CITES Secretary-General welcomes adoption of a draft resolution for the United Nations General Assembly urging countries to  take action against illegal wildlife trade

On 26 November 2012, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the draft resolution on “Strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity” (A/C.3/67/L.15/Rev.1). The draft resolution expresses concern at the negative effects of transnational organized crime and the serious challenges and threats posed by illicit trade, including the trafficking in endangered and protected species of wild fauna and flora.

The draft resolution, to be adopted by the plenary of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012, emphasizes the need to combat transnational crimes by strengthening international cooperation, capacity-building, criminal justice responses and law enforcement efforts. It also highlights the need for comprehensive crime prevention policies to combat transnational organized crime and corruption in all its forms and manifestations, such as the illegal wildlife trade.

This follows the adoption of a previous resolution by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on “Crime prevention and criminal justice responses against illicit trafficking in endangered species of wild fauna and flora”, which expresses concern about the involvement of organized criminal groups in the trafficking of endangered species. Both resolutions recognize the need for a comprehensive approach to combat transnational organized crimes such as the illegal trade in wild fauna and flora and urge Member States to strengthen international, regional and bilateral cooperation efforts.

The Secretary-General of CITES, John E. Scanlon, stressed that “The United Nations resolutions clearly demonstrate that the international community recognise wildlife crime as a serious organised crime which requires a determined and coordinated response equal to other transnational crimes such as the trafficking of narcotics, humans or arms”. “The CITES Secretariat is working closely with our partners in the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to usher in a new era where perpetrators of serious wildlife crimes will face a more formidable and coordinated response - so that the criminals who are robbing countries of their cultural and natural resources are able to be brought to justice”, he added.
 

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