressed the need to increase financial support for the activities of
the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
57. Illicit drug trafficking was the most serious form of criminal activity in
Kazakstan, which was not only a major base for the illegal production of
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narcotic drugs, but also a transit point for smuggling drugs to Europe. Her
Government had established the State Narcotics Control Commission and was taking
measures to strengthen law enforcement, including the establishment of a
department to combat illicit drug trafficking.
58. Together with the other States of Central Asia, Kazakstan had recently
signed a memorandum of cooperation with the United Nations International Drug
Control Programme (UNDCP), which provided for a regional strategy to coordinate
cooperation and for programmes to combat illicit drug trafficking.
59. She expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by UNDCP and the
International Narcotics Control Board. Her Government attached great importance
to expanding cooperation with the relevant United Nations agencies and would
provide all-round support for their activities in the Republic. Lastly,
Kazakstan supported the convening of a special session of the General Assembly
on international drug control, which should make it possible to fund the
mechanisms for international cooperation in that field.
60. Mr. KRLIU (The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) said his delegation
welcomed the proposed special session of the General Assembly in 1998 on
international drug control, and supported the draft United Nations framework
convention against organized crime submitted by Poland (A/C.3/51/7). His
country played an active role in international efforts to control illicit drugs,
and had acceded to all the relevant international conventions. In order to
implement the provisions of those conventions through national legislation, his
Government had adopted a national strategy to combat drug abuse, designed to
modernize legislation to international legal standards, coordinate and monitor
activities, create an information database, and devise a preventive strategy
that would prioritize public education on the drug issue. Parliament had
adopted a new criminal code, and laws on narcotics, money laundering and other
related matters would be adopted. The establishment of the legal framework was
an important precondition for success. At the international level, special
attention should be given to the harmonization of criminal law and police
procedures, which would facilitate coordination among different countries.
61. The constant growth of crime, with its dangerous new forms and
transnational dimension, in many parts of the world represented a destabilizing
threat to fundamental social, economic and political institutions, especially of
those countries in transition, and endangered international security. The
problem was global, and was rapidly becoming critical. In accordance with
internationally adopted criteria, priority should be given to incorporating
international legal standards in national legislation. His Government had
therefore endorsed special programmes to combat crime - including organized
crime - corruption in the administration and money laundering. An information
database had also been established, thereby facilitating the international
exchange of information. Emphasis was placed on increasing public awareness in
order to increase participation in preventive strategies.
62. Mr. MANZ (Observer for Switzerland) said that his country gave high
priority to the fight against illicit trafficking in drugs and drug abuse, and
that those problems must be addressed by means of a multidisciplinary and
balanced strategy. The country’s drug policy was therefore based upon the
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prevention of drug abuse, reduction, treatment, and the repression of illicit
drug trafficking and money laundering. Despite every effort, problems relating
to illicit drugs were on the increase throughout the world. That should only
strengthen the determination to assess current national and international
strategies and find more effective instruments and means to tackle the problem.
The supply of and demand for illicit drugs were interdependent. Countries which
had previously been transit territories had witnessed an alarming growth in
consumption. The drug problem was global and could not be solved exclusively
within national borders.
63. Legalization was not a solution. In Switzerland, tobacco and alcohol abuse
caused far more problems than illegal drugs. It would therefore be
inappropriate to put drugs with a higher addictive potential than that of legal
drugs at the disposal of all.
64. The main difficulty in controlling illicit drugs was that well-organized,
well-financed and closely-knit criminal cartels had flexible mechanisms, were
capable of threatening entire States and did not hesitate to corrupt officials
in order to reach their goals. On the other hand, the international lawenforcement
authorities sought a consensus on each question, even if the
procedure took years, and had difficulty in financing their anti-drug
activities. Only a united international community could meet the challenge.
65. In the face of new trends, such as designer-drug abuse, the international
community must remain vigilant. Designer drugs were mostly stimulants, such as
amphetamines and "ecstasy". Experts estimated that global production and
trafficking in stimulants had increased at a greater rate than that of heroin
and cocaine, probably because production of such drugs was relatively simple and
the chemicals used in their manufacture were cheap and easily available. Young
people considered them fashionable, and lack of data meant the health risks
associated with abuse were poorly understood, and prevention and treatment
activities were hindered. His country had therefore decided to give financial
support to the World Health Organization in order to enable it to hold an
international conference and assist the international community in order to
counter that new challenge.
66. His Government gave high priority to international drug control and was a
party to a number of relevant conventions. His delegation hoped that the
special session of the General Assembly in 1998 would lead to better
international collaboration with regard to drugs and intensify the fight against
illicit trafficking.
The meeting rose at 5.30 p.m.