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Commission of Crime Prevention and

Criminal Justice



Transnational organized crime

Is considered as one of the major threats to human security, impeding the social, economic,
political and cultural development of societies worldwide. It is a multi-faceted phenomenon and
has manifested itself in different activities, among others, drug trafficking, trafficking in human
beings; trafficking in firearms; smuggling of migrants; money laundering; etc. In particular drug
trafficking is one of the main activities of organized crime groups, generating enormous profits.
UNODC works closely with Governments, international organizations and civil society to
strengthen cooperation to counter the pervasive influence of organized crime and drug

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is the main international
instrument to counter organized crime. The Anti-Organized Crime and Law Enforcement Unit
has developed various project initiatives aimed at training law enforcement personnel, including
police investigators, prosecutors and judges, intelligence analysts and customs officials. In line
with the provisions of the Convention, these projects examine best practice to counter organized
crime addressing investigations, international cooperation, protection of witnesses, prevention of
organized crime and anti-organized crime legislation.


An act of terrorism is the peacetime equivalent of a war crime. Is an anxiety-inspiring method of

repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for
idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby — in contrast to assassination — the direct
targets of violence are not the main targets. Another definition is the unlawful use or threatened
use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the
intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political


Is a general concept describing any organized, interdependent system in which part of the
system is either not performing duties it was originally intended to, or performing them in an
improper way, to the detriment of the system's original purpose. The term “corruption” is used as
a shorthand reference for a large range of illicit or illegal activities. Although there is no universal

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or comprehensive definition as to what constitutes corrupt behavior, the most prominent

definitions share a common emphasis upon the abuse of public power or position for personal
advantage. Some definitions are: “perversion or destruction of integrity in the discharge of public
duties by bribery or favor” , “inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery).”
The succinct definition utilized by the World Bank is “the abuse of public office for private gain.”
This definition is similar to that employed by Transparency International (TI), the leading NGO in
the global anticorruption effort:

“Corruption involves behavior on the part of officials in the public sector, whether politicians or
civil servants, in which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves, or those close to
them, by the misuse of the public power entrusted to them.”

International Cooperation

Cooperation at the international level is essential to combat the illicit drug trade and
transnational organized crime. The Anti-Organized Crime and Law Enforcement Unit assists
donor States and bi-lateral donor countries in identifying recipient needs through the provision of
a Law Enforcement Training and Assistance Database. In addition, it acts as a liaison with
international partners, such as Interpol, Europol and the World Customs Organization, as well as
with regional partners such as Europol and the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative
(SECI), the Regional Centre for Combating Transborder Crime. The Section also actively
contributes to conferences, meetings and specialized workshops, promoting the implementation
of the international drugs and crime control conventions and the technical work of UNODC.

Border Control

UNODC has implemented a number of successful border control initiatives in different regions,
based around the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLO).

The programme supports countries which share long common borders, view each other with
traditional reserve making cross-border communication difficult and, whose front-line
enforcement agencies operate with quite limited equipment. The initiative builds trust and
dialogue between the opposing border control agencies on shared borders, leading to their
empowerment to act and respond quickly and in concert to requests for mutual assistance or
information exchange without having to refer all decisions back to Headquarters.

The results have included the building of confidence, trust and communication between border
agencies; regular meetings between senior staff from both sides growth of spontaneous
information exchange about the movement of goods, suspects and vehicles across common
borders; development of joint operations / patrols / surveillance of common trafficking targets

Regular activity reports to respective capitals and Headquarters ensure that politicians and
senior officials are well briefed on border activities. The programme is human resource focused,

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quite low tech (but can be as sophisticated and expensive as funding will allow for) and once
established, self-sustaining. Implementation leads to an increase of knowledge available about
border operations, persons, goods, vehicles, vessels etc and so strengthens effective
management of these areas.

Container Control Pilot Project

Increased participation in growing international trade is an essential part of sustainable

development, however many developing countries do not have the capacity to establish effective
trade security and facilitation standards at their ports, handling terminals and borders. Freight
containers are an important part of the trade supply chain, however a number are being used to
smuggle illicit drugs, precursor chemicals, weapons, explosives and other contraband. There is
also a risk that they could also be used for direct terrorist attacks.

The UNODC Container Control Pilot Programme (pdf brochure), which is coordinated by the
AOCLEU, aims to assist Governments initially in Ecuador and Senegal to establish effective
container controls that will serve not only to prevent drug trafficking and other illicit activity but
also to facilitate legitimate trade and raise state revenues. Dedicated port control units,
comprising customs and enforcement officers, are being created at selected locations and staff
trained and equipped to identify and inspect high-risk freight containers with minimum disruption
to legitimate trade and business. The control units have regular access to experts and specialist
mentor services and are encouraged to forge partnerships and links with the trade and business
community. The project aims to develop closer cooperation and information exchange
mechanisms not only between those participating in this project but also with other ports and
drug control agencies. Plans to expand the programme to Pakistan and Ghana are in place.

Establishment of a Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre (CARICC)

During the past decade, there has been an increase in the smuggling of the illicit Afghan opium
and heroin through Central Asia. As part of the UNODC response to assist the law enforcement
agencies of the Central Asian States to introduce an intelligence le d approach to counter the
problem of drug trafficking and organized crime and to improve cooperation between these
agencies, UNODC is assisting in establishing a Central Asian Regional Information and
Coordination Centre (CARICC).

In order to ensure that information regarding cross border criminal activities is acted upon swiftly,
the Centre will be staffed by liaison officers from law enforcement agencies of the member
states. The Centre will serve as a regional focal point for communication, analysis and exchange
of operational information in "real time" on cross-border crime, as well as a centre for
organization and coordination of joint operations. As a result, the effectiveness and cooperation
between competent authorities in Member States in preventing and combating cross-border
drug trafficking and international drug-related organized crime will be greatly strengthened.

