H. Drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations
Events of the past year shed additional light on the corrosive impact of organized crime and drug trafficking on peace, security and development and on the inherent difficulties the United Nations and its partners face in effectively responding to such threats. In West Africa, Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean there has been a profound shift in the nature of the threat and a growing recognition of its impact. Other regions, such as Europe, are affected by these developments also. They continue to face challenges stemming from the demand, supply, production and trafficking of drugs.
Member States have increasingly turned to the United Nations to exert its leadership in combating these challenges. In the past year, the Organization took several steps to improve its response, taking a balanced and integrated approach to controlling drugs and combating crime while assisting Member States in fulfilling the need for justice, human rights protection, development, health, peace and security. Initiatives were taken to prevent illicit trafficking, for example, cooperation across shared borders and measures that address trafficking through sea ports, dry ports and air routes, and to provide regional threat assessments as the basis for crime-sensitive development programming in relevant regions.
The special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem to be held in 2016 is an opportunity to explore new ways to address the increasingly problematic issue of drug trafficking. We should not wait until 2016, however. While international drug control policy remains a matter for Member States, the United Nations can provide an important venue for ensuring that these issues are not neglected in related discussions. For instance, issues relating to security and justice have emerged in the post-2015 consultations as a major concern for many middle-income countries, a concern not only of Governments but of great numbers of citizens.
The United Nations continued to assist Member States in building their response capacities, including through the ratification and implementation of international legal instruments. These include the 18 international legal instruments against terrorism, as well as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which now has 166 States parties. Ten additional countries and territories became parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in the past year. Work also continued to build the capacity of Member States to implement all four pillars of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In September 2012, I chaired a high-level meeting on countering nuclear terrorism, with a specific focus on strengthening the legal framework, in which more than
130 Member States participated. The aim was to assist Member States in implementing their international obligations as they relate to countering the threat of nuclear terrorism and strengthening nuclear security. United Nations entities also focused on preventing the misuse of the Internet for terrorism purposes, examining ways that the Organization can support Member States in the legal, technical and counter-narrative aspects. The magnitude of the existing and emerging global threats of organized crime, drug trafficking and terrorism means that there is a need for more concerted efforts. Such issues require an integrated and multidisciplinary response encompassing security, development, good governance, human rights and the rule of law.