United Nations

A/50/433


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

18 September 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Item 108 of the provisional agenda*


CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Implementation of General Assembly resolution 49/150 on the
Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against
Organized Transnational Crime

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS
  Paragraphs  Page

I.  INTRODUCTION .........................................1 - 63

II.  ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND
  CRIMINAL JUSTICE .....................................7 - 114

III.  ACTION TAKEN AGAINST ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL CRIME:
  A GLOBAL PRIORITY ....................................12 - 276

IV.  IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NAPLES POLITICAL DECLARATION AND
  GLOBAL ACTION PLAN AGAINST ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL
  CRIME:  PROGRAMMATIC ASPECTS AND MODALITIES ..........28 - 7211

  A.  Strengthening international cooperation and the
    opportunity of a convention or conventions against
      organized transnational crime ....................31 - 3912

  B.  Increasing reliable knowledge ....................40 - 5416


_________________________

  *  A/50/150.



95-28184 (E)   061095/...
*9528184*
CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

  C.  Assistance in the legislative and regulatory
      fields ...........................................55 - 6420

  D.  Technical cooperation ............................65 - 7223

V.  CONCLUSIONS ..........................................73 - 7525
I.  INTRODUCTION


1.  The World Ministerial Conference  on Organized Transnational Crime, held
at Naples,  Italy, from  21 to  23 November  1994, pursuant to  Economic and
Social Council resolution 1993/29, unanimously adopted the Naples  Political
Declaration and  Global Action  Plan against  Organized Transnational  Crime
(A/49/748,  annex, sect. I.A), which was approved by the General Assembly in
its resolution  49/159 of 23 December  1994.  The  Assembly urged States  to
implement  the Naples  Political Declaration  and  Global  Action Plan  as a
matter of urgency.

2.   The Assembly  requested the  Secretary-General to  transmit the  Naples
Political Declaration  and Global  Action Plan  to the  Commission on  Crime
Prevention and Criminal  Justice for appropriate action, while  recommending
a higher  level of  priority for  the  United Nations  crime prevention  and
criminal justice programme within the framework of the  United Nations.  The
Commission was requested to keep the  implementation of the Naples Political
Declaration and Global Action Plan under regular review.

3.   In a  separate resolution,  the World  Ministerial Conference expressed
its  appreciation for the  proposal of the  Government of  Italy to organize
and host  at no cost  to the United  Nations, and in  consultation with  the
crime  prevention and  criminal  justice programme,  an  international  task
force for  the elaboration of proposals  on the  feasibility of establishing
an  international training centre  for law  enforcement and criminal justice
personnel.  The Conference took note of the offer of the Italian  Government
to act  as host to  the centre and  to provide  the necessary organizational
and functional resources, and invited the Government of Italy to submit  the
results of the task  force's work to the Commission on Crime Prevention  and
Criminal Justice at its fourth session.

4.   The  Naples Political  Declaration  and  Global Action  Plan identified
specific  measures, to be  further elaborated  and implemented,  in order to
make  action   against  organized  crime   more  effective  and   strengthen
international cooperation.  These measures  are intended  to strengthen  the
ability of  States to  cope with  the increasing  threat posed by  organized
transnational crime in its various new  forms and manifestations.   They are
also  directed  at  enhancing  the  capacity  of  developing  countries  and
countries with economies in transition to deal with the problems created  by
organized transnational crime and  to enable them  to cooperate  effectively
at the regional and international levels.

5.   In the  Naples Political  Declaration and  Global Action  Plan, it  was
strongly recommended that  continued priority attention  be accorded  in the
context  of  the  United  Nations  crime  prevention  and  criminal  justice
programme  to  strengthening  international  cooperation  against  organized
transnational  crime  at   all  levels.  It  was  recognized  that  existing
resources  were   not  sufficient  to   enable  the   programme  to  support
intensification   of  efforts   at   the  national   level   and   increased
intergovernmental  cooperation,  and  it  was  recommended  that  a   higher
priority  be accorded  to the  United  Nations  crime control  activities by
providing the  programme with adequate resources  to carry  out its mandates
and responsibilities.

 6.    The  present  report  is   submitted  pursuant  to  General  Assembly
resolution  49/159 on  the  Naples Political  Declaration and  Global Action
Plan  against Organized  Transnational Crime.    It concentrates  on certain

aspects of implementation and  the required action to be taken by States and
the United Nations, as well as  modalities for such implementation, pursuant
to  General  Assembly resolution  49/159  and  paragraph  45  of the  Naples
Political Declaration and Global Action Plan.


             II.  ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION
                  AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

7.  The  Commission on Crime Prevention  and Criminal Justice discussed  the
issue of the implementation of the  Naples Political Declaration and  Global
Action Plan at  its fourth session,  held at Vienna  from 30 May  to 9  June
1995, and began the  process of encouraging Member States to proceed in that
direction and identifying the areas to  which attention should be  directed.
In its  consideration  of the  most  appropriate  method and  modalities  of
following  up   on   the   mandate   of  monitoring   and   promoting   such
implementation, conveyed by the General Assembly  in resolution 49/159,  the
Commission had  the  benefit of  the  recommendations  of the  Ninth  United
Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime  and the Treatment of Offenders,
held at Cairo, from 29 April  to 8 May  1995.  The Congress had debated  the
issue in  detail and had adopted  resolution 3  on international instruments
such  as a convention or conventions against  organized transnational crime.
In  that  resolution,  the  Congress  had  invited  the  Commission  to give
priority to  initiating  the process  called  for  by the  Naples  Political
Declaration and Global Action Plan, by  requesting the views of  Governments
on the  opportunity of elaborating new  international instruments  such as a
convention  or  conventions and  on the  issues and  elements that  could be
covered therein.   The Commission was also  requested to consider whether it
would be  helpful to  propose to Governments  a list of  issues or  elements
which might  be  dealt with  in  such  instruments, with  possible  examples
contained in  the annex to  the above-mentioned  resolution. 1/   The  Ninth
Congress  had also considered  the issue  of links  between terrorist crimes
and transnational  organized crime, about  which Member States had expressed
their grave  concern in the Naples  Political Declaration  and Global Action
Plan (A/49/748, annex, sect. I.A, para. 2).

8.   On the  recommendation of  the Commission  at its  fourth session,  the
Economic  and Social Council  adopted resolution 1995/11 of  24 July 1995 on
the implementation of  the Naples  Political Declaration  and Global  Action
Plan  against Organized Transnational Crime.   The Council  took note of the
report of  the Secretary-General  on proposals related  to the  programmatic
aspects  of   the  Naples  Political  Declaration  and  Global  Action  Plan
(E/CN.15/1995/2).   The Council welcomed  with appreciation the  preliminary
report  of  the  international  task  force  to  study  the  feasibility  of
establishing  an  international training  centre  for  law  enforcement  and
criminal  justice personnel (E/CN.15/1995/11)  and encouraged the Government
of Italy  and the Governments of the  other States members of the task force
to continue and  finalize its work,  with a  view to  informing the  General
Assembly,  at its  fiftieth session of  the results.   The Council requested
the  Secretary-General to initiate  the process  of requesting  the views of
Governments on  the opportunity and impact of international instruments such
as a convention or conventions against  organized transnational crime and on
the  issues and  elements that  could be  covered therein,  pursuant  to the
Naples  Political Declaration  and Global  Action  Plan.   Pursuant  to this
request,  the  United  Nations  Office at  Vienna  sent  a note  verbale  in
September 1995 to Governments through their  Permanent Missions at Vienna or
in New York.  Also in resolution 1995/11,  the Council decided to establish,
within the framework of the Commission, at its  fifth session, an open-ended
intergovernmental  working group  to  consider,  inter alia,  the  views  of
Governments on this matter.

9.  For the purpose  of assisting the international  community in increasing
its  knowledge of  criminal organizations  and their  dynamics, the  Council
requested  the Secretary-General  to collect and analyse  information on the
structure  and  dynamics   of  organized  transnational  crime  and  on  the
responses of States to this problem.  The  analysis of the information would

be  carried out building  on the  expertise and experience  of Member States
and drawing on the contributions of  Governments.  Such contributions  could
include teamwork  by highly  qualified experts,  relevant organizations  and
individuals, taking into account  work already done in this area.  The open-
ended  intergovernmental  working  group to  be  established  at  the  fifth
session of the Commission  will examine the results  of the analysis  of the
information, which Governments were  requested to provide to the Secretariat
in the note  verbale mentioned above.  In  a related provision, the  Council
requested  the  Secretary-General  to submit  to  Member  States  for  their
consideration  at the  fifth session  of the  Commission a  proposal on  the
creation  of a  central repository  for existing  legislative and regulatory
measures and  information on  organizational structures  designed to  combat
organized  transnational  crime,  with a  view  to  making  this information
available to Member States.

