Ambassador Dr. Ugljesa Zvekic drew attention to the scale and scope of organized crime, noting changes in the geopolitical equilibration of suppliers and receivers of illicit capital flows, money laundering, corruption and organized crime. Ambassador Zvekic mentioned the increased presence of organized crime in management and political authority structures, so as to influence and control the process of legalization and legitimization of illicit financial flows and gains. Lastly, he underlined that organized crime and corruption had wider implications that went beyond the traditional security and justice framework into sustainable development. To this connection, Ambassador Zvekic listed a number of the proposed sustainable development goals, in addition to Goal 16, which include transnational organized crime spoilers that can prevent the achievement of these goals.
Professor Dr. Louise Shelley presented a summary of her book, “Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime, and Terrorism”. She highlighted the fact that corruption and organized crime help fund terrorist groups and their activities, as recognized in S/RES/2195 (2014) and S/RES/2199 (2015). Professor Shelley pointed out that terrorists often commit crime because it causes multiple harms, in addition to being profitable. Trafficking in drugs and for sexual purposes, as well as kidnapping are examples of such dual crime. The following strategies were suggested to address this issue: (i) increase employment; (ii) effective oversight of foreign aid to prevent its diversion to corrupt officials and pernicious non-state actors; (iii) and private-public partnerships to raise awareness of illicit trafficking.
Mr. Manzoor Hasan, the Chairperson of the UNCAC Coalition, touched upon the topic of effects of local power networks – the mastaans – in Bangladesh. To illustrate this, Mr. Hasan referred to the Rana tragedy on 2013, which lead to the death of around 1,000 workers, as a cause of not following safety guidelines to make an increased profit. Mr. Hasan presented the conclusions of a survey of journalists on the links between politicians, mastaans and governance in seven constituencies in Bagladesh. The research identified land grabbing, drug dealing and extortion as the top forms of economic crimes. In addition to politicians and the mastaan, youth leaders are among the top individuals involved in land grabbing. The findings indicated that (i) the mafia played a major role in most criminal activities in the area; (ii) its power varied from area to area and was greatest where economic opportunities could be more easily accessed through mafia actors, (iii) and the use of mafia power was correlated with violence in local politics, including murder and beatings.
Mr. Maurizio Fiasco presented the new case of “mafia capitale”, introducing similarities and differences to traditional mafia. This new type of mafia uses NGOs meant to serve a good cause, refugees in this case.
exploiting the vulnerabilities of refugees, smuggled migrants and people prosecuted for political, ethnical and religious reasons. Mafia capitale inhabits the so-called “middle world”, between the political class and the underworld of criminality. Mr. Fiasco drew attention to the fact that emergency situations, such as day-after natural disasters, environmental risks, industrial accidents and geopolitical events may be used by criminal groups, such as mafia capitale, to make profit. In order to prevent this, He stressed the need for implementing anti-corruption measures to ensure transparency, accountability and responsibility on the part of public administration and politicians.
Representing Norway, Mr. Jan Austad briefed on national efforts to counter corruption and transnational crime. He noted that his country was for a long time immune to such problems, but noticed with surprise that this was not the case. Mr. Austad presented three case studies of corruption in Norwegian municipalities and how they were dealt with by the criminal justice system. He concluded by highlighting the importance of UNCAC and the need to raise awareness of these crimes as a preventive measure.
Lastly, based on his extensive work experience in Afghanistan, Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu explained that despite some tactical successes, the counter-narcotics strategy as implemented over the last decade had failed. Reasons were complex, but could be largely summarised under four factors. First, the lack of coherent vision among different stakeholders on the final outcome of the Afghan intervention. Second, the Cartesian silo approach which resulted in what he called the abstract of the 'schizophrenic farmer' and a 'schizophrenic economy' not fitting reality. Third, the wrong interpretation of economic signals, since the opium growth in cultivation had little to do with supply-demand, but everything with domestic speculation within a governance structure addicted to elevated transaction prices. Finally, the one-dimensional focus on narcotics as it was the end-game to be resolved by the counter-narcotic community, without proper understanding of the political economy and without tackling the root causes. With the saying 'not all poor farmers do cultivate opium, and not all opium farmers are poor', he explained the relationship between vulnerability and opportunity, demanding an integrated approach.
