First GCC Workforce Meeting against Transnational Organized Crime concludes in Abu Dhabi

WAM Abu Dhabi, June 28th, 2013 – The first GCC workforce on supporting international legal cooperation against transnational organized crime in the GCC concluded its meetings in Abu Dhabi with attendees underscoring the importance of mutual legal assistance and the need to determine the central authorities in the fight against transnational organized crime, to ensure the effectiveness of investigations, prosecutions, and trials related to organized crime.

The delegates emphasized their commitment to constantly explore ways to improve international and regional cooperation in the Gulf region; discuss the possibility of establishing a private network comprising the central authorities and the public prosecution, to exchange experiences, and bolster knowledge and skills in the field of judicial cooperation on criminal matters in the region; as well as establishing links with the similar relevant networks in other regions and countries in the world.

Experts taking part in the meeting called for submitting a recommendation to the GCC Secretariat-General for consideration, through its wealthy system.

They called on the Abu Dhabi-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide further assistance for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries , by boosting participation in practices and cooperation with other networks, with a view to facilitate international legal cooperation on criminal matters, and provide further support to national central authorities in the Gulf states. This includes training personnel; providing specialized and technical support to GCC countries with respect to the drafting of legislation related to transnational organized crime, as well as international legal cooperation on criminal matters.

They also called on UNODC to pursue issuing guidance manuals and brochures and providing the practical necessary tools to ensure international and regional cooperation on criminal matters. Moreover, attendees urged UNODC to assist GCC countries in compiling and sharing relevant statistical data on legal international cooperation on criminal matters; filling out annual report surveys; preparing briefings on States with respect to relevant information on central authorities and competent entities; as well as models used to submit legal assistance applications and related procedures.

Participants in the meeting expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and specialized technical assistance it provides, out of its firm belief in the important role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in facilitating regional cooperation.

Brigadier Mohammad Ghadir Al Kutobi, Deputy Director General of the Federal Criminal Police at the Ministry of Interior, and Head of UAE Delegation to the meeting, indicated that the UAE endeavors to promote international cooperation in various ways to combat organized crime. This comes in line with international cooperation efforts to combat organized crime across GCC countries.

He said that the fight against crime in all its forms and manifestations, particularly transnational organized crime, with various possible means is high on the list of priorities and important goals sought by the international community, in light of the current developments taking place in the world.

Dr. Hatem Ali, Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Abu Dhabi indicated that the meeting comes in line with the partnership between the UAE and UNODC, in collaboration with the GCC Secretariat-General to bolster the GCC’s capacity to support international cooperation on criminal matters. It also aims to help GCC countries and UNODC experts to explore jointly the UN international cooperation mechanisms in combating cross-border crimes.

Moreover, he stressed that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) endeavors to implement the programs and activities supporting GCC countries’ efforts. It helps them develop their mechanisms, establish advanced institutions to deal with organized crime in all its forms and manifestations, build the capacity of law enforcement agencies and officers engaged in combating human trafficking crimes, support security cooperation at the national level and promote regional cooperation to counter transnational organized crime.

During the meeting, participants reviewed and discussed a number of topics on the agenda, including the form of cooperation on regional and international level; and the national legal framework of cooperation on criminal matters to counter organized crime. They also touched on the legal support and mutual extradition of criminals; the principles, national legislation and procedures; and the exchange of experiences between GCC countries.

WAM/TF

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