New York, October 6, 2022
Thank you, Mr President.
Let me begin by thanking the UNODC Executive Director Mrs Ghada Waly, AU Commissioner Mr Bankole Adeoye and Dr Paul-Simon Handy for their insightful remarks and recommendations. Albania commends the achievements and commitments already taken by UNODC and the African Union in this matter.
We attach great importance to today’s discussion, as insecurity across Africa creates a breeding ground for terrorists and non-state armed groups to benefit from the illicit trafficking of natural resources. As we heard from other speakers, terrorist groups and private military companies are using the natural resources in Africa as a key source of funding.
We regret that instead of natural resources being positive agents of growth, they have brought more misery, displacement, and violence to the local populations. The misuse of natural resources has a direct and vast impact on the security and development of a state. Weak states with inadequate legal and regulatory frameworks are particularly vulnerable to mismanagement, corruption, and the unfair distribution of natural resources.
Albania strongly condemns the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources. Responses to these illicit activities cannot be focused on national and military solution alone—they require regional and international robust actions. Natural resources are widely used in complex international supply chains, and we urge all actors to play their role in ensuring that the local populations reap the benefits of their use.
As previous Security Council resolutions have called for, a deeper understanding of the nexus between terrorism and organised crime using natural resources is required to formulate effective policies. Governments must strengthen their legal frameworks to better tackle the threat and ensure that terrorist and armed groups are held accountable, and foster greater coordination between regional and international actors to end this illicit business.
Albania calls on the states of the Great Lakes Region to engage themselves in the effective implementation of the ICGLR Protocol in the fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources.
We strongly support structures such as the Regional Certification Mechanism and the Kimberley Process Certification to better monitor and control the exploitation and trade of natural resources. We encourage the support of international partners to implement commitments from the Lusaka Declaration to curb the illegal exploitation of natural resources.
In conclusion, Mr President, we believe that improving the traceability and disruption of illicit financial flows is key to countering terrorism and organised crime.
We encourage all actors to strengthen information sharing and adopt a global policy response to identify illicit financial flows. A holistic approach is required to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks, and complemented with programmes that incorporates the socioeconomic growth, particularly in creating opportunities for youth as they bare the greatest cost.
I thank you!