News/UN: UN - TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS, ARMS AND PEOPLE THREATENS FIB

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Subject: News/UN: UN - TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS, ARMS AND PEOPLE THREATENS FIB
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Oct 25 1999 - 17:52:44 EDT


21Oct99 UNITED NATIONS: UN - TRAFFICKING IN DRUGS, ARMS AND PEOPLE
THREATENS FIBRE OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY, LIBYA TELLS COMMITTEE.
RDATE:191099
* Capital Punishment Supported by Other Speakers
Only a balanced approach to demand and supply would bring long-term
progress in drug control, the representative of Armenia told the Third
Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) this afternoon as it met to
continue considering issues related to crime prevention, criminal justice
and international drug control.
Illicit drug trafficking and related crimes had no historical precedent,
she continued. The most important branch of the criminal market was the
global drug trade. Fragile countries were particularly vulnerable. For
countries in transition, a sharp decline in living conditions had made the
motivation for quick income strong. That was exacerbated by the scarcity of
jobs, low salaries and the lack of risk-sustaining mechanisms such as a
developed labour market and a stable social security fund.
Socioeconomic changes had created a world society where gains were sought
by any means, the representative of Libya said. Even body parts were being
sold by poor people to the rich. The fibre of international society was
threatened by the greatest transnational crime, which was the trafficking
in drugs, arms, and people. Developed countries could support the
developing countries by training law enforcement officials and by
cooperating [on the basis of] not letting financial institutions maintain
the banking secrecy that allowed criminals to hide assets.
The representative of Mozambique pointed to a lack of control mechanisms as
a concern for developing countries. Institutions for controlling borders
were simply too weak to do the job required. Support was needed from the
international community for training border controllers and drug law
enforcement officers.
A number of representatives spoke of the sovereign right of states to
determine appropriate legal systems for their societies when dealing with
the problem of illicit drugs. The representative of Kuwait said the death
penalty was imposed for drug traffickers in his country because those
crimes destroyed the society as a whole. The representative of Malaysia
said capital punishment would be imposed in his country to fight drug
trafficking as long as the people wished it to remain.
Also making statements this afternoon were the representatives of Bahrain,
Brazil, Argentina and the Republic of Korea.
In addition, this afternoon, the Committee heard the introduction of three
draft resolutions. The representative of Mongolia introduced a draft on the
role of cooperatives in development. The representative of the Dominican
Republic introduced a draft to designate 25 November as the International
Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The representative of
Romania introduced a draft concerning the United Nations Development Fund
for Women. The Committee will meet again at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, 20
October, when it is expected to conclude its consideration of issues
related to crime prevention, criminal justice and international drug
control.
Committee Work Programme
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met this afternoon
to continue considering questions related to crime prevention, criminal
justice and international drug control.
(For background information, see press release GA/SHC/3527 of 15 October.)
The Committee has before it a number of draft resolutions to be introduced.
By terms of a 13-power draft on cooperatives in social development
(document A/C.3/54/L.11), the Assembly would, among other things, adopt the
Guidelines aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development
of cooperatives, elaborated by the Committee for the Promotion and
Advancement of Cooperatives. The Assembly would request the
Secretary-General to encourage wider dissemination and use of the
Guidelines, and would urge Governments, international organizations and
specialized agencies to collaborate with national and international
cooperative organizations in giving due consideration to the role and
contribution of cooperatives in follow-up to such conferences as the World
Summit for Social Development. It would also urge Governments to develop
the potential of cooperatives to attain social development goals and
facilitate the development of cooperatives by creating a supportive and
enabling environment through effective partnership between Governments and
the cooperative movement. Finally, the Assembly would invite all actors to
observe the International Day of Cooperatives annually on the first
Saturday of July. The draft text is sponsored by Bangladesh, Barbados,
Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Madagascar, Mongolia,
Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago.
