Statement by Germany delivered at the UN Security Council Open Debate, “Threats to international peace and security Transnational organized crime, growing challenges and new threats,” New York, 7 December 2023

07.12.2023 - Speech

The statement was delivered by Ambassador Thomas Zahneisen.

Mr. President,

I want to thank Ecuador for organizing this important debate today.

I would also like to thank the Secretary General and all briefers.

Moreover, I want to underline that Germany fully aligns itself to the Statement just delivered by the EU.

Mr. President,

It has been said by many delegations today, transnational organized crime not only fuels and sustains armed conflict, finances terrorism and leads to record levels of violence in numerous countries and regions, but it also erodes State institutions, democratic governance, the rule of law and it exacerbates corruption and economic inequality.

Germany welcomes this debate today. We urge the UN Security Council to keep this important topic on its agenda and use today’s momentum to push forward in developing an international framework for action to counter transnational organized crime.

Any successful strategy, it comes without saying must be multi-dimensional by nature, involving integrated security cooperation, the centrality of strengthening of the rule of law (as rightly been stressed by the SG today) and preventive responses to address root causes.

We cannot allow ourselves complacency with regard to transnational organized crime as we are currently witnessing the devastating impact of organized crime in Haiti.

Germany strongly welcomes the international commitment to deploy a multilateral security support mission led by Kenya. We stand ready to support all efforts to re-establish security, rule of law and functioning democratic institutions in Haiti.

Mr. President,

allow me to present two further examples:

First, on drug related organized crime which has a profound global impact. We need a global strategy but also need to strengthen local responses.

Germany supports affected countries, for instance in Latin America and the Carribean in their efforts to promote good governance and the rule of law to counter the spread of drug related organized crime.

We welcomes the many innovative projects of the UN-Peacebuilding Fund, in Honduras and other Central American countries, to counter the destabilizing effects of gang violence in the region. The success of these projects is for us one reason more, to urge all member states to support a better financing of the PBF through assessed contributions.

Second, is on illegal trafficking of wildlife. It has significant implications not only for biological diversity, but also for the maintenance of peace and security. It is not a fringe issue. In terms of volume and profits, illegal wildlife trade is comparable to illegal trafficking in arms and drugs.

Against this backdrop, Germany is committed to supporting national and regional efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking. For example, Germany is supporting Nigeria to build capacity for the implementation of its first ever “National Strategy to Combat Wildlife and Forest Crime”.

Moreover, Germany is proud to have initiated in 2015, together with Gabon, the GA resolution entitled “Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife”, its latest iteration having been readopted by the GA by consensus last August.

A final thought on the close linkage between terrorism and transnational organized crime.

It was the very subject of a meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission in June.

The discussion clearly showed the importance of complementing security-centred responses with a multi-dimensional peacebuilding approach.

It also highlighted the potential of early warning tools. UNODC (with financial support from Germany) has conducted ground-breaking research showing that illicit economies connected to transnational organized crime, such as kidnapping for ransom, cattle rustling or firearms trafficking, are strong, early and reliable indicators for a future rise in armed groups’ activities. Better monitoring these indicators will enable Governments to act preventively to counter both, transnational organized crime and violent extremist groups. We ought to explore this approach further.

Mr President,

with affected countries and UN agencies to address the challenges posed by transnational organized crime.

We encourages the Security Council to continue a regular exchange on best practices and promising approaches in close collaboration with the Peacebuilding Commission.

Thank you!

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