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31st Session of the United Nations CCPCJ at UNODC: Intervention by Mr. Aaron Magunna (Research Analyst EFSAS) on Item 6(c)

18-05-2022, Vienna

Text and video of Mr. Aaron Magunna's Intervention on Item 6(c): Ratification and implementation of the international instruments to prevent and combat terrorism - during the 31st Session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna.

Video of Mr. Aaron Magunna's Intervention on Item 6 during the 31st Session of the United Nations CCPCJ at UNODC in Vienna.


"Thank you Mr. Chair. 

Resolution 58/6 of the UNODC has noted “with deep concern the links that in some cases exist between illicit financial flows linked to drug trafficking and the financing of terrorism.” The resolution furthermore calls on all member states to “combat the laundering of money derived from illicit drug trafficking and other serious crimes, (and) to continue to foster international cooperation by implementing the provisions against money-laundering contained in all relevant international instruments”.

Perhaps no other region in the world illustrates the link between organized crime and international terrorism more clearly than that of South Asia. As a transit, production and processing area, the region is of central importance for the global drug economy. While the drug economy is a reflection of and reaction to more underlying structural issues, developments in Afghanistan post-August 2021 have certainly reinforced these issues and have further entrenched the drug economy in local and regional livelihoods. 

The fact that the regional drug economy is thriving highlights that the international Instruments to prevent and combat terrorism, although mostly ratified, frequently lack implementation in everyday political practice. In some instances, this is the result of lacking state capacity. In other cases, it is the result of a lack of state willingness and, indeed, some states and regimes directly benefiting from their countries being key nodes of the global drug economy.  

The implications of this, despite their heavily localized dimensions, do not remain confined to these national and regional arenas. The fact that crime and terrorism is so heavily dependent on illicit drug economies severely undermines the United Nations’ sustainable development goals throughout the region and beyond. Moreover, the violence associated with the drug economy does not hurt everyone equally, with the social and economic costs of this economy being highly gendered. 

The continued use of the drug economy as a way for non-state actors, at times sponsored by states for strategic interests, to finance terrorist campaigns, also undermines the United Nations’ Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted as Resolution 60/288 by the General Assembly in 2006. Recent developments in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as the present and future implications these developments will have, indicate how drug-related issues are connected to questions of local, national, and regional security. 

Mr. Chair,

The UNODC possesses a unique and highly influential role through which it can shape national, regional, and international discourses on drugs and terrorism. Making use of this privileged position, the UNODC must continue to advance an understanding of international crime and international terrorism as inherently interrelated. 

As such, the UNODC must persuade other regulatory bodies to focus not just on the ratification but also the practical implementation of UNODC resolution 58/6 and the General Assembly resolution 60/288. Ratification without implementation remains a severe political issue that impacts the livelihoods of millions of people every single day. 

Thank you for your attention".


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