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ICLAIM’s participation in the Constructive Dialogue on Technical Assistance

ICLAIM’s participation in the Constructive Dialogue on Technical Assistance

On the 31 May 2023, ICLAIM participated in the second meeting of the Constructive Dialogue on Technical Assistance. The event was held in hybrid form, in Vienna and online. The meeting took place immediately after the conclusion of the fourteenth session of the Working Group of Government Experts on Technical Assistance. Significantly, the meeting was attended by 38 non-governmental organisations, 44 States parties, as well as other relevant stakeholders, namely from the academia and the private sector. 

The purpose of the constructive dialogues is to promote fruitful engagement among participants, as well as to inform them on developments concerning the UNTOC Review Mechanism. At the same time, the constructive dialogues are premised on the meaningful exchange of views, whereby inputs and suggestions are collected from participants, including their contributions as to the ways of advancing the effective implementation of the UN Conventions Against Transnational Crimes (UNTOC) and its three Protocols. 

The constructive dialogue was chaired by one of the co-chairs of the Working Group, Mr. Carlos Alberto Sánchez del Águila (Peru). The Chair briefed participants on the status of the review process and as well as the outcomes of the fourteenth meeting of the Working Group, that was held in Vienna from 29 to 30 May 2023. Subsequently, a panel discussion took place within the following framework topic: “Technical assistance needs in the prevention of organized crime including data collection and analytical processes to support the mainstreaming of a gender perspective and human rights, as well as the development of national strategies to address transnational organized crime”. Following the panel discussion, participants to the constructive dialogue were given the opportunity to take the floor to share their own views and experiences. Several participants, both non-governmental organisations and States parties, availed of the option to be heard. 

The constructive dialogue was concluded with a roundtable discussion during which the participants were invited to share inputs and suggestions, with a specific focus on meeting technical assistance needs in the context of the UNTOC Review Mechanism. The chair steered interventions from participants based on three set agenda items: a) the contribution of civil society in the universalisation and implementation of the UNTOC; b) technical assistance needs of States parties in the context of the UNTOC Review Mechanism and the engagement of civil society; and c) the role of gender, human rights, and victim-centred perspectives in addressing against organised crime. Significantly, the importance of gender mainstreaming in preventing and combatting organised crime was highlighted throughout the constructive dialogue. 

Overall, the 2023 Constructive Dialogue on Technical Assistance reaffirmed the crucial role of civil society organisations in enabling the States parties to meet the technical assistance of the UNTOC Review Mechanism. In this regard, specific mention was made to the invaluable contribution of civil society organisations in collecting and analysing data on organised crime. Such data can be used by national governments in responding to the self-assessment questionnaire as well as to identify patterns of organised crime on the national level, thus facilitating the adoption of appropriate responses. Hence, fostering a close cooperation between States and civil society organisations was vital in meeting technical assistance needs and working towards a stronger implementation of the UNTOC Review Mechanism. 

Concluding, ICLAIM’s growing expertise and research on criminal activities, primarily human trafficking and smuggling, together with its close cooperation with the public and private sector, the academia, and other relevant stakeholders, are of direct relevance to the ongoing efforts to enhance the impact of the UNTOC and its Protocols, as well as in terms of providing meaningful assistance and support to the national authorities in the context of the UNTOC Review Mechanism.