By terms of a 59-power draft on the International Day for the Elimination
of Violence Against Women (document A.C.3/54/L.14), the Assembly would
decide to designate 25 November as that International Day.
The draft is sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Chile, Colombia,
Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea,
Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Liechtenstein,
Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Korea,
Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain,
Suriname, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago,
Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela. A 17-power draft on the improvement of the
situation of women in rural areas (document A/C.3/54/L.15) would have the
Assembly invite Member States in cooperation with the United Nations system
to implement the outcome and ensure integrated follow-up to United Nations
conferences and summits, and to attach greater importance to the
improvement of the situation of rural women in national and global
development strategies. Suggested actions in that regard include the
strengthening of efforts to meet the basic needs of rural women by
providing them with safe and reliable water, health and nutritional
programmes, education and literacy programmes and social support measures.
Other actions include the ensuring of access for rural women to productive
resources and service, integrating a gender perspective into the design of
development policies and programmes, providing micro-credit and other
financial services, and pursuing their political and socio-economic
empowerment. The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to undertake
a comparative study on the impact of globalization and poverty on rural
women.
The draft text is sponsored by Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia,
Panama, San Marino, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and
Viet Nam. By terms of a 34-power draft on the United Nations Development
Fund for Women (document A/C/3/54/L.16), the Assembly would emphasize the
important work that the Fund undertakes within the framework of the 1994
Beijing Platform for Action. It would encourage the Fund to cooperate with
other partners of the United Nations system, governments and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in assessment activities feeding into
the five-year review of the Platform for Action, including efforts to
improve capacity to collect and disseminate sex disaggregated data and
accountability mechanisms at the country level. It would recognize the
progress achieved by the Fund in increasing the size and impact of its
Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women. It
would encourage the Fund to continue assisting Governments and NGOs in
implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women. It would request the Fund to strengthen
activities related to strengthening the capacities of women in situations
of armed conflict, and to continue efforts to mainstream a gender
perspective in United Nations operational activities. Finally, it would
recognize that the Fund had secured increased contributions for its work,
urging Member States, NGOs and the private sector to contribute to the
Fund.
The draft is sponsored by Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Canada,
Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland,
Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway,
Panama, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Moldova, Romania,
Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the
United Republic of Tanzania and United States.
Introduction of Draft Resolutions:
The representative of Mongolia introduced the draft resolution on
Cooperatives in social development. Greece, Guinea, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and
Thailand were added as sponsors to that draft. The following clarifying
oral amendments were introduced: operative paragraph four (dealing with the
follow-up vote of cooperatives to United Nations conferences and summits)
reads after the word "Summit" on line six, "including their plus-five
reviews by inter alia". In operative paragraph 4(b) the words
"establishment and" are added after "facilitating". Also, in operative
paragraph five (concerning International Day of Cooperatives), the word
"local" is added before the word "national". The representative of the
Dominican Republic introduced the draft of the International Day for the
Elimination of Violence Against Women. Additional co-sponsors to that draft
were Rwanda, the Sudan, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Algeria, Lithuania,
Iceland, France, India, Cyprus, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Kuwait.
The representative of Romania introduced the draft resolution entitled
"United Nations Development Fund for Women". Additional co-sponsors of that
draft were Croatia, Nicaragua and Suriname.
HUSSEIN JASSIM (Bahrain) said drug addiction and the illicit trafficking of
drugs constituted a great social problem encountered by developing and
developed countries alike. No country could stand by itself against the
scourge. The danger was not just to addicts; it extended into the societies
in which they lived. Bahrain had taken a great number of actions at the
ministerial and judicial levels. It had implemented educational programmes
about drugs in schools. Drug traffickers were subject either to capital
punishment or life sentences.
With regard to the issue of capital punishment, Bahrain shared the views
that were expressed in the Committee by Singapore and Egypt. He reaffirmed
the right of States to determine the conduct of their societies and he
recalled the principle of noninterference in the affairs of States. Bahrain
had organized cooperative activities to curb illicit drugs with sister
States. It had acceded to all United Nations conventions related to drugs.
