STATEMENT OF NIGERIA AT THE 11TH SESSION OF THE UNTOC-COP
STATEMENT OF NIGERIA AT THE ELEVENTH SESSION OF THE CONFRENCE OF PARTIES TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME (UNTOC-COP) FROM 17 TO 21 OCTOBER, 2022 IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA.
May I on behalf of my delegation congratulate you on your election as the President of the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.
2. I also wish to commend the Secretariat for the excellent work done in the preparations for this session.
3. Nigeria aligns itself with the statements delivered by the Group of 77 and China as well as the African Group.
4. My delegation wishes to commend the tremendous milestone achieved by the international community in global efforts to deal with cross border crimes following the signing of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and supplementary Protocols. While the implementation of the Convention has recorded some success in the fight against cross border crimes, many gaps and challenges still exist, particularly, in strengthening international cooperation to prevent and combat human trafficking, Smuggling of Migrants, Trafficking in Firearms, trafficking of human organs, crude oil theft and other serious crimes as defined in the Convention.
5. Nigeria underscores the importance of International Cooperation in facilitating Mutual Legal Assistance to prevent and combat transnational organized crimes and stresses the need to address legal and regulatory procedures that act as a barrier to effective international cooperation. To this end, Nigeria has domesticated and operationalized the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its Protocols in our efforts to combat cross border crimes such as corruption, drug trafficking, cybercrime, money laundering, illicit financial flows, trafficking in person and terrorism.
6. Nigeria continues to take serious measures to fulfil her obligations under the UNTOC and Protocols thereto, by improving domestic conditions through our comprehensive Strategic Action Plan. The Action Plan guides national responses to issues of human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, Trafficking in Firearms, corruption, terrorism, illicit financial flows, money laundry, drug trafficking and other serious crimes as defined in the Convention.
7. The National Agency for the Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) has continued to reform its operations to adapt to new challenges and emerging trends and in addition to its 5Ps Strategic Approach (namely; Policy, Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership) had recently launched three key policy documents. These are: The National Action plan on Human Trafficking (2022 – 2026); National Policy for the Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking in Persons and the Protocol for Identification, Safe Return and Reintegration of Trafficked Persons. The Policy documents are being developed to address specific issues, such as children in formal care, reintegration, reporting and victims’ protection and assistance. The organization is also engaged in aggressive campaign against seemingly juicy jobs, scholarship offers, sports contract abroad and false promises for organs removal/trafficking.
8. In order to address the protracted challenge of trafficking in firearms, Nigeria recently established a National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons as a measure to combat the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons in the African region and to forestall the spread of terrorism.
9. Nigeria is concerned that despite all the measures taken, terrorism continues to threaten peace and security at the global, regional and national levels. While the country continue to record successes in the renewed efforts aimed at combating terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, we are concerned with its transnational links with the activities of an emerging group such as ISWAP as well as Bandits that hold sway in some parts of the country. We condemn the acts in all its manifestations, including kidnappings and hostage taking by the terrorists to raise funds, the linkage with corruption, illicit financial flows, cybercrime, trafficking in persons and crude oil theft. We therefore call on all Member States to strengthen cooperation at all levels to combat the threat posed by terrorism and to enhance timely information sharing, logistical support and capacity-building activities as provided by the UNODC to requesting Member States. We equally call for support in our efforts at establishing befitting physical border structures focussing on construction of modern border offices with necessary facilities to make it easy for our security personnel to checkmate the activities of illegal smuggling and related cross border crimes in the West African sub-region.
10. As we renew our desire to take steps to address the various forms of transnational organized crimes in line with the Convention and Protocols thereto, we urge all member states, once again, to make sincere efforts to address the root causes of poverty, economic deprivation, inequality and other socio-economic factors. These factors have been found to be indirectly responsible for the increasing incidences of transnational organized crimes. It is also pertinent to stress that the importance of eliminating poverty is copiously captured in SDG No.1.
11. Finally, Mr. President, I wish to once again congratulate you and to assure you of the cooperation of my delegation as we look forward to a productive outcome from this Conference.
12. I thank you all.