UNODC BURKINA FASO OFFER CUTTING-EDGE TOOLS TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORISM

7 January 2005
SOC/CP/312

UNODC BURKINA FASO OFFER CUTTING-EDGE TOOLS TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORISM

7/1/2005
Press ReleaseSOC/CP/312

UNODC BURKINA FASO OFFER CUTTING-EDGE TOOLS TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORISM

(Reissued as received.)

VIENNA, 7 January (UN Information Service) -- Judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and other senior officials in Burkina Faso are exchanging lessons learned in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and corruption, receiving hands-on experience in the drafting of relevant legislation, and participating in innovative training programmes designed specifically for twenty-first century crime-fighters.

The venue is a national workshop in Ouagadougou held from 5 to 7 January.  Organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, the workshop reflects the commitment of Burkina Faso to combating global crime and terrorism, and follows closely on the government’s ratification of the universal instruments against terrorism, transnational organized crime and corruption.

Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC, praised the initiative of organizers and participants:  “Global crime and corruption are gutting the world’s financial and cultural storehouses, plundering natural resources, and sabotaging legitimate international trade.  Every year, honest citizens and businesses around the world lose a trillion dollars to corruption, 300 billion to money-laundering, and untold billions in other assets to a criminal underworld that continues to operate with impunity and to underwrite corruption throughout government institutions across the world.”

According to Jean-Paul Laborde, Chief of UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch, “the workshop offers participants a unique opportunity to exchange real-life experiences and legal expertise, to debate case studies relevant to extradition and mutual legal assistance, and to strengthen international cooperation.”

Mr. Laborde further stated, “when these judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement professionals leave the workshop, they will be well-armed with the information and materials they need to ensure national penal laws are compatible with the requirements of the universal instruments against terrorism, transnational organized crime, and corruption -- a huge step forward.”

The workshop also explored the new United Nations Convention against Corruption signed by Burkina Faso during the High-Level Political Conference for the Purpose of Signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which took place in Mérida, 9-11 December 2003.  The ratification process for this treaty is well advanced, and the workshop included a briefing on the Convention’s main features for high-level experts, including representatives of the National High Anti-Corruption Authority.

At the end of the workshop, the participants are to adopt recommendations for future subregional training activities, including the development of a training manual on the implementation of the universal instruments against terrorism.

For more information, contact:  Jean-Paul Laborde, Maud Olinet and Marie-Hélène Gozzi at (+43 1) 26060 – 4207/5763/5604 at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna

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For information media. Not an official record.