It is my pleasure to address the 22nd session of the Commission on crime prevention and criminal justice on behalf of the Group of Friends United against Human Trafficking.
As the guardian of the Transnational Organized Crime Convention and its Protocol on Trafficking in Persons, UNODC is called to play a leading role in strengthening and coordinating the criminal justice response to human trafficking. We recognize the efforts of the UNODC to ensure full implementation of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
Nowadays human trafficking is indeed a pressing issue and a major challenge. Therefore, it is encouraging that in the last decade it has been addressed in a more comprehensive and sustained way both on a national level and internationally.
The UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was initiated by the Group of Friends adopted by the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly, urges Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to try to defeat one of the gravest global challenges the world is facing today.
Among practical outcomes of the Global Plan are the establishment of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking in persons, launching of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2012, activities of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, numerous conferences, thematic debates and interactive dialogues.
The Global Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the United Nations' broader programmes. We consider it to be of great importance for UNODC to continue its work in order to integrate Global Plan of Action in its programmes and activities, including from the point of view of technical assistance.
In its capacity as coordinator of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group’s activities related to the implementation of the Global Plan of Action the UNODC should play an active role in this process.
It is also important to encourage contributions by States and all other relevant stakeholders to the Trust Fund, for which the UNODC is appointed as a fund manager.
The Group of Friends welcomes the launching of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons and looks forward to see the next report in 2014. We would also like to stress the importance to continue collecting evidence-based data on patterns, forms and flows of trafficking in persons as well as to share information, experiences and good practices on activities to combat trafficking in persons, including for the purpose of removal of organs.
In 2013 the General Assembly will appraise the UN Global Plan of Action. The UN General Assembly resolution A/67/190 entitled «Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons» which has been adopted in November 2012, envisages, inter alia, a high-level United Nations General Assembly meeting to be held in 2013 in order to evaluate the progress in implementing the Global Plan of Action.
The High-level meeting on the issue of human trafficking will be the first ever event of such kind in the United Nations. We believe it will provide a unique platform for the international community to assess the implementation of the Global Plan, exchange best practices and lessons learnt, consider gaps and challenges, as well as to consolidate the support of all stakeholders to continue our resolute fight against trafficking in person. We look forward to the outcomes of the meeting with a view to continue discussions on this matter in Vienna. We invite the Member States of the UN to attend this meeting on the highest possible level.
We would like to bring to the attention of the Commission to the draft resolution entitled “Implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons “, aimed at reiterating the need to strengthen cooperation and to improve coordination of efforts to combat trafficking in persons in its various forms. It is vital to keep the problem of human trafficking among the key UNODC priorities and to ensure its contribution to the global anti-trafficking efforts being meaningful, effective and visible.