28/06/2004

Annan calls for unity over cross-border crime treaty

The UN secretary-general has called for "universal participation" in the first treaty by world body aimed at tackling cross-border organized crime.

In a message to the first session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in Vienna, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the treaty’s full implementation “can make a real difference to millions of peoples’ lives".

The Convention, which entered into force in September last year, has 147 States Signatories and 79 States Parties. By ratifying the treaty, countries commit to adopting a series of crime-control measures, including the criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group, money laundering, corruption and obstruction of justice.

They also pledge help in extradition, mutual legal assistance, administrative and regulatory controls, law-enforcement, victim protection and crime-prevention measures.

"It would be an important contribution to saving succeeding generations not only from organized crime itself, but also from the scourge of war and the misery of poverty,” Mr Annan added.

(gmcg)

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