10.   With  respect to the  provision of practical  assistance to requesting
Member States,  the Council requested  the Secretary-General, as  necessary,
to submit concrete proposals to the Commission for  approval, with a view to
developing practical  models and guidelines  for substantive and  procedural
legislation.  These would  be  intended to  assist developing  countries and
countries in  transition in reviewing  and evaluating  their legislation and
in planning  and undertaking reforms, and would be developed building on the
experience  and  expertise  of States  and  drawing  on  contributions  from
relevant organizations. The Secretary-General was also requested to  provide
advisory  services and technical  assistance to  requesting Member States in
needs  assessment,  capacity-building  and  training,  as  well  as  in  the
implementation of the  Naples Political Declaration and Global Action  Plan.
The Council further requested the Secretary-General  to avail himself of the
assistance of experts with extensive experience  in the field of  prevention
and control of  organized transnational  crime indicated  by Member  States,
who   might  be  called  upon  in  connection   with  technical  cooperation
activities.   The  United Nations  Office  at  Vienna has  requested  Member
States to provide it with the names of experts for  the purpose of compiling
a  roster which  can  be  resorted to  in connection  with requests  for the
provision of advisory services and practical assistance.

11.  Following up  on the recommendations contained in the Naples  Political
Declaration and  Global  Action Plan  with  respect  to the  prevention  and
control of  money-laundering  and  the use  of the  proceeds  of crime,  the
Council  requested the  Secretary-General to  seek cooperation  and  to join
efforts  with other  international, global  and regional  organizations  and
mechanisms that  have played  an active role in  combating money-laundering.
The purpose of  cooperation and joint efforts  would be to reinforce  common
regulatory and enforcement strategies in that  area and assist States,  upon
request,  in treaty  formulation and  the  development of  criminal  justice
infrastructure  and   to  provide  technical   assistance.    Further,   the
Secretary-General  was  requested,  as  necessary,  to  compile  appropriate
manuals, drawing upon the  expertise of Member States and of other  relevant
organizations, taking into account  differences in legal  systems and  using
the expertise  of institutes  and relevant  entities of  the United  Nations
crime prevention and criminal justice programme.


            III.  ACTION TAKEN AGAINST ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL CRIME:
                  A GLOBAL PRIORITY

12.    The  142  States  present  at  the  World  Ministerial Conference  on
Organized Crime  proclaimed their political  will and strong  determination,
as well as their unequivocal commitment, to ensure the full and  expeditious
implementation  of  the  Political  Declaration  and  Global  Action   Plan,
reflecting the  urgency and  priority attention  attached to  action against
organized transnational crime. The Naples Conference  was not the only forum
in which the collective  concern of States had  been expressed, but  was the
culmination of efforts at the international level.  The  growth of organized
transnational crime  and  its expansion  both  in  terms of  activities  and
across  geographical  borders brought  about  the  realization  that  action

against  it could not  be limited  to the national level  or to arrangements
between  a limited number of States.   Efforts had to take  into account the
current  political  situation and  the  ease  with which  organized criminal
groups  crossed borders  and took  advantage  of  efforts designed  to bring
countries closer together and increase the  free movement of goods, capital,
services and  people.  Such efforts also had to be made in a manner tailored
to the  fact that  organized  transnational  crime was  making full  use  of
modern technologies,  thus increasing its  sophistication and diversity  and
outpacing the capacity of many countries to  deal with it.  In  their search
for new opportunities and markets, organized  criminal groups were ready  to
make  sizeable investments in  both equipment  and human  resources and were
willing to bring their  huge financial power to  bear, in addition  to using
other more violent methods, for eliminating  competition.  In addition,  the
international community had realized that proceeds  of crime directed at the
legitimate economy posed a grave threat  to financial stability and  growth.
The  prospect  of  organized  criminal  groups  infiltrating  and  attaining
controlling interests  in crucial  sectors of  the  economies of  developing
countries and countries  in transition had contributed to raising  awareness
and increasing  concern among Governments, particularly  at a  time of joint
efforts  towards  economic   restructuring  on  the  basis  of  free  market
principles.

13.   It  was  against  this background  that  world leaders  began  placing
concerted  action  against  organized  transnational  crime  high  on  their
agenda.  The seven major industrialized  countries, at their summit  meeting
held at Naples in  July 1994, gave special consideration to the response  of
the  international  community  against  organized  transnational  crime  and
money-laundering.   In  their summit  communique,  the  heads of  State  and
Government of the seven major industrialized  countries and the President of
the  European Commission  expressed  alarm  about  the growth  of  organized
transnational  crime and  the use  of illicit  proceeds to  take  control of
legitimate  business.   This was  a  world-wide  problem, with  countries in
transition  being increasingly  targeted by  criminal organizations.    They
also expressed  their determination to  strengthen international cooperation
to address  the situation and welcomed  the World  Ministerial Conference on
Organized  Transnational Crime,  to be  held  at  Naples. In  the Chairman's
statement, the heads of  State and Government of the Group of Seven stressed
that organized  crime and narcotics trafficking  were a  threat to political
as well as  economic and social  life.  Calling for  increased international
cooperation, they  agreed that the World  Ministerial Conference  was a most
important occasion to advance such cooperation.

14.   At  the United  Nations  fiftieth Anniversary  Ceremony, held  at  San
Francisco on  26 June 1995, the  President of the  United States of  America
called for agreement among  the international community on  a new agenda for
the United  Nations,  to increase  confidence  and  ensure support  for  the
United Nations and  to advance peace and prosperity  for the next 50  years.
In identifying the areas to which more  attention should be paid on the part
of  the United Nations,  President Clinton  called for  "support through the
United  Nations  of  the  fight  against  man-made  and  natural  forces  of
disintegration, from crime syndicates and drug  cartels to new diseases  and
disappearing  forests.  They  cross borders  at will.  Nations  can and must
oppose  them alone, but we  know, and the Cairo  Conference reaffirmed, that
the most effective opposition requires strong international cooperation  and
mutual support".

15.  In the Chairman's  statement of the summit meeting, held at Halifax  in
1995,   the  Group   of   Seven  declared   that   "transnational   criminal
organizations are  a growing threat to  the security of  our nations.   They
undermine the  integrity of financial  systems, breed corruption, and weaken
emerging democracies and developing countries around  the world.  To counter
their criminal activities  effectively, we will  work to  reinforce existing
institutions,  strengthen  our cooperation,  exchange  of  information,  and
assistance to  other nations".   The  heads of  State and Government  of the
Group of Seven agreed  to cooperate more closely together, and with  others,
to ensure  that transnational criminal  organizations cannot escape  justice

by crossing  borders.   They  encouraged all  Governments to  adhere to  and
implement relevant international conventions and the recommendations of  the
Financial  Action  Task  Force.    They  recognized  that  ultimate  success
required all  Governments to provide for  effective measures  to prevent the
laundering  of proceeds from drug  trafficking and other serious crimes.  To
implement their  commitments in  the fight  against transnational  organized
crime, they established a group  of senior experts, with a temporary mandate
to look  at  existing  arrangements  for  cooperation,  both  bilateral  and
multilateral,  to  identify  significant  gaps  and  options  for   improved
coordination and to propose practical action to fill such gaps.

16.   In the  Naples Political  Declaration and  Global Action Plan,  States
proclaimed their  determination to join  forces and  fight together  against
the  expansion  and   diversification  of  organized  transnational   crime.
Notwithstanding  recent  successes,  they  expressed  their conviction  that
coordinated strategies and  other forms of international cooperation  should
be   further  developed.   States   noted  with   concern   that   organized
transnational crime threatened the social and economic growth of  developing
countries  and countries in transition and their institutions; stressed that
the international community  should assist these  countries in their efforts
to  enable their  criminal justice  institutions  to adequately  prevent and
combat organized transnational crime;  and observed that  the fight  against
organized transnational  crime should  be accorded high  priority by  States
and by  all relevant global and  regional organizations,  with the necessary
support of  the general public, the  media, business,  institutions and non-
governmental  organizations.    States  arrived  at  these  conclusions  and
proclaimed their  determination to take the  action specified  in the Naples
Political  Declaration  and  Global  Action  Plan,  while  reaffirming   the
responsibility  vested  in  the  United  Nations  in  crime  prevention  and
criminal justice and  recognizing the  need to  strengthen its  role in  the
development of  a comprehensive programme of  action to  prevent and control
organized transnational crime.

17.   The  Naples  Political  Declaration and  Global Action  Plan  was made
possible by, but also  attests to, a collective political will to deal  with
the problem at  the global  level and a  consensus as  to what  needs to  be
done.   This  consensus  is  the result  and  culmination  not only  of  the
realization  of the  global  effects of  the problem,  but  also of  a  long
process of convergence and balancing  of national interests and perceptions,
as well as  the full recognition  of varying  needs and capacities.   In the
past, organized  crime was considered one  of the  problems facing developed
countries and,  therefore, of little  interest to developing countries which
had other priorities  and other more pressing  needs.  When organized  crime
began crossing  borders and  becoming a  menace and a  threat to  developing
countries, the scope of  the problem was fundamentally altered.  The changes
in  the  political  environment  with the  emergence  of  newly  independent
States,  which entered a  phase of  economic and  political transition, were
soon perceived by organized criminal  groups as increased  opportunities for
expansion and diversification and  added a new dimension  to the issue.  The
interest and  concern of  developing countries and  countries in  transition
grew  and the  issue of  organized transnational  crime became  one of their
priorities, also because its effects made it  more difficult to pursue other
standing development priorities.

