G8 Leaders' Statement on Transnational Organized Crime

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
July 8, 2009

Today’s world is confronted by ever-increasing and destabilizing challenges, such as terrorism (on which we have issued a separate statement), trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, drug and fire arms trafficking, cash smuggling, money laundering and corruption. These issues constitute a serious threat to domestic and international security. Furthermore, the increasing interconnections between these criminal activities and their detrimental effect on human security – as also highlighted during the G8 Rome Conference on Destabilizing Factors and Transnational Threats (23-24 April 2009) – are source of additional concern to G8 countries and require urgent attention by the international community.

In particular, we are concerned about the links between terrorism and transnational criminal networks. As emphasized by the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (Palermo, December 2000), these converging threats require a constant update of our strategies, targeted means and better coordinated multilateral efforts and law enforcement initiatives. The G8 represents an appropriate forum to develop common responses to these global challenges, and to increase support also from other like-minded States. Our collective response will continue to be developed within the framework of relevant United Nations conventions and protocols, and in close coordination with the Conference of the Parties to the Palermo Convention, other competent UN bodies (e.g. the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC) and relevant international organizations, such as INTERPOL and other regional fora.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the negotiations that led to the adoption of the Palermo Convention, a milestone in the fight against organized crime, trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants, especially women and children. The year 2009 also marks the seventieth anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Falcone, the Italian public prosecutor killed by the mafia in 1992, whose financial asset oriented approach to fighting organized crime (aiming at targeting the financial and economic interests of criminal organizations) inspired principles and methodologies embodied in the Palermo Convention. Our Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs have paid homage to this courageous magistrate on the occasion of their meeting in Rome last May 28-30. In recognizing Judge Falcone and other champions of integrity and security, we affirm our strong commitment to further promoting the full implementation of the Palermo convention and its additional Protocols, with particular reference to those provisions (e.g. confiscation and liability of legal persons) that focus on criminal patrimonies. We also reaffirm our determination to fully implement the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and utilize its framework to prevent international criminal networks, kleptocrats and terrorists from corrupting public institutions to advance their criminal goals, as well as to strengthen international cooperation in fighting corruption, including the return of assets. We support the initiatives adopted on these issues in the framework of the Roma/Lyon Group, the G8 forum for counter terrorism, and the global fight against organized crime, corruption, and impunity from justice.

We also reaffirm our commitment to implementing capacity-building initiatives in order to help countries that require assistance in their fight against transnational organized crime, particularly in cooperation with UNODC and other relevant international organizations.

[Excerpt from: http://www.g8italia2009.it/static/G8_Allegato/1._G8_Political_issues,0.pdf]