Statement by HE Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 71th Session of the UNGA on Agenda item 106: crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and Agenda item 107: International Drug Control New York, 6 October 2016
Madam Chair, Good Afternoon Colleagues,
Crimes such as trafficking in persons, money laundering, corruption, drug trafficking and drug abuse are becoming more and more transnational in nature in this era of globalization. It is a matter of deep concern that despite international commitments and numerous efforts at national and international levels, such crimes have been increasing. Because of the transnational nature of the crimes as well as the organized networks of the perpetrators, no country can address these crimes alone, while we all are equally affected by such crimes. These crimes threaten international security- hinder national development efforts.
Bangladesh has been making sincere efforts to combat transnational organized crimes. Bangladesh is a state party to several UN Conventions including UN Convention on Transnational organized crimes, UN Convention against Corruption etc.
Trafficking in Persons is one of the most heinous form of organized crime and needs a concerted effort of source, transit and destination countries. As a source and transit country, combating trafficking in persons, particularly women and children is a top priority for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the state party to all the major International/UN human rights Instruments including Palermo Convention.
Bangladesh maintains zero tolerance for the persons engaged in human trafficking and related crimes. It has promulgated many laws and regulations to this end. We have enacted Human Trafficking Deterrence and suppression Act 2012 to make it fully compliant with the international standards. The Act has defined human trafficking and set provisions for stringent physical and monetary punishment for the perpetrators. A National plan of Action 2012-2014 has been outlined as a vital tool for combating human trafficking. Regionally, Bangladesh took the lead role to adopt the SAARC Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. Bangladesh is also deeply engaged in the Bali Process towards combating trafficking in persons since its inception in 2002.
We whole-heartedly supported the global plan of action to combat trafficking in persons during its adoption and is trying its best to implement the Plan. We welcome the New York Declaration for Refugee and Migrants, adopted last month. We believe, through implementation of the Declaration the world would be able to tackle the illegal movement of migrants specially women and children.
Like trafficking in Persons, drug trafficking also poses challenges to our social and economic development. The drug problem affects every nation and all sectors of society. No country can claim to be free from this scourge. Addressing the drug problem will, therefore, require active and continued involvement of all governments, all societies. It is a common and shared responsibility of all of us.
The government of Bangladesh attaches great importance to combating drug problem. We have been carrying out anti-drug campaign in collaboration with all stakeholders and involving civil society, NGOs and relevant international entities. We have robust legal framework in place. The drugs addicts are being provided with necessary treatment and rehabilitation facilities. We have also initiated massive anti-drug awareness campaign to countering drug problem. We have strengthened the capacity of our law enforcement agencies to combat drug trafficking and abuse of drugs.
At the regional level, Bangladesh is a party to the SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substance. We have signed MOU with many regional countries, such as Myanmar, India, Iran for preventing illicit trafficking in drugs. We are working very closely in partnership with UNODC, CNB, INCB, Interpol and SAARC Drug Offence Monitoring Desk to combat the challenge of illicit drugs. We welcome the declaration of the Special Session of the World Drug Problem held in New York in April this year.
Terrorism and violent extremism as one of the two major global challenges of our time. We see these menaces sweeping across borders. No country seems immune, no individual beyond their target. The terrorists are killing now and often numerous innocent people everywhere from USA to Europe, Africa to Asia.
We believe, terrorists have no religion, caste or creed. We must unite in our resolve to defeat and degrade them in all forms and manifestations. We have to identify the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism. At the same time, we have to find out the mentors, masterminds, abettors, financiers, arms suppliers and trainers of the terrorists and extremists, and take strong action against them.
The Government of Bangladesh has taken ‘zero tolerance’ approach to terrorism and violent extremism. Our Government did succeed in disintegrating the homegrown terrorist groups, plugging their regular financing pipelines, and flushing out the regional operatives from our territory. With the vicious rise of certain international terrorist entities, it appears some of the local fringe elements have drawn inspiration and managed to regroup and rebrand themselves.
To conclude, while developing countries are striving hard to combat the menace of organized crimes, a global partnership is essential given the trans-national nature of this issue. We have very impressive normative framework—all we need– strong political commitment at global and national levels and strict implementation of those commitments.
Bangladesh stands ready to cooperate internationally, regionally as well as multilaterally, the United Nations in particular, to combat organized crimes.
I thank you Madam. Chair.