18.  A  new situation was created for  developed countries as well.  Whereas
in  the  not-too-distant past  action  against  organized  crime  was to  be
planned  and taken  largely within  their  borders,  or in  cooperation with
other   countries  of   similar   capacities  and   perceptions,   increased
transnationalization  and  expansion  brought   about  imponderables  as  to
activities of  organized criminal  groups, and  difficulties with regard  to
effective  law enforcement and  judicial cooperation.  The new dimensions of
organized transnational crime also require more  resources for the expansion
of cooperation  arrangements, but  also for new  law enforcement  techniques
and  capabilities.   However, while developed countries  already possess the
infrastructure and  crucial knowledge  required in  mustering the  necessary
resources  and maximizing  their  efficiency  and effectiveness,  developing

countries and  countries  in transition  are  found  in the  very  difficult
position of easily being outpaced by  organized criminal groups.  Countering
the onslaught of organized transnational  crime requires diversion of scarce
resources,  delaying or even threatening the attainment  of other objectives
and development  targets.  In addition,  developing countries and  countries
in transition  are increasingly  finding themselves  in a  quandary.   Their
drive  towards  development  and  growth  in  accordance  with  free  market
principles is under threat from the direct  or indirect effects of organized
transnational  crime, while  the  limited effectiveness  of  their  efforts,
owing  to  the  lack  of  the  necessary  resources,  is often  cited  as  a
disincentive to the very much needed foreign investment and assistance.

19.  The  consensus and collective  political will  evidenced by the  Naples
Political Declaration and Global Action Plan, as well as the results of  the
other events mentioned above, are of great significance to future action  by
the  international community  against  organized transnational  crime.    Of
equal importance  is the  momentum built  by the  consistency and  frequency
with which the consensus and collective  political will have been enunciated
in the past two  years.  Such  momentum and consensus are prerequisites  for
action to take  a definitive shape and  to have the  desired effects  in the
shortest  time possible,  an element  of  importance in  view of  the  rapid
growth and expansion of  organized transnational crime.   The  international
community should begin  taking decisive steps forward in the  implementation
of  the  policies and  measures  it  decided  upon in  the  Naples Political
Declaration  and Global Action  Plan, building  on but  also sustaining this
momentum.

20.   Action against organized transnational  crime would  be more effective
if it  were  collective, with  its  planning  and implementation  being  the
patrimony of all contributors to the  consensus-building process and to  the
formulation of a strong collective political will.  In  the Naples Political
Declaration and Global  Action Plan, States recognized, while  acknowledging
its  global   implications,  that  prevention   and  control  of   organized
transnational crime must necessarily  vary from State to State and region to
region and be  based upon improvements  in national  capabilities, increased
knowledge  and shared  experiences about  organized criminal  groups.   Such
variations  at  the  national  or  regional  levels  are  natural  given the
different manifestations  and degrees of  development of organized  criminal
groups  and  their  activities.    Further,  differences  in  the  degree of
development of institutions and the financial capabilities  of countries are
bound to affect the responses to the problem.  In situations  of scarcity of
funds  and numerous competing  priorities, the  size and  present effects of
the  problem  of  organized  transnational  crime  are  bound  to  guide the
decisions of policy makers on the allocation of resources.

21.  In addition to its  recognized global implications, however,  organized
transnational crime has  displayed the  capacity to shift operations  across
borders, in order to  minimize risk and maximize opportunities, and to  take
full  advantage  of  gaps  in  national  responses  and  of  deficiencies in
international  cooperation.    Further,  organized  transnational crime  has
shown the ability and readiness  to benefit from economic growth and efforts
towards  economic  reform and  privatization  in  developing  countries  and
countries in  transition, mainly because of  the variations  in pace between
such  processes  and  the  creation  or  strengthening  of  the  appropriate
institutions.

22.   Consequently, current parameters may  change too  rapidly for existing
mechanisms to  respond adequately.   In  such a  case,  any opportunity  for
preventive action  may be lost and  control may  become extremely difficult,
placing limited  resources and immature  institutions under even more severe
strain.  It is, therefore, crucial to  retain a global view and  a long-term
perspective  in   developing  national  policies  and  regional  cooperation
mechanisms against organized transnational crime.  In addition, there  needs
to be a common  denominator against which  action can be measured, in  order
to ensure continuity  and consistency, as well  as the sustained pursuit  of
common objectives.

23.  The significance  of the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action
Plan, viewed in  the context of the initiatives  that have been taken  since
their  adoption,  lies   in  having  demonstrated  that  the   international
community has reached agreement  on a basic set  of common objectives and on
the  fundamental  elements  of  the  modalities  required  to  attain  them.
Considerably more  work is necessary,  however, to operationalize this basic
agreement  by  way  of  consistent  and  coordinated  implementation.   This
agreement  appears to be  founded on the  understanding that  the problem is
equally  threatening  for  all  countries  of  the  world,  and  that  those
countries  having difficulties  in bringing their relevant  mechanisms up to
the  required standard  for effective  action in  preventing and controlling
its effects will be assisted by  those in a position to do so.  In the  face
of a  problem as pervasive and  dangerous as  organized transnational crime,
however,  a sense of  anxiety about  minimizing its  impact at  the national
level often  tends to prevail.   This tendency  becomes even more  prevalent
when considering  some of  the activities  in which  organized transnational
crime is  engaged, which  involve violence  and,  consequently, capture  the
attention of  the  public through  the  media  coverage that  they  receive.
Further,  Governments are alarmed by the increasing involvement of organized
transnational  crime  in  legitimate  business,  coupled  with the  need  of
organized  criminal  groups  to  find   ways  of  laundering  their  illicit
proceeds.

24.  One of  the characteristics of this sense of anxiety is the tendency to
disregard the benefits of building and sustaining consensus,  and to rely on
individual  capacities in order  to proceed  forward at  a presumably faster
pace. Action taken in this context  can be similar to action  often taken at
the  regional  level, in  terms of  homogeneity of  perceptions, priorities,
needs  and immediate  objectives, as  well  as  relevant equivalency  of the
capacity of infrastructures.  In the short  term, the effectiveness of  such
action  may  be evident  and  may satisfy  the  urgency  for  measurable and
visible  results.  In  the case  of organized  transnational crime, however,
the global  nature of the  problem ultimately demands a  global approach and
global  solutions.  Regional  initiatives have  been instrumental in meeting
immediate needs and  paving the way  for global  approaches on many  issues.
Such initiatives are, after all, based on the  very same principles and  the
consensus   which  should  characterize   global  action  and  can  make  it
effective.   In  the  regional context,  however, consensus-building  may be
more easily attainable  and sustainable,  because of  the reasons  mentioned
above.

25.   Action  taken in  response to  a sense  of impatience with  the global
consensus-building process may appear to be  breaking new ground and setting
high standards  of accomplishment.   In  this context, efforts  to plan  and
implement such action  may be useful  in pointing  to the  ideal fashion  of
attaining  the  maximum  objectives  in the  shortest  time  possible,  thus
serving as  a guide and  a yardstick by which to  measure success.  However,
action proceeding at varying  speeds may result in widening gaps instead  of
closing them and  altogether eliminating them, particularly considering  the
flexibility and  capacity  for  diversification of  organized  transnational
crime.   Differences  in opinion  and perspectives  may present  the risk of
trivializing the  matter  and  entangling  it in  long  debates,  ultimately
slowing  down the  desired pace,  if not  placing the  effectiveness  of the
action  per se  in jeopardy.    While peer  pressure in  the  context  of an
institutional  framework  is invaluable,  the risk  of misperceptions  as to
ultimate objectives and  the ways to achieve them  may be too  great in view
of  the implications  of organized  transnational  crime  and the  threat it
poses to developed and developing countries alike.

26.  Effective action at the global level  would need to move forward at the
same  pace, the speed  of which  would need to be  collectively agreed upon.
Only in  such a  case can there be  the commitment to meet  goals and attain
common objectives.  In view of the  divergent situations in which  different
countries  are found, particularly  in terms of capacity and infrastructure,
this pace  may not be as  brisk as the  international community would  wish.
There would  be a  need for  a mechanism  to identify  in the  shortest time

possible cases  in which  there is  a slow-down  and attempt to  rectify the
situation by providing  the appropriate  technical assistance.  When  action
is the result of consensus and  collective commitment, the effectiveness  of
technical assistance  would be greatly  enhanced, since  the objectives  and
modalities  of such assistance  would be the product  of consent and overall
agreement.

27.   The effectiveness  of global  action  against organized  transnational
crime  would also depend on  how well coordinated it  is, particularly since
such action is bound to involve  technical cooperation.  Coordination  would
ensure more  efficient use of resources and would greatly enhance the impact
of technical assistance, not  only by directing it  to those areas  where it
is  most  needed,  but  also  by  establishing  and  maintaining  a constant
relationship between  the needs to be  met and  contributions towards common
objectives and goals.   Coordination, which should be viewed as an  integral
part of effective action, requires a  constant flow of reliable information,
the willingness of  all parties concerned to rely  on and contribute to  the
availability of such information, and the  readiness in particular of  donor
countries and  agencies to channel resources  towards meeting  needs as they
arise.


