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Civil Society Contributions to the Post-2015 Development Agenda at the 13th UN Crime Congress

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Doha, 14 April 2015 – Breaking the chain between corruption and organized crime in the post-2015 development agenda was the topic of an ancillary meeting organized by the UNODC Civil Society Team together with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, the UNCAC Coalition and the Government of Norway on the margins of the 13th UN Crime Congress.

Six speakers illustrated the various dimensions of this nexus. Evidence was presented to illustrate that  the geopolitical equilibrium between suppliers and receivers of illicit capital flows, money laundering, corruption and organized crime has changed. One of the speakers shared the findings of her research on the links between corruption, crime and terrorism. The case study of local power networks in Bangladesh – the mastaans  – elicited much interest. “Mafia capitale” was introduced as a new type of mafia, using NGOs as a disguise in exploiting emergency situations, in this case with refugees. Lessons learned should be drawn for other cases, such as day-after natural disasters, environmental risks, industrial accidents and geopolitical events. Even in the case of Norway, isolated cases of corruption have been identified. In this context, the importance of UNCAC and the need for awareness raising to prevent corruption were highlighted. Finally, the failure of the counter-narcotics strategy in Afghanistan was analyzed, shedding light over the consequences of an inaccurate understanding of the country’s political economy and of ignoring the need to address root causes.

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 had been highlighted in the presentations. As a way forward he indicated the need to increase the prevention of corruption and to trace illicit financial flows in order to break the chain of organized crime and ensure the success of the post-2015 development agenda.

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