December 7th, 2023
Thank you President.
Let me start by thanking Ecuador for organizing this Open Debate which helps to understand better the risks and threats transnational organized crime presents to international peace and security.
I would also like to thank the S-G, the UNODC Executive Director Waly, Ms. Cammett, and Ms Nyanjura for their briefings.
President, as pointed out in your concept note, transnational organized crime can take many forms and is in constant evolution, which makes it even more difficult for authorities to track and fight it.
In such complicated and evolving circumstances Transnational Organized Crime and the threats to international peace and security related to it cannot be addressed alone! We must be able to effectively fight the Transnational Organized Crime at national, regional and international level at the same time. To this end, we believe the following steps are crucial:
- To expand our strategic and operational capabilities by strengthening international and regional law enforcement networks and partnerships, aiming to strengthen the preventive capacities;
- To prioritize and leverage the comparative advantages of different relevant actors, including UN, INTERPOL, national law enforcement agencies, customs and border control agencies, anticorruption agencies, and regional and sub-regional organizations. We must end the fragmented approach we have been following until now;
- To fully implement the international instruments and conventions on transnational organized crime and related issues, with a special focus on the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its protocols and UN Convention Against Corruption.
- To support the establishment and functioning of joint task forces and coordination mechanisms for information and intelligence sharing and joint investigations.
We support the SG efforts to build a more responsive and resourceful UN approach toward fighting Transnational Organized Crime. We strongly believe that successful strategies and actions aimed at addressing TOC not only require a comprehensive and coordinated approach, but also need to encompass both countering and preventive measures.
Here at the UN, the Security Council should do more to promote information sharing, capacity building, and the implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures. We should also recognize the linkage that exists in some cases between transitional organized crime and terrorist groups and in this this context the Council should work closer with other UN entities and consider the development of mechanisms for tracking and reporting instances of transnational organized crime activities that also lead to sanctions violations. `
When we discuss and explore ways to address TOC, we should take a whole of society approach; and pay special attention to the YPS agenda, women and girls and their access to justice and to the role that civil society can play. In this context, we welcomed the thematic focus on access to justice at this year’s UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
We will continue to work with the UN and all relevant actors to address these challenges, keeping in mind that our common efforts to address TOC at regional and international level will fall short if we fail to address TOC at national level, and in this regard, among other reforms, strengthening justice system has been one of the priorities of the Albanian government since 2015, which included, among others creation of a special prosecution and court for the fight against corruption and organized crime, and is already giving its results.
In concluding, Mr. President, let me emphasize that Albania remains fully committed.