           IV.  IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NAPLES POLITICAL DECLARATION AND
                GLOBAL ACTION PLAN AGAINST ORGANIZED TRANSNATIONAL
                CRIME:  PROGRAMMATIC ASPECTS AND MODALITIES

28.   Full implementation  of the  Naples Political  Declaration and  Global
Action Plan will  require considerable effort and  investment on the part of
States  and the United  Nations, as  well as  relevant intergovernmental and
non-governmental  organizations.    In  order  to  maximize  the  effect  of
appropriate  action  by  the Commission  on  Crime  Prevention  and Criminal
Justice, and also to assist States in directing their efforts and  resources
towards implementation  more efficiently, it may be useful to chart a course
by  identifying areas on  which attention  should be  concentrated and where
the  United Nations  can make  a  useful  contribution through  planning and
implementing operational activities.

29.  At  a time of limited resources,  implementation would need to  proceed
in phases, which would be agreed upon by  the international community.   The
foundation of  this  phased  approach  would  need  to be  a  sustained  and
concerted effort to maintain the momentum  and increase the impetus  created
by  the Naples Political Declaration  and Global Action Plan  and to further
strengthen the  consensus and political  will that made  them possible.   In
charting the course for full implementation,  certain key factors would need
to  be kept  in  mind.    The threat  posed  to  the internal  security  and
stability of sovereign States, as well  as to international security, by the
dramatic  increase of organized  transnational crime  in the  past decade is
growing and will continue to grow and become  more menacing if concerted and
decisive  action on  the part  of  the  international community  is delayed.
While energies have to  be focused and  action planned in the best  and most
efficient  manner,  the   ultimate  goals  of  effectively  preventing   and
controlling organized transnational crime  in all its  forms and dimensions,
and arresting its expansion at both  the national and international  levels,
should be guiding the relevant efforts  and should constitute the  yardstick
against which success is to be assessed.

30.   Pursuant to the  mandate entrusted to  it by the  General Assembly  in
resolution  49/159, the Commission on Crime Prevention  and Criminal Justice
began moving in the direction of  charting the course towards implementation
at  its fourth session.   In Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/11,
adopted on the recommendation of the  Commission, certain areas of  priority
attention  were identified.   In addition  to examining  the opportunity and
impact  of international  instruments such  as a  convention or  conventions
against organized transnational crime, and an  indication of the issues  and
elements to  be covered therein, priority  attention was  given to improving
reliable knowledge on the structure  and dynamics of organized transnational

crime, legislative and regulatory measures, and technical cooperation.


               A.  Strengthening international cooperation and the
                   opportunity of a convention or conventions
                   against organized transnational crime

31.  The  new responsibilities that Governments have  to take on because  of
the escalation  of organized transnational crime  and the  demand for global
strategies  to  combat  it,  draw  attention   to  the  need  for  effective
instruments, bearing  in mind that  what is most needed  is a comprehensive,
multi-layered approach to  international cooperation in law enforcement  and
criminal  justice  in  the  fight  against  organized  transnational  crime.
Ideally,  a truly effective  international approach  would be  composed of a
web of bilateral,  regional and multilateral arrangements complementing  and
promoting  one  another.   In  fact,  bilateral  and  multilateral forms  of
cooperation  are complementary  rather than  mutually exclusive.    However,
whether international cooperation can evolve in  ways that allow a  response
to  transnational  criminal  organizations  commensurate   with  the  threat
depends  on the capacity of  States to understand that  criminal justice and
law  enforcement  systems  can  no  longer  be  viewed  as  purely  national
concerns. Ultimately,  the prospects  of cooperation  depend on  recognizing
that  a new  kind  of  threat demands  a  new  kind of  response,  in  which
international cooperation  plays a central role.   Experience  has shown the
importance  of adopting international  instruments in  order to enact global
strategies of action when dealing with issues of a transnational nature.   A
very successful  example is found in  the United  Nations Convention against
Illicit  Trafficking in  Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic  Substances of 1988
(E/CONF.82/15 and Corr.2).

 32.  One of  the major objectives  of international cooperation must be  to
create greater harmonization  in criminal justice systems, by improving  the
standards of  countries with weaker criminal  justice systems  in general or
by developing  national legislation specifically  directed against organized
crime.   It  is crucial  to  eliminate  "sanctuary States"  and ensure  that
national legislation against transnational organized crime is as  compatible
as possible.  Complete harmonization is, of course, impossible, for some  of
the  reasons  identified above.   Yet  there  is a  level of  harmonization,
perhaps better  described as  inter-operability, that  allows for  continued
national  differences  while   still  achieving  the  necessary  degree   of
complementarity for  effective concerted action against transnational crime.
It has been emphasized that "investigation  of transnational crime, no  less
than  its prosecution,  will  likewise involve  multiple  jurisdictions  and
cooperation among  different Governments.   To  be useful,  the products  of
these  investigations  should be  as  nearly  interchangeable  as  possible.
Procedures  need not  necessarily be  identical but they  should incorporate
rules  to  protect   the  accused,  limit  police  power,  ensure  equitable
tribunals and  provide decent prisons".  2/   Growing interchangeability and
the  capacity to use information and evidence  across national jurisdictions
are of major importance in the fight against transnational crime.

33.  Multilateral  cooperation should  not be  seen simply  as a  compromise
between  various  bilateral efforts.    Rather,  it  is  something that  has
significant benefits  in its own right,  as many  regional arrangements have
demonstrated. They can be understood as  the criminal justice counterpart to
the growth  of economic  and political  integration in  many regions of  the
world, such  as in  western Europe.   Regional  cooperation in  judicial and
criminal matters is the natural concomitant  to efforts to achieve political
and economic union, even  though it involves some of the more sensitive  and
complex  aspects  of  national sovereignty.    In  this sense,  multilateral
cooperation  can be  understood as  a  spin-off  from broader  political and
economic  processes, which  are  proceeding with  increasing  frequency  and
speed  -  albeit  based  on  the  recognition  that  complete  uniformity of
national  legislation  is  neither  feasible  nor  desirable.  As  has  been
observed, "the  criminal law systems  are all finely  tuned to the  specific
characteristics  of the  different  countries.   This  delicate  equilibrium

should not be disturbed,  unless a substantial  advantage is to be  gained".
3/

34.  To  be sure, the elaboration of  an international instrument  such as a
convention  is not  obstacle-free.   While a  multilateral convention  would
provide a  way of  augmenting resources  and mobilizing  mutual support  and
assistance for what individual  States are unable to  do alone, it should be
stressed  that multilateral  responses can  only  work  if each  party makes
sacrifices  commensurate  with those  of  others.    Avoiding  this kind  of
obstacle requires a commitment to take  whatever action is necessary despite
the cost.  If a convention  is to be effective, it  needs States to join and
subsequently to  exhibit the will and  capability to  meet their obligations
under  it.  As has been  noted:  "Only if most countries were willing to re-
examine  some deeply  entrenched legal  procedures,  and to  recognize  that
their own traditional way  of doing things was  not necessarily the  best or
most  effective approach to the  problems in question, would the concepts of
multilateral ... conventions become a reality". 4/

35.  One of the difficulties with such a new instrument may  be its content.
Similar  conventions on  terrorism and  drug trafficking  have been oriented
towards a specific type  of crime.  The question arises, therefore,  whether
a  new international  instrument  on organized  transnational  crime  should
cover the  many criminal activities in  which organized  criminal groups are
engaging, or should focus  on the way in  which countries should  respond to
the threat posed by transnational criminal  organizations.  The problem with
concentrating  on the  crimes  is that  they are  so  extensive -and  it  is
difficult  to be all embracing.  The implication is that attention should be
focused on the  second aspect, that is  the responsibility of Governments to
respond vigorously to  the challenge, building upon the experience developed
in the process of elaboration, ratification  and implementation of the  1988
Vienna  Convention  and  starting from  the  already  existing  proposals on
legislation and  law enforcement methods covered  in the Convention  itself.
The  extent   of  international   support  for  the  Vienna   Convention  is
extraordinary:   more than  100 States  are parties to  it. That Convention,
thanks  to the  commitment and  political will  of such  a large  number  of
countries,  has  had a  major  impact  in  bringing  about concerted  action
against drug trafficking.

36.    Another   difficulty  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  elaboration  of
international  conventions may  be a  long  process  that would  require the
achievement  and  maintenance of  consensus  at  every  stage.   Breadth  of
participation should  not be achieved at the expense of  depth and intensity
of  cooperation.  However,  in the  presence of a strong  political will and
broad  consensus, as evidenced  by the  priority attached  to action against
organized  transnational crime  and  the Naples  Political  Declaration  and
Global Action  Plan, it  would be  possible to  ensure that  the negotiation
process  does  not  result  in  a  diluted  document  that  falls  short  of
establishing  the  provisions   necessary  for  an  effective  response   to
transnational criminal  organizations.  Effective  action against  organized
transnational crime  requires a framework within  which States could  pursue
cooperation at all levels  in a more systematic and  effective way.   Such a
framework would make it  possible to bridge  the gaps that exist at  present
and are  readily and fully exploited by organized transnational  crime.  For
example,  the Vienna  Convention has  given rise  to a  wave of  legislative
activity at the national level, supported  by the legal assistance programme
of the United Nations  International Drug Control  Programme, as well as  to
the adoption  of numerous bilateral  and regional  agreements that implement
and further the Convention's provisions.

