Statement by Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the Russian delegation Oleg Syromolotov at the 27th session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Vienna, May 14, 2018

Monday, 14 May 2018 16:02

Mr Chairperson,

First of all, allow me to congratulate you and other Bureau members on being elected and to express my confidence that under your professional leadership, the session will achieve its goals.

Mr Chairperson,

The Russian Federation has consistently supported the central coordinating role of the UN in consolidating international efforts in response to global challenges and threats – first of all, transnational organised crime and terrorism.

We believe that the Commission is the main multilateral format for expert discussion of measures against crime, for sharing experience and best practices as well as for developing major vectors of international counter-crime cooperation, including development of new targeted international legal instruments.

Mr Chairperson,

Transnational organised crime continues to exploit the expanding globalisation and is globalising itself using the achievements of science and technology, posing a threat to the development of states and entire regions.

Currently, combating cybercrime is becoming particularly relevant. Every day we risk falling victims to cyber fraud – for example, when we post personal information on social media or make online payments. The number of cybercrimes, including transnational, is on the rise.

We all realise that without international cooperation it is impossible to efficiently resist criminal threats in this area. The situation is becoming more complicated due to the lack of comprehensive and, most importantly, universal international legal framework. Unfortunately, the international community does not have a common approach to solving this problem.

Russia, as many other countries, sees solution in developing a universal convention on combating cybercrime under the aegis of the UN which would take into account the present state of affairs as well as principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in domestic issues of foreign states.

Our experts have developed a draft of a universal UN convention on cooperation in combating cybercrime that could lay the foundation for an international discussion of the issue. We hope that the draft will provide food for thought and help to work out practical solutions in the area. We urge you to participate in the substantive completion of the convention based on the specifics and interests of your countries.

We welcome work at the Vienna platform with regard to cybercrime and, primarily, the results of the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Expert Group on preparations for the comprehensive study of cybercrime, which took place in Vienna on April 3-5, 2018. During the meeting, participants approved of the group’s action plan for 2018–2021. We hope for continuing the intergovernmental expert dialogue on the issue of cybercrime, which proved important for all countries without exception, and hope that academic and business communities will participate in the initiative.

Mr Chairperson,

Russia attaches great importance to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, the only universal instrument in the sphere of combating international crime. We hope that its review will begin as soon as possible. We call on all states to do their best to achieve final agreements on the convention in time for the 9th session of the conference for the Convention parties next October. I would like to remind you that diplomacy is the art of the possible and we need to strive for a compromise that could be based on the well-proven review procedure used for another UN document, the UN Convention against Corruption. We believe that such a mechanism must be international and non-intrusive and funded, for the most part, by the UN regular budget. A prompt review of the counter-crime convention is in our common interests. We could spend years discussing the review procedure while international criminals enjoy our inability to agree on this pressing issue.

Mr Chairperson,

The Russian Federation continues to urge its partners to build a united front against terrorism, with the UN playing the central coordinating role. This cooperation needs to take place on the solid foundation of international law. We welcome the establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Office in the UN Secretariat and expect that it will make a decisive contribution to the coordination of all UN institutions.  We also note the important work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime which is the key provider of specialised technical assistance. We would especially like to note the Office’s project activity on the prevention of the movement of foreign terrorists and militants and the suppression of the financing of terrorism.

Mr Chairperson,

We put great emphasis on cooperation in criminal investigation. We call on countries to focus on finding successful methods of overcoming existing difficulties and obstacles in this area, in the first place by strengthening the legal framework of international counter-crime cooperation.

The issue of recovering assets earned through criminal activities is becoming increasingly important. We believe the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the UN Convention against Corruption contain only general provisions. Therefore, we propose considering a specialised convention on recovering assets under the auspices of the UN.

Mr Chairperson,

We note the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in preventing crimes against wildlife. Due to the evident incapacity of the existing international legal framework to combat these crimes, we still believe it would be reasonable to develop a new specialised document under the aegis of the UN.

We are particularly concerned with the growing trafficking in cultural property. We would like to note the importance of improving cooperation in combating these crimes and our willingness to work on the session’s relevant draft resolution.

We want to thank the Belarusian delegation for the draft resolution on action against human trafficking using information and communication technology. We are ready to offer our most proactive involvement in developing this important document.

We also believe the issue of trafficking in precious metals is quite topical and appreciate the work in this area by the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. We hope it will continue.

Finally, allow me, Mr Chairperson, to convey Russia’s commitment to combating all aspects and forms of crime and to confirm our readiness to further develop equal international cooperation against crime.

Thank you.

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