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JGI contributes to UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) Review Mechanism

JGI contributes to UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) Review Mechanism

In this blog, Zara Bending reports back on the Institute’s first engagement with the UNTOC’s Review Mechanism.

Our followers are likely accustomed to seeing Dr Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) participating in United Nations forums and activities including the UN Environment Programme, International Day of Peace, and CoPs for a range of treaties such as those concerning climate change, biodiversity, and wildlife trade. But, with wildlife trafficking now constituting an increasingly prevalent and serious challenge requiring an international response, the Institute has expanded its scope of interest to include international agreements targeting organized crime and corruption.

“Wildlife trafficking threatens species survival, damages eco-system health, poses significant health risks to humans, and causes intense suffering to individual animals. The presence of organized crime, cycles of violence, corruption, and the fraud that facilitate these crimes threaten good governance, the rule of law, and sustainable development more broadly.”

-Extract from the JGI’s written contribution

On the 7th of June, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held its  Joint Constructive Dialogue on Technical Assistance and International Cooperation, featuring panels on crimes that affect the environment, organized fraud, and the role of technology on international cooperation. The first panel included representation from our colleagues within the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime (EWC) network, Alice Pasqualato (EWC) and Lisa Hartevelt (Wildlife Justice Commission).

In its role as steward of the UNTOC, the UNODC encourages broad participation in these dialogues. JGI was invited by the Civil Society Unit to undergo the application process to send a delegation given the Institute’s global activities concerning crimes affecting the environment, including wildlife trafficking. Our delegation consisted of myself, Susana Pataro, and Emily Butterworth. As preparation, I applied for and successfully completed a training course through the UNODC’s Stakeholder Engagement for UNTOC platform (SE4U) on the UNTOC and its Review Mechanism.  

Following the live session, we submitted a written contribution to the UNODC which has since been accepted and published. Read our written contribution to the Constructive Dialogues here.

As the ‘Constructive Dialogues’ label suggests, the aim is that contributions be non-adversarial and support State Parties in meeting their obligations pursuant to the Convention. Examples of best practice and solutions-based thinking are valuable, and so our contribution prominently showcases insights from the field courtesy of Dr Rebeca Atencia (Executive Director of JGI in the Republic of Congo and Head Veterinarian at Tchimpounga Sanctuary). In the Republic of Congo, JGI has several years of experience working with local law enforcement to enhance capabilities. Read more about what anyone can do to support the fight against illegal wildlife trade with JGI’s ForeverWild campaign.

About the Constructive Dialogues

The Constructive Dialogues provide a means for non-governmental stakeholders and State Parties to discuss topics relevant to the operation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). These topics cover the five areas of the Convention’s Working Groups: firearms, technical assistance, international cooperation, trafficking in persons, and smuggling of migrants. Dialogues form part of the Mechanism for the Review of the Implementation of the UNTOC. Read more here.

Zara Bending with Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, photo credit: JGI Australia

Rebeca Atencia, credit: JGI/Fernando Turmo

Photo credit (top) JGI/Fernando Turmo

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