37.    In spite  of its  difficulties, the  elaboration of  an international
convention against  organized transnational  crime could  bring a  number of
advantages  and  may   represent  an  invaluable  potential  for   universal
adherence. First,  the  very act  of  negotiating  a convention  would  have
certain benefits.  For example,  it would  focus attention  on the  problem.
Although  specific  criminal  organizations  have  been  given  considerable
attention,   the  emergence   and   expansion   of  transnational   criminal

organizations   as  a  generic  threat  posing  problems  in  many  respects
exceeding  those of  international terrorism  has been  relatively  ignored.
Indeed,  there  has  been  a  paucity  of  both  journalistic  and scholarly
analyses   dealing  with  transnational  criminal  organizations  and  their
activities as a problem faced not only by individual States but also by  the
international  community   as   a  whole.     A   convention  on   organized
transnational crime would be very  important in symbolic terms,  as it would
represent the collective judgement of the  international community that  the
problem has become sufficiently serious to command a global  response.  This
could also  have  an important  impact  in  terms of  legitimizing  national
actions, including national legislation against the activities of  organized
transnational  crime.  In  addition, the  negotiation of  a convention would
lead  to  greater interaction  among  Governments  and  particular  national
agencies  in ways  that  would  themselves lead  to  enhanced  international
cooperation.  Developing a knowledge of  other negotiators can be important,
particularly if  these negotiators  also have  some role  in the  subsequent
implementation of policy.

38.   Secondly,  once  a  convention was  in  place, it  would have  several
positive effects:  (a) it would provide a set of standards and  expectations
that the signatories would have an  obligation to live up to;  in a sense it
would  facilitate the exertion  of peer  pressure as a common  effort of the
international community  in addressing  the problem;  (b) it  would have  an
important regularizing  effect and provide for  a more  standardized form of
cooperation than does the extension of bilateral accords,  each of which has
its  own  distinctive features;  (c)  it  would  facilitate more  systematic
assistance in  the areas  of criminal  justice and  law enforcement,  rather
than  ad hoc approaches;  (d) it  would provide guidance for  a programme of
implementation that would assist in the  dual objectives of harmonizing  law
enforcement risk and  making it  more difficult  for transnational  criminal
organizations to infiltrate legitimate business.

39.  It  is evident that there  are both advantages  and disadvantages  to a
multilateral convention  against organized transnational  crime.  The  issue
is not clear-cut.   If Governments  do decide  that the advantages  outweigh
the disadvantages, however, there are several other requirements that  would
have  to be  met  to  transform it  from  a theoretical  possibility into  a
feasible  and  practical  proposition.    First,  it would  necessitate  the
maintenance  of  the  broad-based  consensus   on  the  seriousness  of  the
challenge  posed to  nations and  the international  community  by organized
transnational  crime.  The  key to  maintaining and  further broadening this
consensus is  for Governments  that are affected by  organized transnational
crime  to recognize that  they are  not alone, and for  Governments that are
not  currently the target  of organized  transnational criminal  activity to
understand that they are  not immune,  and that it may  only be a matter  of
time before  the  problem impinges  on  them  directly.   Secondly,  another
crucial requirement  is that  the idea  of elaborating  a convention  should
have the unequivocal backing  of most States.   The more diverse  this group
of States is, the  better, on the understanding that a convention should not
be seen as an attempt by any particular grouping to impose required  reforms
of behaviour  on others  with different  levels of  economic development  or
cultural traditions. The willingness  of several highly  committed States to
give a high priority to successful  implementation could create a  bandwagon
effect,  encouraging others  to join.   A  third requirement  is that  there
should be a clear idea of the purpose  and scope of a convention.  It has to
be carefully  formulated  in  ways that  specify the  target  (transnational
criminal  organizations and  their  members), the  obligations  that  States
would incur (in terms  of taking initiatives  in their own national law,  in
positively  responding  to  requests  for  assistance  from  others  and  in
providing  and  exchanging information)  and  provisions for  implementation
(both procedural and substantive).


 B.  Increasing reliable knowledge

40.  Any discussion of international  cooperation will necessarily involve a

clear  understanding   of   priorities   and  objectives.      International
cooperation on a particular issue, such  as the ability of  criminal justice
systems  to  prevent  and  control   organized  crime,  implies  a  thorough
knowledge of  the  risks involved  in both  the  short  and long  term.   In
addition,  it  requires  an  accurate  assessment  of  the  capacity  of the
criminal justice system to deal with complex forms  of crime.  A combination
of these  parameters,  with the  appropriate  balance,  would serve  to  put
international  cooperation into  perspective.   Only knowledge  and  careful
evaluation  can  lead  to  the  appropriate  selection  of  priorities   and
objectives.  Policy makers at the  national level, those ultimately  capable
of  and responsible  for building,  sustaining and  advancing  international
cooperation, as well as setting its pace, need  this knowledge to guide them
towards rational decisions.   Policy makers also  have to be able to  strike
the  appropriate balance  between competing  interests, both  political  and
financial.   Balancing  the multiple  interests competing  for resources  is
difficult for  every Government,  regardless  of its  level of  development.
International   cooperation  requires   undivided  attention   and   genuine
commitment at  all levels of  Government for  the pooling and  allocation of
resources commensurate to the risk posed  to the international community  by
organized transnational crime.

41.  The tools  available to Governments  are often  found to be unequal  to
the task  of effectively combating the  new transnational manifestations  of
criminality  and  it  is  therefore  through their  attacks  on  traditional
principles  and  sovereignty that  organized  criminals  have  succeeded  in
carrying out  their  illicit operations  at  a  considerably lower  risk  to
themselves.   If  criminal organizations  are  attracted  to the  process of
internationalization because  they have found areas  in which  the risk from
law  enforcement  authorities  is  minimal,  then coordinated  international
action to equalize this risk in various  countries will minimize or  contain
the process.   Equalizing the risk means raising the  quantity, quality and,
more  importantly, compatibility  of preventive  and  control action  at  an
adequate  level  on a  world-wide  scale  and  putting  in place  mechanisms
designed to maintain and  improve that level in a consistent and coordinated
fashion.

42.  The capacity  of States to prevent and control organized  transnational
crime  depends  largely  on  knowledge  and  the  availability  of  reliable
information about its characteristics, the structures of organized  criminal
groups,  their methods  of operation  and  their  interests with  respect to
illicit activities.  In many developed  countries, the occurrence and growth
of organized  crime has led to  considerable high-quality  work with respect
to accumulating knowledge and collecting reliable  information.  In spite of
these advances,  the task facing law  enforcement agencies  and the criminal
justice system in general  remains an arduous one,  because of the increased
diversification and expansion of organized crime  across borders, as well as
its  tendency  to  become  involved  in  activities  characterized  by  high
complexity.    In most  developing  countries  and countries  in transition,
however, various factors, ranging from lack  of adequate resources to recent
rapid political and economic developments and  changes, have slowed down  or
inhibited  the   process  of  attaining  a  thorough  understanding  of  the
situation. Further,  there are considerable  difficulties in evaluating  the
threat posed  by  organized transnational  crime  and  the capacity  of  law
enforcement and  criminal justice  systems to  respond to  it.   Compounding
these  difficulties  are   changes  in  the  characteristics  of   organized
transnational crime and  an almost  dramatic increase in the  sophistication
of  its operations,  as  well  as  its  mounting  expansion in  response  to
increased opportunities and weaknesses of national institutions.

43.   The Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan emphasized the
importance of adopting  a generally agreed  concept of organized crime  as a
basis   for  more   compatible  national   responses  and   more   effective
international cooperation.   In the absence  of the comprehensive  knowledge
about organized  crime referred to above, arriving at such  a common concept
may  entail increased  difficulties.   Consequently,  the full  potential of
international  cooperation would  be rather  difficult to  realize,  leaving

room  for  loopholes  that  have  been,  and continue  to  be,  exploited by
organized transnational  crime.  The lack  of a common  concept of organized
crime  can create  considerable obstacles  to  the  efforts of  national law
enforcement and  judicial authorities  to detect,  prosecute and  adjudicate
cases  of organized  crime.   One of  the key  areas affected  would be  the
exchange and sharing  of information and intelligence that is vital to these
efforts.   In many cases, even  where bilateral  or multilateral cooperation
arrangements  exist,  there  appears  to  be  a  lack  of  open  channels of
communication and information  exchange between Governments and between  the
competent  national authorities.    A reason  often  cited is  the  lack  of
understanding  of  a  country's legal  system  and of  the  capacity of  law
enforcement and  judicial authorities to  produce the  best possible results
with the  relevant  information.   Such  concerns,  which may  also  include
apprehensions regarding  the security of  information or intelligence,  have
been known to hamper major investigations and cause long delays in  judicial
proceedings, sometimes resulting in  the virtual impunity of the individuals
apprehended, at a high financial and human cost.

44.  The need  to improve knowledge on organized crime and its transnational
dimensions and activities has become more  urgent at present, mainly because
of the  increased realization of its  effects on  national and international
financial systems, as well  as on institutions and  society at large.  There
are  two  levels  of  knowledge  required,  which  need to  coexist  and  be
developed concurrently.