In the discussion that followed, participants praised the contributions that were made and highlighted the need for more research on these topics. The importance of the role civil society and the media can play in monitoring and evaluation was also stressed.
Mr. Kristian Ødegaard, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Norway in Vienna, concluded noting that the links between corruption, terrorism and transnational organized crime have been highlighted in the presentations. Therefore, there is a need to increase the prevention of corruption and trace illicit financial flows in order to break the chain or organized crime and ensure the success of the post-2015 development agenda.
Breaking the Chain between Corruption and Organised Crime in the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Government of Norway, UNODC Civil Society Team, UNCAC Coalition and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime
April 14th - 13:00
Mirella Dummar Frahi, UNODC Civil Society Team Leader and Civil Affairs Officer
Transnational organised crime is fuelled by corruption. Criminal networks use bribes to deprive people of their rights. Corruption also helps to fund terrorist activities. The ancillary meeting will feature NGO representatives, as well as Government experts and will illustrate ways and means to address the links between corruption and these criminal activities in order to ensure the success of the post-2015 development agenda.
Mr. Kristian Ødegaard
Mr. Kristian Ødegaard has served as Minister-Counselor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Norway and Permanent Mission of Norway to International Organizations in Vienna since 2012. He has 30 years working experience in the Norwegian Foreign Service, with diplomatic postings in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bonn, Germany and Washington D.C. and has held several positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Norway’s Trade Promotion Agency. Mr. Ødegaard was trained as an economist, is married and has 4 daughters.
Ambassador Dr. Ugljesa Zvekic
Ambassador Dr. Ugljesa Zvekic is a Senior Advisor at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime and Visiting Professor at the Law School, University of Belgrade; the Law School, University of Rome and the School of Governance, LUISS, Rome. He also served as Ambassador of Serbia to the United Nations in Geneva, Deputy Director of UNICRI and Chief, Strategic Planning, UNODC. Ambassador Zvekic has published extensively on development and crime, victimization, policing, prisons and social control.
Professor Dr. Louise Shelley
Professor Dr. Louise Shelley is the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Endowed Chair and Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs at George Mason University. She is the author of “Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime and Terrorism” (2014) and “Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective” (2010), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on all aspects of transnational crime and corruption. Dr. Shelley also served on the Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade of the World Economic Forum and was the first co-chair of its Council on Organized Crime.
Mr. Manzoor Hasan
Mr. Manzoor Hasan is the Chair of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Civil Society Coalition, the Executive Director of the South Asian Institute for Advanced Legal and Human Rights Studies (SAILS) and the Chairperson of the Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center. He also serves as Institutional Advisor of the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS) at BRAC University. Mr. Hasan was the founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (1996 to 2003) and then the Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) of Transparency International. In 2003 he was awarded the Honour of the Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to Transparency International Bangladesh.
Dr. Maurizio Fiasco
Dr. Maurizio Fiasco is an independent sociologist, specializing in research and training in the field of public security, local government and socio-economic phenomena. He has served as consultant to the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission (1990-2001) and is currently an advisor to the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Italy.
Mr. Jan Austad
Mr. Jan Austad is a Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, with a background as a prosecutor. His main responsibility is coordinating the Government's efforts to combat Trafficking in Human Beings. Mr. Austad has been active in the international cooperation against trafficking. He was a member of the first EU Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings and has been seconded to the Interpol General Secretariat. Currently he is a member of the Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings set ut by the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu
Mr. Lemahieu was nominated as Director Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC headquarters in December 2013. Before, he served most of his career in the Division of Operation in diverse field offices. Most recently he was based in Kabul as Regional representative for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries starting December 2011, following his earlier appointment to the position of Representative for the Country Office in Afghanistan, January 2009. Earlier in his career he did work for UNIDO, UNDP, the Belgian Government and non-governmental organizations. He holds a license in law and a postgraduate in international law.
Mirella Dummar Frahi
Invitation ancillary meeting: Breaking the Chain between Corruption and Organised Crime in the Post-2015 Development Agenda