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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations CCPCJ: 17th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice - Opening Session (Vienna)

Statement of the Republic of Slovenia on behalf of the European Union


Thank you, Mr Chairman,

1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union (EU). The Candidate Countries Croatia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia  and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Moldova and Ukraine, associate themselves with this statement.

2. I would like, first, to congratulate you, Mr Chairman, and the other members of the Bureau, on your election. We are confident that under your able guidance, this session will be successful and fruitful. We have a number of important issues to consider during this week of work and I would like to reassure you of the full cooperation and support of the EU.

3. The EU strongly welcomes the topic of this year's thematic debate on aspects of violence against women, which was proposed by the EU at the 16th session. Effective crime prevention and criminal justice responses regarding violence against women are extremely important issues in all countries of the world regardless of their social or judicial systems. In its resolution 2006/29 of 27 July 2006, the Economic and Social Council expressed concern with the high levels of violence against women and girls in many societies, and drew attention to the need for ensuring effective and coordinated responses by criminal justice system. It strongly encouraged Member States to promote an active and visible policy of integrating a gender perspective into the development and implementation of policies and programmes in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice in order to assist with the elimination of violence against women and girls. The EU shares the same concerns. Violence against women of all ages and conditions is unacceptable. It represents a violation of Human Rights, and, as a criminal offence, whether it takes the form of domestic violence, trafficking, crimes committed in the name of honour, sexual or economic exploitation, harmful traditional practices, or any other form of gender based violence, must be firmly prosecuted.

4. In this context, the EU would like to stress the important role education plays 

in the prevention process regarding the violence against women and girls, of which origins are many-sided. Besides the activity of organized crime networks, for instance dealing with prostitution and trafficking in human beings, we should not neglect violence, perpetrated in the family circle, or in a professional environment. Sexual assault, ill-treatment, harassment and discrimination demonstrate the incapacity of the offender to recognize the equal dignity of the women and girls, and illustrate the need for education, as well as for the necessary repression. It is crucial to engage men and boys in the efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls. In addition to providing treatment programmes, we should not forget to encourage the involvement of positive male role models and to engage men in both prevention and advocacy. Therefore, awareness raising and cooperation between law enforcement officers and civil society, including NGO sector, represents a significant dimension in the fight against this violence.

5. In this regard, the European Parliament and the Council adopted in June 2007 a Decision (No. 779/2007/EC) establishing for the period 2007-2013 programme entitled Daphne III. Established with a budget of EUR 116,85 million the programme finances measures to prevent and combat all forms of violence occurring in the public or private domain against children, young people and women including sexual exploitation and trafficking in human beings, by providing support and protection for victims and groups at risk. The Daphne programme is complementary to the various national strategies, action plans and related legislative frameworks that exist in the Member States of the EU. This programme builds on the work of the Daphne II programme, which ran from 2004 until 2008.

6. Mr Chairman, the report of the Secretary-General on crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women and girls indicates that efforts were made by UNODC to build effective partnerships with other United Nations entities, regional organizations and NGO active in the field, and to underscore the importance of including the criminal justice system as part of a holistic response in eliminating gender-based violence.

7. The EU welcomes the UNODC's approach which seeks to intensify efforts to prevent, punish and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls through legislative and policy measures, including the protection of victims. In this context, the EU appreciates the newly initiated UN multi-year global campaign to fight violence against women. We are confident that this campaign will harness the existing strong momentum and address these issues. The EU is also strongly committed to the adoption of all international measures and instruments, including the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

8. The EU welcomes the progress of the work on indicators, which form the basis for provision of comparative data on violence against women. The data is needed to persuade policymakers of the need to address violence against women, to measure access and quality of services to survivors of violence and to monitor the progress of States in meeting their international obligations in this field. Therefore, the EU has been actively involved in the work of Expert Group Meeting in Geneva on indicators to measure violence against women.

9. Mr. Chairman, during the Vienna Forum to Fight Human Trafficking the Executive Director of UNODC stressed the lack of a review mechanism for the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols, and expressed his wish that the issue be addressed at the next Conference of States Parties to the Palermo Convention taking place in Vienna in October. The fourth Conference of States parties will represent an important event and the success of it will depend on a careful preparation, based on close consultation and input from all regional groups and Member States, in order to determine the common goal we want to reach and the best way to ensure an effective implementation of the Conventions and its Protocols. While the EU is considering the way forward with regard to the mechanism for the review of implementation of the UNTOC, we would like to stress the importance of strengthening and enhancing international co-operation in the field of extradition and legal assistance. We are looking forward to discussing this matter further and stand ready to provide our input along with all other regional groups and Member States.

10. Mr Chairman, another important basis for international cooperation is provided by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). We are very pleased that, despite the fact that only a few years have passed since it was opened for signing in Merida, Mexico, it has already been ratified by over one hundred states, and signed by some 40 more. This wide interest was reflected at the second Conference of the States Parties, held three months ago. We would like to extend our warm gratitude to the Government of Indonesia for its generous hospitality. We hope that our work in Bali will serve as a constructive basis for continued discussions on such key issues as the establishment of a strong and effective review mechanism, technical assistance and asset recovery. These will be dealt with by open-ended intergovernmental working groups in the interval up to the next Conference of the States Parties, to be held in Qatar in eighteen months' time. The EU will be fully engaged in working together with our partners around the world, so that we can prepare practical proposals to enhance our ability to fulfil our responsibilities under the UNCAC, and to improve our capacity to assess progress in its implementation.

11. At this point of time, Mr. Chairman, I would like to confine myself to these remarks. The EU has prepared statements under the different agenda items and will be delivering these at the relevant times.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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Date: 07.05.2008