45.  The accumulation of theoretical  knowledge has irreplaceable value  for
the  purposes of educating younger generations and the public in general and
for  devising strategies  and developing measures to  counter the corrupting
effects of  organized  crime  on societal  values.   Theoretical  knowledge,
however, cannot  substitute for  the practical,  operational knowledge  that
needs to be  imparted to law  enforcement and judicial  personnel to  enable
them  to prevent and  control organized  transnational crime  at all levels.
Each type  of knowledge will stand to benefit greatly from  the other, and a
balanced development of both  will go a long way towards achieving effective
action against  organized transnational  crime.   Academic institutions  and
professional  associations  have  a  major  role  to  play  in  accumulating
theoretical knowledge on organized transnational crime and in  disseminating
this  knowledge, in  close  cooperation with  governmental agencies  and the
education  system, as well  as in  concert with  the media, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector.

 46.   The development  of operational  knowledge requires  the capacity  to
process and  evaluate information and  intelligence derived from  day-to-day
operations and investigations,  and from the  experience of  other countries
in  the  field.    While  research  is  a  major  component  of  theoretical
knowledge, experience  and expertise acquired in  field work  form the basis
of practical knowledge.   Another  essential element of practical  knowledge
is the  ability of law  enforcement and judicial  personnel to evaluate  the
information collected and processed and the intelligence  accumulated.  This
is particularly  important in connection  with the detection,  investigation
and  adjudication  of  economic  crimes  and  other  illicit  activities  of
organized  criminal  groups  involving  financial  operations  and  business
transactions.

47.    The  capacity  to  collect,  process  and  evaluate  information  and
intelligence not  only  at the  national  level,  but also  across  borders,
requires  careful  planning   and  consistent  implementation   of  relevant
strategies  and   policies,  as  well   as  emphasis   on  human   resources
development.     In  addition,   the  use   of,  and   reliance  on,  modern
telecommunications  and   data-processing  equipment   is  of   considerable
importance,  in   view  of   their  increasing   utilization  by   organized
transnational crime.   Therefore,  the accumulation  of practical  knowledge
requires, in addition  to commitment and determination, major and  long-term
investments by  Governments, often  not only  at the  operational level  but
also at the institutional level.

48.   For the  purpose of  the acquisition and  dissemination of theoretical
knowledge, academic  institutions, professional associations  and the  media
should be actively  and tangibly  encouraged and  supported, and  programmes
should be put in  place to enlist  the involvement and participation of  the
private  sector  and non-governmental  organizations.    Comparative studies
between practices  and experiences in  different countries would  contribute
to the  accumulation of  both  types  of knowledge,  while the  capacity  to
exchange   and   use   information   and   intelligence   would   strengthen
international cooperation and render action against organized  transnational
crime more effective.

49.  In an effort to begin collecting  information to facilitate the process
of accumulating knowledge, the Crime Prevention and  Criminal Justice Branch
included the issue of  transnational crime for the first time in the  Fourth
United  Nations Survey of  Crime Trends  and Operations  of Criminal Justice
Systems.  The preliminary  results of the Survey were submitted to the Ninth
United  Nations Congress  on the  Prevention of  Crime and the  Treatment of
Offenders  (A/CONF.169/15  and  Add.1),  and  were  made  available  to  the
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its fourth session.

50.  One of the conclusions  that can be drawn from  the replies provided by
Governments  is that there  are considerable  difficulties in  many parts of
the  world in  actually identifying  activities  that have  a  predominantly
transnational character  and in which organized criminal groups are engaged.
While the  potential effects of these  activities are  appreciated and there
are indications of measures being devised to begin coming to terms with  the
problems created, in many cases there  appears to be a lack of the necessary
analysis  that  would focus  on the  specific  characteristics of  organized
crime  and the  transnational dimensions  of its  activities.  Consequently,
there is a delay in legislative and regulatory  action which, drawing on the
results of  such analysis, would prevent  and control  the further expansion
and  diversification of  organized  transnational crime,  and  promote  more
effective international cooperation.

51.    Developed  countries  are  generally  in  a  position  to devote  the
necessary  resources  for  acquiring  the  body  of  both  theoretical   and
practical  knowledge  that is  required  for  the effective  prevention  and
control  of  organized  transnational  crime  and,  as  discussed   earlier,
considerable efforts in that direction are in progress.

52.   However,  the difficulties  encountered  by developing  countries  and
countries with economies in transition make  assistance crucial.  The United
Nations should be in  a position to assist countries, through the  provision
of advisory  services and training, in  developing the  means and techniques
of gathering, processing and evaluating information and intelligence on  the
operations  of organized transnational  crime, on its methods and interests,
as  well  as  on the  ways  of  laundering and  using  the  proceeds of  its
activities.   In collecting and  processing information,  emphasis should be
placed  on  the expansion  of  organized crime  across  borders and  on  its
increased levels of  diversification and sophistication, which are  elements
that require  particular  attention since  they differentiate  this form  of
crime  from  other  criminal   activity.    The  accumulation  of  practical
knowledge would largely depend  on the studies that could be carried out  at
the national level,  as well as  on the  comparative studies  that could  be
carried  out  at  the regional  and  international levels  on  the basis  of
reliable information.

53.   In accordance with the Naples Political  Declaration and Global Action
Plan,  the United  Nations was  mandated to  assist States  in the  specific
actions required for the increase and  improvement of knowledge on organized
transnational crime  and its  dynamics.   Provision of  the information  and
materials  requested  by the  Secretary-General  pursuant  to  Economic  and
Social  Council  resolution  1995/11  would  permit  the  undertaking  of  a
comprehensive and comparative study of the  situation in the various regions
of the world, thus contributing to the achievement of the goal of  improving
reliable  knowledge on  organized  transnational crime,  its  structure  and

dynamics.    According  to  the  above-mentioned  Council  resolution,   the
collection and analysis of information should  be carried out drawing on the
contribution of States,  which could  include teamwork  by highly  qualified
experts.   This  contribution would  be invaluable,  particularly  given the
need to take  into account and build on work already done in  this area, and
considering the  limited  resources available  to the  United Nations  crime
prevention  and  criminal  justice  programme.    The  assistance of  highly
qualified  experts,  placed at  the  disposal  of  the Secretary-General  by
States and relevant  international organizations, would greatly enhance  the
value,  both scientific and  practical, of  the analysis  and facilitate the
work required for the necessary comparative study.

54.   Through  a global  assessment  of  the transnational  organized  crime
situation,  the study would seek to contribute to  a better understanding of
the  problems arising from  differences that  exist or  emerge among various
countries  in  the perception  and  evaluation  of  organized  transnational
crime, thus leading  to the  gradual development of  a common perception  of
the  phenomenon, and  a global  strategy  for more  effective  international
cooperation.  The study should draw  on national experiences, assisting,  in
the  process,  individual  countries  that  lack  the relevant  capacity  to
identify  the   problem  and  begin   collecting  and  processing   reliable
information.    It  should  include  an  examination  of  specific  types of
criminality that  are considered particularly dangerous  or alarming and  an
examination of  the problems arising from  the expansion  or reallocation of
transnational  criminal organizations to  countries where defence mechanisms
are weak.   It  should also consider  conditions that are  conducive to  the
rise and  growth of  criminal organizations,  such as  social, economic  and
political factors,  structural characteristics of  organized crime, as  well
as organizational shortcomings in the control  agencies.  It should  include
an analysis of the problems related to  the different degrees of development
of laws and regulations  in individual countries, as  well as an analysis of
the  activities   and  methods  of   operation  of  transnational   criminal
organizations.  The  results  of  the  study would  also  be  used  for  the
development  of special  programmes, courses  and curriculums  for  academic
institutions, to  ensure that theoretical  knowledge is increased,  improved
and  disseminated, and  to create  the  basis  for long-term  and consistent
action against organized transnational crime.


C.  Assistance in the legislative and regulatory fields

55.   Legislation,  both substantive  and procedural,  occupies a  prominent
place among  policies to combat organized  transnational crime.   It remains
one of the primary tools  at the disposal of Governments for the purpose  of
protecting the values and security of  their societies and fostering  growth
and development.  Legislation, however,  needs to  be dynamic  and to  adapt
itself  to, if  not to  foresee, developments.   In  the case  of  organized
transnational  crime,  legislation  should  be  developed  with  a  view  to
fostering  international  cooperation and  concerted  action.    Legislation
should be structured and  elaborated in such  a way as to deal  severe blows
to organized crime groups at points where they would be most effective.

56.  The Naples Political Declaration and Global Action  Plan recognized the
great importance  of adequate  legislative and regulatory  measures for  the
prevention and control of organized transnational  crime.  In particular, it
was recommended  that States examine the  experience of  countries that have
confronted organized  crime and the  intelligence derived  from the analysis
of  its structures  and criminal  activities, as  useful  guiding principles
concerning  which substantive,  procedural  and  regulatory legislation  and
organizational  structures  are  necessary to  combat  the  phenomenon.   In
addition,  the  regulatory measures  recommended  in  the  Naples  Political
Declaration and Global Action Plan  with respect to money laundering and the
proceeds of  crime, and other law  mechanisms to  reinforce transparency and
integrity  in  business and  government,  should  be  considered  preventive
measures  of equal importance  with penal  law means  of combating organized
crime.  It should be mentioned  that attention was also paid to the possible

need  for  substantive  legislation  that  would  address  participation  in
criminal organizations or  conspiracies, and imposing criminal liability  on
corporate  bodies,  as  a  means  of  strengthening  capabilities  to combat
organized crime domestically and improve cooperation internationally.

