UNODC chief warns of growing transnational maritime crime, urges Security Council support

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 6, 2019
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UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The UN drugs and crime chief on Tuesday highlighted the growing threat of transnational organized crime at sea and asked for the support of the Security Council to address the problem.

"In recent years the freedom of navigation is being exploited by criminal groups. Transnational maritime crime is increasingly sophisticated, and it is expanding, both in terms of size and types of criminal activities," Yury Fedotov, executive director of UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said in his briefing to the Security Council debate on transnational organized crime at sea.

He pointed out that two thirds of the world's surface is ocean but nearly all of that is "beyond any state's territorial water" and "largely not subject to a single state criminal jurisdiction."

Speaking of international legal framework, he said that while the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea addresses only piracy, global action is reinforced by UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, the global counter-terrorism instruments, and more.

While affirming "we have a solid international legal framework in place to tackle transnational maritime crime," he said his office needs the Security Council's support in urging the UN member states to "facilitate mutual legal assistance" through ratification and effective use of the international legal framework.

Fedotov also called for the council's continued engagement with the topic of transnational maritime crime, by encouraging discussion to identify options for enhancing coordination, as well as recommendations to better prevent and counter transnational maritime crime. Enditem

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