Next week (20–24 May), UN member states and civil-society groups will gather in Vienna for the annual session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) at the headquarters of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). 

The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime will be taking an active role at the CCPCJ, hosting events on a wide range of issues, such as environmental crime, organized crime in the Sahel and the Western Balkans, the review mechanism of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and – most importantly – presenting the launch of our new Resilience Fund against organized crime. Details of all our events can be found at the end of this document.

Global Initiative research and evidence on the issues being discussed

A number of resolutions that will be debated at this year’s CCPCJ session relate to recent research conducted by the Global Initiative. In particular, we highlight the following areas in which the Global Initiative has recently produced research and analysis that we hope can contribute to productive discussion among CCPCJ delegates.

Precious metals

Peru and South Africa have tabled a draft resolution, ‘Enhancing the security of supply chains of precious metals against organized criminal groups’. The discussion of this new topic for the CCPCJ comes only a few weeks after the publication of our research paper‘Combating criminal consortia in the African artisanal and small-scale gold mining and trade sector’ – available here.

Our report explores how criminal consortia manipulate this type of mining and trade, and associated gold flows to secure illicit rents and capture the sector. The findings highlight the need for nuance, especially regarding the role of informal and traditional actors in the sector. Through a more holistic understanding of the challenge, policymakers will be in a better position to identify and combat criminal consortia involved in this type of criminality.

Cybercrime

Cybercrime has long been a hotly debated issue at the CCPCJ, and, this year, Austria, Canada and Colombia have tabled a resolution on the topic. Our recent policy brief provides background on cybercrime debates at the UN for delegates who may be dealing with this issue for the first time. This brief focuses on cybercrime in an international context, exploring in particular why the UN is still trying to find its footing as an agenda-setting institution on countering cybercrime.

Environmental crime

Mexico and Peru have tabled a resolution on ‘Strengthening regional cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking in wildlife’.This is a vitally important topic in many countries and regions. The World Atlas of Illicit Flows, jointly compiled by INTERPOL, RHIPTO (a Norwegian UN-collaborating centre) and the Global Initiative, provides detailed statistics on the damage caused by the flows deriving from the illicit exploitation of natural/environmental resources, including gold, diamonds, timber, oil, charcoal and wildlife.  

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High-level Global Initiative events at the CCPCJ

We are hosting two high-level events in the margins of the CCPCJ on the theme of community resilience against organized crime.

Tuesday 21 May, 18:00–21:00, Wolke 21, Saturn Tower

Official launch of the Resilience Fund. Our newly created Resilience Fund aims to counter the impacts of organized crime worldwide by supporting civil-society and non-state actors who operate in environments of criminal governance.

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Wednesday 22 May, 18:00–20:30, Wolke 21, Saturn Tower

Building the resilience of environmental defenders from the threat of organized crime

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We are also co-hosting two official side events at the CCPCJ: 

Monday 20 May, 13:10–14:00, Room M7, Vienna International Centre

From Trieste to London to Poznan: Mapping local vulnerabilities in the Western Balkans, hosted by the UK

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Wednesday 22 May, 13:10–14:00, Room M7, Vienna International Centre:

The changing face of organized crime in the Sahel, hosted by Norway

High-level events in the margins of the 28th CCPCJ

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