30th CCPCJ | U.S. on Integration and Coordination of UNODC and Member State Efforts

30th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice | Agenda Item 6: Integration and Coordination of Efforts by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Member States in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

As delivered by Counselor for UN Affairs Ethan Glick
May 19, 2021

The United States appreciates the opportunity to comment on this important agenda item.

The United States recognizes that COVID-19 has significantly hindered the ability of law enforcement and criminal justice institutions around the world to provide security and access to justice.

However, we are endeavoring to meet this challenge head on thanks to our collective efforts to press on and continue the important work of advancing crime prevention and criminal justice policies and programs. We have benefited from common sense-accommodations, such as electronic transmission of legal requests and results, and the acceptance of electronic signatures on affidavits and certifications. Innovations such as these are worth retaining.

We also continue to implement our commitments to important global standards in international cooperation, criminalization of serious crimes and corruption through the UN Convention Against Corruption (or “UNCAC”) and the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (or “UNTOC”).

We urge States Parties to fulfill their obligations under the UNCAC and UNTOC. We are also pleased with the final Political Declaration that will be adopted during June’s UN General Assembly Special Session on Corruption (or “UNGASS”) as a forward leaning and balanced document, that includes a number of areas for targeted implementation pursuant to our obligations in the UNCAC; notably a timebound commitment to follow through on their obligations to criminalize foreign bribery and actively enforce bribery laws. We look forward to officially adopting this text at the UNGASS itself in June.

Similarly, the United States was pleased the 10th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime launched the UNTOC Review Mechanism. As staunch supporters of the UNTOC and its implementation, we look forward to working with States Parties to implement this Review Mechanism over the coming years to identify ways in which we can strengthen our implementation of this invaluable treaty.

The United States strongly supports implementation of the international legal instruments to prevent and combat terrorism and to implement UN resolutions, particularly on countering terrorist travel and on countering the financing of terrorism. As a Global Counter Terrorism (CT) Compact Entity, we look to UNODC to coordinate across the UN system to ensure a whole of UN approach in this regard.

We recognize the important contributions that UNODC makes in promoting these international legal frameworks through its invaluable technical assistance programs. To support such endeavors, the United States proud to be a major donor to UNODC for such programming.

One of UNODC’s most valuable areas of expertise in this technical assistance programming is related to capacity building to help countries combat cybercrime. During the meetings of the UN intergovernmental expert group on cybercrime (or “IEG”), there was a strong consensus for supporting delivery of capacity building to developing countries. In this regard, the United States was one of the first donors to the UNODC Global Program on Cybercrime, and we also support a wide variety of related law enforcement training and technical assistance around the world. We urge Member States to also strongly support this UNODC program, as well as others to support such delivery of technical assistance programing.

The United States recognizes the importance of the PNIs and UNICRI in advancing global research and capacity-building efforts to improve our understanding of global crime trends and the operation of criminal justice systems worldwide. Notably, the PNIs are a force multiplier, working closely with UN entities and other international and regional organizations, to organize opportunities for meaningful dialogue among Member States, civil society, and practitioners on a range of crime and criminal justice issues.

Collectively, we have our work cut out for us as transnational organized crime threatens us all. The United States stands firm in our commitment to combat and prevent it and to work with Member States through the Crime Commission to promote safety and security for all.