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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Transnational Organized Crime

2023-12-07 13:00

Mr. President,

I welcome Ecuador's convening of today's meeting. I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his statement and thank Executive Director Ghada Waly for her briefing. I have also listened attentively to the remarks by Professor Melani Cammett and Ms. Victoria Nyanjura.

As we speak, the inter-linkages of transnational organized crime and the complexity and sophistication of the means of such crime keep evolving and intersecting with terrorism, resulting in growing destructive spillover effect. The international community should take this very seriously and uphold the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, strengthen solidarity and coordination, and work together to fight transnational organized crime and safeguard common security.

First, specialized agencies should play a major role. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. Over the past two decades, with ever growing impact and authority, the Convention has become a major platform of the international community to tackle transnational crime. Countries should work on the basis of the Convention to strengthen international cooperation in the fight against transnational crime. The UNODC and other specialized agencies have made positive contributions to the fight against transnational organized crime. China wishes to thank them for the contributions. We hope that UNODC and Interpol will keep leveraging their expertise and step up cooperation with UNOCT and Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in support of Member States’ efforts in this regard. The Security Council should play its due role in coordinating the response to the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, preventing the collusion and interpenetration that threaten international peace and security.

Second, stepping up law enforcement and judicial cooperation between countries. The emergence of new technologies has given rise to higher levels of sophistication and evasiveness of transnational crimes such as telecom fraud, online gambling, and underground banks. It requires bilateral and multilateral efforts to solidify cooperation networks, and deprive transnational organized crime of its breathing space. In addition to multilateral platforms, countries should enhance bilateral coordination in combating individual cases of transnational crime and by sharing evidence and intelligence, providing extradition and mutual legal assistance, jointly hunting down fugitives and recovering illicit assets, thereby leaving criminals and criminal assets nowhere to hide. Relevant countries should respond positively to other countries’ request for judicial cooperation in fighting crime and should not use various pretexts to allow its territory to become a safe haven for criminals.

Third, stepping up support to developing countries’ capacity building. Only when all countries have put in place professional, highly efficient, and robust law enforcement, can effective deterrence be achieved on criminal activities. The UN, its relevant agencies, and international partners should on the basis of respect for the ownership of member states, assist member states, especially developing countries, to beef up law enforcement capacity building in border control, customs, counter narcotics, and judiciary, among others, help train more law enforcement personnel in these countries, and upgrade their security and governance capabilities. In recent years, through the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, China provided support to the UNODC and other agencies, and helped developing countries improve their law enforcement capacities. China will continue to offer such help to the best of our ability to those countries in need.

Fourth, countries should start with themselves to cut the chain of transnational crimes. Transnational organized crime is not in the interest of any country. All countries should effectively shoulder their due responsibility and obligation to fight such crime. On this issue, one should not practice double standards, nor should one see it only as other’s problems while being blind to one's own responsibilities. A certain country, ridden with problems such as drugs, gun violence, and human trafficking, instead of seriously engaging in self-reflection and working to tackle the root causes, has chosen to ignore the facts and slander and smear other countries. Such is by no means a responsible and constructive attitude, and will not be helpful to resolving the issues. The rampant violence in Haiti is closely linked to weapons influx. All countries, in particular countries in the region, should effectively implement Council resolutions, suppress the trafficking and smuggling of firearms, and sever the sources of Haitian gang violence, thus creating conditions conducive to resolving the issues in Haiti.

Mr. President,

China has been a major player, a true practitioner, and an active contributor to the Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. China has been rigorously and resolutely fighting all organized criminal activities and actively engaged in cross-border cooperation in combating telecom fraud and others. China has stepped up exchanges and coordination and cooperation with UNODC and Interpol, among others, and worked within the BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and other frameworks to fight transnational organized crime on the regional level, with continued and positive results achieved. We will continue to actively implement the Global Security Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, work with all parties to effectively respond to the convoluted security challenges, and strive for a world of lasting peace.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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