International cooperation should be strengthened to curb and eradicate the
plague of illicit drugs.
LUIZ TUPY CALDAS DE MOURA (Brazil) said his country had been relentless in
fighting crime while respecting and promoting human rights. Legislation had
been updated with an emphasis on repressing organized crime, corruption,
drug trafficking, moneylaundering and weapons smuggling. Prevention had
been emphasized. A number of NGOs had pushed for tougher legislation on
registration and possession of firearms and disarmament campaigns had been
carried out in cities. As a result of the grass roots mobilization, trade
in firearms had been outlawed in some of Brazil's states. A bill presently
before the Brazilian Congress aimed to outlaw the sale of arms to
individuals or organizations other than those in the armed forces, public
security agencies or legally established private security firms. A National
Action Plan on Public Security was being drafted to bring together law
enforcement agencies at the Federal and state levels to fight drug
trafficking and organized crime.
While violence was not due to illicit drugs alone, he said, it was clear
that drugs played a central role in the spread of other crimes. The most
violent crimes in urban areas of Brazil were related to illicit drugs. The
struggle against the scourge of drugs required a multifaceted strategy that
involved repression as well as prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
Given the concensus on the need to fight transnational criminal
organizations, the international community was in a good position to
undertake this fight.
RICARDO LUIS BOCALANDRO (Argentina)said his Government attached great
importance to activities that had to do with preventing, suppressing and
punishing organized crime particularly transnational organized crime,
trafficking in women and children, in firearms and in the transporting of
migrants. The work of the office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention
should be highly regarded because it made possible, progress in diagnosing
and evaluating such crimes, he said. His Government had organized community
seminars that allowed for the active interaction of authorities,
academicians and civil society in dealing with transnational crime and drug
related problems. In those seminars, a series of proposals and
recommendations had been spelled out; they would be presented at the Tenth
Congress on Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders, in Vienna next
year.
AYADAH AL SAIDI (Kuwait) said his country's criminal law provided for
sanctions for drug traffickers. Drug addicts could receive all the care
they needed in health establishments. A decree to provide for better
coordination of community efforts and more public awareness of the drug
problem had been issued. The death penalty was imposed for drug traffickers
in his country because those crimes could result in the destruction of
society as a whole. Such a penalty was consistent with the seriousness of
the crime. The freedom of States wishing to apply the death penalty needed
to be respected and ensured. He regretted that the European Union did not
respect that freedom. The difference between legal systems gave the death
penalty different uses. The European Union needed to accept the pluralism
of that penalty's use, so that the international community's consensus
could continue.
BERTA COSSA (Mozambique) said her country was a corridor for drug
trafficking because of its geographical position. A legal regime had been
established in 1997 to address the problem of illicit drug trafficking and
the consumption of psychotropic substances. The Ministry of Internal
Affairs had undertaken operations to dismantle groups and locations known
to be linked with drug consumption and trafficking.
Since youth were known to be particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of
drugs, she said Mozambique concentrated efforts towards anti-drug education
through the Ministry of Education. Efforts were also turned toward creating
a centre for rehabilitation and social reintegration of toxic-dependants.
Of great concern to developing countries was a system of control
mechanisms. Institutions for controlling borders were simply too weak to do
the job required. The international community should provide more support
for training of border controllers and drug law enforcement officers.
Regional cooperation was the most effective way to minimize the spread of
drugs.
ABDUSSALAM SERGIWA (Libya) said socioeconomic and economic changes had
created a world society where gains were sought by any means. That
threatened the fibre of international society. The greatest transnational
crime was the trafficking in drugs, arms, and people. Even parts of bodies
were being sold by poor people to the rich. Such practices were a blemish
on the soul of human society. Transnational organized crime destroyed the
morals of the human race. No country could by itself fight the effects of
those crimes, which threatened all States, rich or poor, large or small.