57.    As mentioned  above,  legislative  and  regulatory  measures for  the
prevention  and control of  organized transnational  crime are still lacking
in a  number  of countries,  in  spite  of  the willingness  to  effectively
address this form of crime.  In the  absence of specialized theoretical  and
practical knowledge,  and in  view of  the difficulties  faced in  obtaining
such knowledge,  as well  as the  results of the  experience accumulated  in
other  countries, the  elaboration of  strategies and  their  implementation
through  legislative and  regulatory measures  are daunting  tasks  for many
countries, particularly  developing countries  and those  with economies  in
transition.

58.   In  the Naples  Political Declaration  and Global Action  Plan, States
expressed  the wish to strengthen  and enhance the  capability of States, as
well  as  the  United  Nations  and   other  relevant  global  and  regional
organizations, to  achieve more effective  international cooperation against
organized transnational crime, in relation,  inter alia, to closer alignment
of legislative  texts concerning organized crime.   In  fact, divergences in
legislative  and regulatory  measures have  often  been  cited as  among the
principal   difficulties   encountered   in   bilateral   and   multilateral
cooperation.

59.   Governments may  need to  consider reviewing  their criminal  policies
from  both  the  substantive  and  the  procedural  perspective.    From the
substantive point of view, attention should  be paid to the  criminalization
of  certain forms  of behaviour.   The  experience  gained in  the countries
where  organized crime  is  criminalized by  comprehensive  and  appropriate
legislation should encourage  the elaboration and adoption of similar  laws.
This could  be done in a concerted manner, thus avoiding discrepancies among
the various  countries  and  promoting  the convergence  of  mechanisms  and
policies.   The international  debate on  organized transnational  crime has
already reached  some landmark points  and this should  testify to  both the
awareness and  the willingness to  fight it in  a concerted and  coordinated
fashion.    From the  procedural point  of view,  Governments would  need to
consider  issues  related   to  traditional  concepts  of  sovereignty   and
individual decision-making  in the light of  problems posed  by new criminal
activities.  The realization at the  political and decision-making level  of
the actual  magnitude and  complexity of  organized transnational crime  may
serve   as  a  basis   for  elaborating   improved  forms  of  international
cooperation,  drawing  on  the  pool  of  knowledge  and  experience  in the
scientific community.

60.   The differences  between civil  law and  common law  systems have  not
prevented  international  cooperation  in  the  past.    The   long-standing
tradition of  bilateral treaties and  multilateral conventions supports  the
idea that, where  agreement is  reached on a  topic, mutual cooperation  may
run smoothly.  The problem is how to  develop strategies and techniques that
will reduce the number of obstacles to  international cooperation.  The most
recent  instruments  of international  criminal  law  could  provide  useful
suggestions to that end.

61.  The first  step towards convergence,  and eventual closer alignment  of
legislative  and  regulatory measures,  would  be  through the  adoption and
promulgation of policies of demonstrated effectiveness that  do not generate
problems of compatibility where the legal  systems differ, but that actually
facilitate  cooperation  between  countries.   In  the  area of  substantive
legislation,   efforts  against  organized  transnational   crime  would  be
considerably strengthened  through the  introduction of  reforms focused  on
criminalization    of    participation    in   a    criminal   organization,
criminalization  of  conspiracy  or  similar  forms  of  inchoate  offences,
prohibition  of laundering  of  criminal proceeds,  and sanctions  and other
measures, such as the confiscation of  illicit proceeds, aimed at  defeating

the economic power of criminal organizations.

62.  In any effort towards closer alignment  of the legislative approach  to
organized transnational crime,  the regulatory measures necessary to  obtain
maximum transparency of  financial systems and to prevent monopolies  should
not be neglected.

63.  In accordance with Economic and  Social Council resolution 1995/11, the
Secretary-General is to submit to Member  States for their consideration  at
the  fifth  session of  the  Commission  on  Crime  Prevention and  Criminal
Justice a  proposal  on the  creation of  a central  repository of  existing
legislative and  regulatory  measures,  and  information  on  organizational
structures  designed to  combat  organized crime,  taking  into  account the
capabilities of  the United  Nations Crime and  Justice Information  Network
and the  activities of  other United Nations and  relevant intergovernmental
bodies.   Should  States deem it  appropriate and desirable  to proceed with
the creation of such a repository,  their continuous support and  assistance
would  be a  sine qua  non for  its usefulness  and effectiveness.   Such  a
repository  would  need to  be continuously  updated  and complemented  with
comparative analyses  and commentaries, as well  as with  information on the
ways that measures are  applied and on their contribution to the  prevention
and control of organized transnational crime.   The material and information
contained in the  repository would be placed at  the disposal of States  and
could be used  in advisory services  and training  undertaken by the  United
Nations in response to  requests for assistance in  the field of  prevention
and  control  of  organized  transnational  crime.     The  results  of  the
comprehensive study  on the organized transnational  crime situation in  the
various regions of  the world, mentioned above, would be combined with these
comparative analyses to enhance the options  available to States wishing  to
enact legislative and regulatory measures.

64.  In Council resolution 1995/11,  the Secretary-General was requested, as
necessary, to  submit  concrete proposals  to the  Commission for  approval,
with a  view to developing practical  models and  guidelines for substantive
and procedural  legislation, building  on the  experience  and expertise  of
States  and drawing  on contributions  from  relevant organizations.    Such
models  and  guidelines would  rely on  information  collected and  analysed
regarding  best  practices  with  respect  to  legislative  and   regulatory
measures,  as well as  on the  knowledge and  experience accumulated through
the comprehensive study.  The United  Nations could assist requesting States
in tailoring these models and guidelines  to their particular exigencies and
their  legal,  cultural  and  social  traditions,  in  order  to  facilitate
integration of  the relevant  policies  and measures  within their  specific
systems, as  well as their  implementation.  In specific  areas that present
particular difficulties, such as  the laundering and use  of the proceeds of
crime, special  attention could  be given  to assisting  States not  only in
obtaining   information   on  measures   and   developing   the  appropriate
mechanisms, but  also in assessing  the needs of  their systems  in order to
maximize  the  effectiveness  of  measures  and  in   identifying  the  most
appropriate mechanisms for their implementation.  


                          D.  Technical cooperation

65.   Another issue  of central  importance, and one directly  linked to the
fundamental concept of  international cooperation, is technical  assistance.
Effective international cooperation  often depends  on the  capacity of  the
criminal  justice  system  of  a  given  country.    Raising  the  level  of
knowledge,  expertise  and professionalism  of  a  criminal  justice  system
requires resources that many countries lack.   Technical assistance is  then
the only way  of ensuring  that structural difficulties  are overcome.   The
provision of  technical assistance  can take  many forms,  depending on  the
needs  of  the  recipient  and  on  the  availability  of  donor  resources.
Technical assistance  can range from advisory  services to  the provision of
equipment,  and will  almost invariably  include specialized  training.  The
planning and  execution of  technical assistance  projects require  constant

cooperation  and  consultation   with  the  competent  authorities  of   the
recipient  country  at  every  stage of  the  process.  Particular attention
should be given  to ensuring that assistance is based on the actual needs of
the country in question,  to be determined by  that country, if necessary in
consultation with  those providing the assistance.   Assistance  needs to be
tailored not only to the specific needs but  also to the political, cultural
and legal traditions of  the recipient country.   It should be realized that
measures and policies that have proved effective  in dealing with a specific
problem may need to be substantially  modified to retain their effectiveness
in different settings or  systems.  In many cases, the very basic principles
or rationale of action  are the only elements that  can be retained, and new
measures and  policies have  to be  designed.   A failure  to structure  and
deliver technical assistance on these grounds  risks not only rendering such
assistance entirely  ineffective but  also creating an  environment that  is
far from conducive to meaningful cooperation.

66.  The overall  capacity and stage of development of the criminal  justice
system are  factors that  should  be  taken into  account in  all  technical
assistance  efforts, particularly  when such assistance is  intended to help
the recipient country to deal with  organized transnational crime.   Because
of the sophistication of  this form of crime,  assistance is often  aimed at
strengthening  or improving legislative and law enforcement  measures.  Such
interventions, however, need to  be planned and developed on the basis of  a
thorough knowledge  of  the criminal  justice  system  in question  and  its
overall capacity,  as well  as on  a careful  evaluation of their  impact on
that particular criminal justice system.   For example, the establishment of
a  special investigation unit for  offences related to the laundering of the
proceeds of  crime  may improve  the  detection  and apprehension  of  money
launderers.   Its successes may, however,  be frustrated  if the prosecuting
and judicial  authorities are  not in  a position  to evaluate  and use  the
evidence that the efforts of that unit have yielded.

