We ask the UN to abide by its own rules in the work to end transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons

Statement by the Vienna Alliance of NGOs and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto, sixth session

15 October 2012

Transnational organized crime is complex and requires complex strategies in response. There is no one answer. We require comprehensive, multi-sectoral, evidence-based approaches. To find effective solutions, we need to collaborate – to share both successes and challenges, technical assistance needs and good practices. We need to talk and listen to, and learn from, each other. This review must be inclusive and transparent if efforts are to be credible, authoritative and effective. It must look like this:

Draw on existing expertise, from a wide range of sources:

Non-governmental experts

There is still much that we do not know, and we need an evidence-based approach to understand the impact of the implementation of UNTOC and its Protocols on the people they are intended to benefit. Moreover, research has shown that some of these efforts have impacts, not always positive, on many others who are not part of these target communities. NGOs working on these issues must be able to contribute their research and experience to the review mechanism.

Victim-centred mechanism

Survivors of the crimes covered by UNTOC and its Protocols, their service providers and advocates have direct experience of the implementation and impact of these treaties. They are essential contributors to the review mechanism.

The mechanism for this inclusive approach already exists in the Conference of the Parties Rules of Procedure. Rule 17 on the participation of non-governmental organizations, read in conjunction with Rule 2 that clarifies that the rules apply to any session of the Conference and to any mechanism that the Conference may establish. We urge the Conference of the Parties to ensure that the review mechanism adopted at this session honours this rule and good practice.

The Vienna Alliance of NGOs and the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, urge states to ensure that the final terms of reference for the review mechanism to UNTOC and its Protocols live up to its guiding principles of being “transparent, efficient, non-intrusive, inclusive and impartial”. This is vital to ensure the credibility and authority not just of the review mechanism, but of the UNTOC and its Protocols.

We look forward in working with States to make that a reality.