The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) is the cornerstone of international cooperation in the fight against this serious and growing problem, said Morocco’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to Vienna Azzeddine Farhane on Monday. Speaking on behalf of the G77+China, on the occasion of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Farhane stressed the importance of promoting the ratification of the UNTOC and its protocols, in order to strengthen their cooperation in the fight against this scourge. The full, balanced and effective implementation of the Convention and its Protocols requires a strengthened commitment to the full implementation of the UNTOC’s international cooperation and technical assistance obligations, he stressed. “In this context, we would like to emphasize the importance of supporting capacity building and the provision of adequate, sustainable, effective and demand-driven technical assistance, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – UNODC”, said Mr. Farhane, noting that, as a result, “sufficient, stable and predictable funding is needed”. Furthermore, he expressed the G77’s concern “about the illicit trafficking of cultural property and related crimes, including the growing involvement of organized criminal and terrorist groups, which continue to cause increasing harm to the cultural heritage of our nations, and thus to part of our identity. There are growing links between transnational organized crime and other illicit activities, including drug-related crime, corruption, money laundering and illicit financial flows, he observed, assuring that the Group supports the strengthening of bilateral, regional and international cooperation in the field of information exchange, extradition and mutual legal assistance, in accordance with national legislation. On the specific issue of terrorism prevention, “the group calls for the strengthening of international responses, including through more effective implementation and enforcement of the Convention and all applicable regional and international legal instruments on counter-terrorism, as well as through balanced and effective implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” it added. The G77 calls on the UNODC and the requested Member States to continue to provide technical assistance to requesting Member States to build capacity and cooperation at the sub-regional, regional and international levels, in order to respond effectively to the new strategies employed by terrorist organizations, the Moroccan diplomat concluded. Last January, Morocco took for the first time the chairmanship of the Vienna Chapter of the G77, an achievement that reflects the confidence and credibility enjoyed by the Kingdom within international organizations.
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