Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on The Elaboration of a Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime at The Millenium Assembly of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, November 2000
The Convention represents a major step forward in the fight against transnational organized crime and signifies the recognition of UN Member States that this is a serious and growing problem that can only be solved through close international cooperation. The Convention, concluded at the 10th session of the Ad Hoc Committee established by the General Assembly to deal with this problem, is a legally binding instrument committing States that ratify it to taking a series of measures against transnational organized crime. These include the creation of domestic criminal offences to combat the problem, and the adoption of new, sweeping frameworks for mutual legal assistance, extradition, law-enforcement cooperation and technical assistance and training.
States Parties will be able to rely on one another in investigating, prosecuting and punishing crimes committed by organized criminal groups where either the crimes or the groups who commit them have some element of transnational involvement. This should make it much more difficult for offenders and organized criminal groups to take advantage of gaps in national law, jurisdictional problems or a lack of accurate information about the full scope of their activities.
The Convention deals with the fight against organized crime in general and some of the major activities in which transnational organized crime is commonly involved, such as money laundering, corruption and the obstruction of investigations or prosecutions. To supplement the Convention, two Protocols also tackle specific areas of transnational organized crime that are of particular concern to UN Member States.
The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants deals with the growing problem of organized criminal groups who smuggle migrants, often at high risk to the migrants and at great profit for the offenders. The Protocol against Trafficking in Persons deals with the problem of modern slavery, in which the desire of people to seek a better life is taken advantage of by organized criminal groups. Migrants are often confined or coerced into exploitive or oppressive forms of employment, often in the sex trade or in dangerous occupations, with the illicit incomes generated from these activities going to organized crime.
The Protocols also commit countries which ratify them to making the basic subject of the Protocol a criminal offence and to adopting other specific measures, such as controls on travel documents, to combat the problem. These supplement the more general measures found in the Convention, and countries must become parties to the Convention itself before they can become parties to any of the Protocols. A third Protocol, dealing with the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, parts and components, and ammunition, remains under discussion.
The texts of these documents were developed over 11 sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee, and footnoted texts may be found under each session. The Convention was finalized at the 10th session, and the complete text forms part of the Report of that session. The Protocols dealing with the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons were finalized at the 11th session and are reported there. These three instruments were adopted by the UN Millenium General Assembly on 15 November 2000, and final texts are included in the Report of that session.
United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and following protocols:
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Air and Sea, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
(PDF) English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese
Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
(PDF) English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese
By resolution 53/111, of 9 December 1998, the General Assembly established an Ad Hoc Comittee open to all States, for the purpose of elaborating the international convention against transnational organized crime and three additional international legal protocols. The first session of the Ad Hoc Committee took place in Vienna, Austria, from 19-29 January 1999.
* First session (Vienna, January 1999)
* Second session (Vienna, March 1999)
* Third session (Vienna, April 1999)
* Fourth session (Vienna, June 28 - July 9 1999)
* Fifth session (Vienna, October 4 - 15 1999)
* Sixth session (Vienna, December 6 -17 1999)
* Seventh session (Vienna, January 17 - 28 2000)
* Eighth session (Vienna, February 21 - March 3 2000)
* Ninth session (Vienna, June 5 - 16 2000)
* Tenth session (Vienna, July 17-28 2000)
* Eleventh session (Vienna, October 2-27 2000)
* General Assembly documents (A/55/383 & Add.1, Add.2, Add.3))
* Signing Conference for the Convention (Palermo, December 12-15 2000)
* Twelfth session (Vienna, February 26 - March 2 2001)
* 13th Session of the Ad Hoc Committee to prepare the draft text of the Rules of Procedure
of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
(Vienna, 26 January - 6 February 2004)
Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols – (CTOC/COP)
By its resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
In accordance with Article 38, Annex l of the aforementioned resolution, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime entered into force on 29 September 2003.
Pursuant to article 32 of the Convention, a Conference of the Parties to the Convention is hereby established to improve the capacity of States Parties to combat transnational organized crime and to promote and review the implementation of this Convention. Article 32 also states that the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the Conference of the Parties not later than one year following the entry into force of this Convention. The Conference of the Parties shall adopt rules of procedure and rules governing the activities set forth in paragraphs 3 and 4 of this article (including rules concerning payment of expenses incurred in carrying out those activities).