The developed countries should give support to developing countries, for
instance, they should help train law enforcement officials. Instead of
cooperating, some states allowed financial institutions to maintain the
banking secrecy that allowed criminal assets to remain hidden. Given its
geographic location, Libya was a corridor for drug trafficking, he said.
Yet his country took great efforts to combat crime. Libya reaffirmed the
rights of all States to direct their legislative systems in any way they
chose. The resolution planned to be introduced by Finland on behalf of the
European Union was an attempt to force those views on other countries. If
the co-sponsors were so concerned about the right to life of other persons,
why were they forgetting the right to life of victims?
HISHAM ABDUL AZIZ (Malaysia) said his Government had formulated a national
drug policy to eliminate demand and supply of illicit drugs. It had also
taken serious steps in a strategic plan to create a drug-free generation by
the year 2023.
In order to curb the scourge of drug addiction, his Government had made
drug trafficking a capital offence. "We are concerned with the efforts of
some countries calling on other countries to establish moratorium and to
progressively restrict the number of offences for which capital punishment
may be imposed", he said. It was the sovereign right of states to determine
the legal systems appropriate for their respective societies. The
imposition of capital punishment in his country "shall remain as long as
the Malaysian people wish for it to remain."
Continuing, he said that with the world's most efficient communication
systems, greater coordination, and collaboration at the bilateral, regional
and international levels it was possible to combat international crime
effectively. The mechanism for the sharing of information and intelligence
could be upgraded. The influence of criminals could infiltrate the economic
machinery of many countries. Effective international enforcement was the
only solution to prevent criminals from doing that.
YOUNG-HAN BAE (Republic of Korea) said his Government placed particular
emphasis on fighting corruption. "In these times of economic turmoil, the
fight against corruption is more pressing than ever", he said. Corruption
distorted competition among different economies and only a multilateral
response could address the magnitude of the problem.
In spite of its limited resources, the UNDCP had played a crucial role in
countering the world drug problem, he said. It had done so by serving as a
focal point for international drug control, and by staying abreast of
rapidly changing developments. Although voluntary contributions to the
UNDCP had increased by 35 per cent in 1998, the baseline was still
extremely modest. More funds were needed if it was to effectively implement
its mandates.
ANNA AGHADJANIAN (Armenia) said all States by now acknowledged they could
only fight the new threats of illicit drug trafficking and related crimes
by working together. The situation had no historical precedent and its
context could not be easily understood in traditional terms. The most
important branch of the criminal market was the global drug trade. The
global reach of drugs was a new phenomenon, as was the blurred line now
between traditional drug consumers and producers.
Control over the regulation of illicit drug production, sale, demand,
traffic, import, distribution and utilization had been tightened in
Armenia, she said. Nevertheless, 70 per cent of the narcotics confiscated
in Armenia originated outside the country. Armenia had become a transit
route for illicit drug trafficking and it lacked the technical facilities
with which to counter the problem. Only through international cooperation
could today's societies stand a fighting chance against the spread of
drugs.
The instability of new and fragile countries made them particularly
vulnerable to the drug trade and the organized criminal groups behind it,
she said. As was the case with many countries in transition, Armenia had
suffered a sharp decline in living conditions. The motivation to earn quick
income was strong. It was exacerbated by a scarcity of jobs and low
salaries. Armenia's economic system currently lacked risk-sustaining
mechanisms such as insurance, developed labour markets and a stable social
security fund. It was clear that drugs would continue to be produced as
long as an appetite for them remained. Long-term progress in drug control
would come through a balanced approach to the issues of demand and supply.
*M2 COMMUNICATIONS DISCLAIMS ALL LIABILITY FOR INFORMATION PROVIDED WITHIN
M2 PRESSWIRE. DATA SUPPLIED BY NAMED PARTY/PARTIES.*.
(C) 1999 M2 Communications Ltd.
M2 PRESSWIRE 21/10/1999


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