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Under the project will come renovated premises, provision of expert training and new operational

United Nations Convention against Corruption

Corruption can be prosecuted after the fact, but first and foremost, it requires prevention. An
entire chapter of the Convention is dedicated to prevention, with measures directed at both the
public and private sectors. These include model preventive policies, such as the establishment
of anticorruption bodies and enhanced transparency in the financing of election campaigns and
political parties. States must endeavour to ensure that their public services are subject to
safeguards that promote efficiency, transparency and recruitment based on merit. Once
recruited, public servants should be subject to codes of conduct, requirements for financial and
other disclosures, and appropriate disciplinary measures. Transparency and accountability in
matters of public finance must also be promoted, and specific requirements are established for
the prevention of corruption, in the particularly critical areas of the public sector, such as the
judiciary and public procurement. Those who use public services must expect a high standard of
conduct from their public servants. Preventing public corruption also requires an effort from all
members of society at large. For these reasons, the Convention calls on countries to promote
actively the involvement of non-governmental and community-based organizations, as well as
other elements of civil society, and to raise public awareness of corruption and what can be
done about it. Article 5 of the Convention enjoins each State Party to establish and promote
effective practices aimed at the prevention of corruption.

The Global Programme against Corruption

Corruption undermines democratic institutions, retards economic development and contributes

to government instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by
distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law, and creating bureaucratic quagmires
whose only reason for existence is the soliciting of bribes. Economic development is stunted
because outside direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often
find it impossible to overcome the "start-up costs" required because of corruption.

The Global Programme against Corruption (GPAC) is a catalyst and a resource to help countries
effectively implement the provision of the UN Convention against Corruption.

National Anti-Corruption Agencies

Argentina Brazil Colombia

China Indonesia Korea

Mexico South Africa USA

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The INTERPOL Expert Group on Corruption (IGEC)

An outgrowth of the first International Conference on Corruption-related Crime, held at the

INTERPOL General Secretariat in Lyon in April 1998, has been mandated by the INTERPOL
General Assembly to develop and implement various new anti-corruption initiatives to further law
enforcement’s efficiency in the fight against corruption.

The IGEC is a multi-disciplinary group representing all of INTERPOL’s regions which facilitates
the co-ordination and harmonization of the different national and regional approaches to
combating corruption. In addition, the group includes a host of other international stakeholders in
the global anti-corruption campaign. The rationale underlying this structure is the general belief
that law enforcement should combat corruption as a phenomenon holistically, in co-operation
with all major players and the community at large.

The IGEC is currently chaired by Mark Gough, Deputy Director, Investigations Division, Office of
Internal Oversight Services at the United Nations, and is comprised of experts representing
Austria, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong (China), Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, the United
Kingdom and the United States, plus the European Commission, the Inter-American
Development Bank, Transparency International, the University of Ottawa and the INTERPOL
General Secretariat.

Global action against terrorism

Terrorism has been of concern to the international community since 1937 when the League of
Nations elaborated the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism.
Subsequently, the United Nations and regional inter-governmental organizations have dealt with
terrorism from a legal and political perspective. Since 1963, the international community has
elaborated universal legal instruments related to the prevention and suppression of international
terrorism, which constitute the universal legal regime against terrorism.

Countries with large terrorism presence

Terrorists have long found refuge in countries and in many cases worked hand in hand with the
local governments. Today several countries continue to attract terrorists for training and
consipiring their attacks. The host countries do not try to disassociate themselves fully from their
ties to terrorism and in some cases continue to provide tacit support and use terror to
accomplish broader objectives. Some of the countries with significant terrorist operations

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Pakistan has long been a staging ground and planning centre for Islamic terrorists operating in
South Asia. After the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom, thousands of terrorists were either
killed or driven out of Afghansistan, mostly finding refuge in Pakistan. Pakistan and its secret
service (ISI) have also been accused of training and funding several terrorist groups operating in
Indian Kashmir. To many the links are clear, since the the terrorist groups based in Pakistan
operate in plain sight and have a distinct Indian focus. More recently, groups aligned with Al
Qaeda and based in Pakistan have been responsbile for numerous terrorist attacks in
Afghanistan. Some of these terror groups include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad,
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Al Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Jaferia, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Al Badr, Harkat ul-Ansar,
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Jamaat ul-Fuqra and Muslim
United Army.


Even as Syria continues to reduce its presence in Lebanaon, it also continues to fund and host
Palestinian and possibly Iraqi terrorist organizations. HAMAS, the PIJ, the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine-General Command, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
continue to operate from Syria.


The African country of Sudan been a training hub and safe haven for members of several of the
more violent international terrorist and radical Islamic groups of the last decade. Among the
terror groups known to have operated from Sudan are Hezbollah (Party of God), Palestine
Islamic Jihad, Abu Nidal Organization, HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement) and several
smaller Islamic insurgent groups operating regionally in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, and Tunisia.

Countries with large organized crime presence


Asian crime gangs have become formidable international actors-and international threats. These
societies control the multibillion-dollar illegal economies of heroin trafficking, prostitution,
gambling, extortion, money laundering, and alien smuggling-both in Asia and increasingly in the
West. Economic difficulties within China compel unemployed, frustrated people to buy into the
myth of a better life in the West. As poverty continues to deliver eager emigres into the hands of
professional smugglers or "snakeheads," Western nations find themselves unprepared to fight
the elusive and impenetrable Chinese "triads."

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Colombia has become notorious for its illicit drug production, kidnappings, and murder rate. In
the 1990s, it became the world's largest producer of cocaine and coca derivatives.

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