67.   Another issue that  needs to be carefully  considered is coordination.
Multiple assistance projects are  directed almost simultaneously at the same
component  of the criminal  justice system,  overlapping if  not conflicting
with each other.  The result is an  unnecessary duplication of effort, which
may lead to confusion among recipients  and thus render technical assistance
ineffective. Coordination  is necessary  on the  part of  all concerned  and
should be viewed  as an essential complement  to the structured and thorough
preparation  and  provision  of  technical  assistance.    Without  it,  the
resources devoted to such assistance fail to achieve the intended goals.

68.  The traditional rationale for  technical assistance, either in drafting
new legislation  or  in training  criminal  justice  personnel, is  to  help
countries  to  cope  more  effectively  with  their  problems.    The global
situation has radically changed  in the past few years, however, and so have
the needs  and goals of the  international community.   Technical assistance
needs  to be  viewed  in the  context  of  the  new political  and  economic
realities  and  to  be  adapted  to  them,  in  terms of  both  concept  and
objectives.   Technical assistance programmes should  be designed to  enable
countries to equalize  the organized crime risk and to  do so in such a  way
as to contribute  to the collective interest  in deterring the  expansion of
organized crime.

69.    If  this objective  is  missed in  planning  and providing  technical
assistance,  such assistance  will  remain a  solidarity tax  that developed
countries  pay directly  or through  multilateral  mechanisms.   It  will be
welcomed, but not enough, and the more countries  are constrained by limited
resources,  the  less  technical  assistance  they  will  provide.    It  is
essential,  therefore,  that  technical assistance  become more  and  more a
productive investment for  three different types of interests:  those of the
countries receiving assistance, those of the  countries giving it and  those
of the international community.

70.  A fundamental purpose of international cooperation is to contribute  to
the creation of self-reliant capacities in  developing countries, as well as

in  countries  with   economies  in  transition.    Strengthened   technical
cooperation  in the  fight against  organized transnational  crime should be
viewed as a significant step in that direction.   The operational activities
of  the  United  Nations crime  prevention  and  criminal  justice programme
should be geared to developing expertise,  especially in countries where  it
is  scarce, and to  promoting the  highest standards  of professionalism and
specialization.  Training and upgrading the  skills of personnel working  in
the various areas  of criminal justice  is considered  crucial, particularly
with respect to  the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of  complex
cases.   For  the purpose  of  maximizing  resources and  raising awareness,
training  seminars  would   be  first  organized   at  the  regional  level,
concentrating on common exigencies and problems,  with a view to  eventually
responding to requests for training courses  at the national level. In order
to  achieve these aims,  appropriate expertise  would need  to be identified
and  training   material  developed   that  would  cater  to   the  specific
requirements  of  each region  or  each  group  of  trainees.   Furthermore,
effective channels of communication are necessary  in order to assess  needs
and prevailing  circumstances, so that training  activities can be  tailored
accordingly.  The Commission may wish to  identify the most appropriate ways
of enabling  the United  Nations to respond  to the requests  of States  and
provide the assistance outlined above.

71.   The accumulation  of knowledge  and expertise, and  the development of
the capacity  to  collect, process  and analyse  reliable information,  will
require efforts spanning a  certain period of time.  This would be necessary
to put  together the  appropriate expertise and  to carry out  a study  that
would be  truly comprehensive  and constitute  a major  contribution to  the
common   efforts   of  the   international   community   against   organized
transnational crime.   Capacitybuilding requires a long-term and  consistent
commitment to  ensure that  the benefits  of assistance  can be  sustainable
through the consolidation of mechanisms and  procedures, and the creation of
the  necessary  infrastructure.  Organized  transnational  crime,   however,
continues  to  expand  its reach  and constitutes  a  growing threat  to the
international  community.      A  well-balanced   approach  is,   therefore,
essential.  The efforts to accumulate  knowledge would need to be undertaken
simultaneously with  meeting the  current and  pressing needs  of States  in
taking immediate measures to prevent and  arrest the expansion of  organized
transnational  crime,  and  mitigate  its  effects  on their  economies  and
institutions.  Concurrently with building  the capacity for  pursuing common
objectives, there  is an urgent need  to strengthen  existing mechanisms and
institutions to fight against the most immediate manifestations and  threats
posed by organized transnational crime.

72.  In  order to contribute to this  balanced approach, the United  Nations
should assist requesting States in assessing their immediate needs,  through
the provision of advisory services.   Such services should also  be provided
in  reviewing existing  measures,  mechanisms and  institutions in  order to
identify  and put in  place modalities  for strengthening  their capacity to
respond  to the  problems created  by  the  new manifestations  of organized
transnational crime.    In response  to  requests  from States,  the  United
Nations  should provide expert  advice and  options on  the establishment of
special investigative  units and  on developing  reliable evidence-gathering
techniques.   For the purpose  of strengthening  the capacity  of States  to
cooperate and exchange information, intelligence and experience, the  United
Nations should  assist  with the  creation  of  special mechanisms  and  the
implementation of appropriate  measures.  The  pressing needs that currently
exist are evidenced  by the increase  in requests  for assistance which  the
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch has received  in the past year.
The Branch, often cooperating closely with the United Nations  International
Drug  Control  Programme, has  begun to  respond to  such requests  from the
Governments  of  Belarus,  Kyrgyzstan,  Pakistan  and  the  former  Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia.


V.  CONCLUSIONS

73.  States have  attached high priority to the implementation of the Naples
Political Declaration  and Global  Action Plan,  as  well as  to the  United
Nations crime  prevention and  criminal justice  programme and  its role  in
such implementation.  This priority should  soon be translated into practice
if  the   momentum  of  the  World   Ministerial  Conference  on   Organized
Transnational Crime is to be sustained.  The  consensus on the threat  posed
by  organized transnational crime  and the  urgency of effectively combating
it,  and  the political  will to  take  global  action create  the necessary
foundations for implementation.  Efforts by the international community  and
the United  Nations should be  guided by this  consensus and political  will
and be geared towards sustaining and broadening them.

74.  Building on  the established consensus and taking full advantage of the
present  political   climate,  which   is  conducive   to  more   meaningful
international cooperation,  States should specify  the activities that  need
to   be  undertaken  for   implementation,  agree   on  the   pace  of  such
implementation and  devote their  energies and  undivided attention  towards
achieving the  common goals identified in  the Naples Political  Declaration
and Global Action Plan.   Such action is  essential to enable the Commission
on  Crime  Prevention  and  Criminal  Justice  and  the  United  Nations  to
undertake rational and effective planning.

75.  In view  of its general mandate and universal constituency, the  United
Nations  provides  an  appropriate mechanism  for  the  promotion of  global
action. The  United  Nations has  been  given  a special  responsibility  to
improve countries'  capacities to combat  organized transnational crime  and
can serve as global catalyst, bringing together divergent views,  equalizing
the burden  and  pace of  implementation  and  encouraging efforts  in  that
direction.  While the United  Nations is naturally held to austere standards
of efficiency and effectiveness, it cannot  move ahead without Member States
providing  it with the means to do so. In the absence of these means, and in
spite  of  its best  efforts  to  use its  limited  resources  with  maximum
efficiency, it  becomes very  difficult to  make a real  impact and  produce
measurable results.  As  with any other action  on a global scale, resources
are  bound  to  be  a  central  issue.    The  Secretary-General  has  begun
translating  into  practice  the priority  attached  to  the  fight  against
organized  transnational  crime in  the context  of  the proposed  programme
budget for  the biennium 1996-1997. 5/   Regular  budget resources, however,
can  only provide  a  minimum framework  and, while  they should  be further
increased, are not likely  to be sufficient  for the required action.   They
need  to  be supplemented  by  extrabudgetary  resources  through  voluntary
contributions  from  States, particularly  in  view  of  the  vast needs  of
developing countries and countries in transition  and the central role  that
the  provision  of  practical assistance  is bound  to  play in  any efforts
towards  implementation  of the  Naples  Political  Declaration  and  Global
Action Plan.


Notes

  1/   Ninth United  Nations Congress  on the  Prevention of  Crime and  the
Treatment  of Offenders, Cairo,  29 April-8  May 1995 (A/CONF.169/16), chap.
I, resolution 3.

  2/    Testimony  of Philip  B. Heymann,  Deputy  Attorney General,  to the
Foreign  Affairs  Committee, United  States  House  of  Representatives,  14
September 1993, p. 3.

  3/  See Fleur Keyser-Ringnalda, "European  integration with regard to  the
confiscation  of  the proceeds  of  crime",  paper  compiled  for the  Tenth
International Symposium on Economic Crime, Cambridge, July 1992.

  4/  Eighth  United Nations Congress  on the  Prevention of  Crime and  the
Treatment  of Offenders, Havana,  27 August-7 September 1990 (United Nations
publication, Sales No. E.91.IV.2), chap. IV, sect. C, para. 253.

  5/   See  Official Records  of  the  General Assembly,  Fiftieth  Session,
Supplement No. 6 (A/50/6/Rev.1), sect. 13.


-----


 

This document has been posted online by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). Reproduction and dissemination of the document - in electronic and/or printed format - is encouraged, provided acknowledgement is made of the role of the United Nations in making it available.

Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
Comments and suggestions: esa@un.org