The 17th IAP Annual Conference and General Meeting
Bangkok, 28 October-2 November 2012
By. Retno Kusumastuti
If the rule of law is undermined not only in one country, but also in many, then those who defend it cannot limit themselves to purely national means.
If the enemies of progress and human rights seek to exploit the openness and opportunities of globalization for their purposes, then we must exploit those very same factors to defend human rights and defeat the forces of crime, corruption and trafficking in human beings was once mentioned by Kofi Annan, ex U.N Secretary General.
The 17th IAP Conference and General Meeting in Bangkok on November this year has decided that prosecutors need to hand in hand in combating transnational organized crime, as this crime is suspected to be a growing threat to the world.
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROSECUTORS
The IAP was established in June 1995 at the United Nations Offices in Vienna, Austria and was formerly inaugurated in September 1996 at its first General meeting in Budapest.
The IAP is a non-governmental and non-political organization.
It is the first and only worldwide organization of prosecutors.
The association has over 144 organizational members-including domestic associations of prosecutors, prosecuting agencies and crime prevention agencies-and together with its individual membership it represents over 200,000 prosecutors in over 140 countries and jurisdictions.
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME
Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) is organized crime coordinated across national.
Nowadays transnational organized crimes (TOC) poses a significant and growing threat to country’s security, with dire implications for public safety, public health, democratic institutions, and economic stability across the globe.
Not only are criminal networks expanding, but they also are diversifying their activities, resulting in the convergence of threats that were once distinct and today have explosive and destabilizing effects.
Developing countries with weak rule of law can be particularly susceptible to TOC penetration.
TOC penetration of states is deepening, leading to co-option in a few cases and further weakening of governance in many others. The apparent growing nexus in some states among TOC groups and elements of government—including intelligence services—and high-level business figures represents a significant threat to economic growth and democratic institutions. In countries with weak governance, there are corrupt officials who turn a blind eye to TOC activity. TOC networks insinuate themselves into the political process in a variety of ways. This is often accomplished through direct bribery (but also by having members run for office); setting up shadow economies; infiltrating financial and security sectors through coercion or corruption; and positioning themselves as alternate providers of governance, security, services, and livelihoods.
As they expand, TOC networks may threaten stability and undermine free markets as they build alliances with political leaders, financial institutions, law enforcement, foreign intelligence, and security agencies. TOC penetration of governments is exacerbating corruption and undermining governance, rule of law, judicial systems, free press, democratic institution building, and transparency. Further, events in Somalia have shown how criminal control of territory and piracy ransoms generate significant sums of illicit revenue and promote the spread of government instability.
TYPES OF THE MOST THREATENING TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIMES
Despite demonstrable counter-drug successes in recent years, particularly against the cocaine trade, illicit drugs remain a serious threat to the health, safety, security, and financial well being of human around the world. The demand for illicit drugs, fuels the power, impunity, and violence of criminal organizations around the globe. Mexican DTOs are escalating their violence to consolidate their market share within the Western Hemisphere, protect their operations in Mexico, and expand their reach into the United States. In West Africa, Latin American cartels are exploiting local criminal organizations to move cocaine to Western Europe and the Middle East. There have also been instances of Afghan DTOs operating with those in West Africa to smuggle heroin to Europe and the United States. Many of the well-established organized criminal groups that had not been involved in drug trafficking—including those in Russia, China, Italy, and the Balkans—are now establishing ties to drug producers to develop their own distribution networks and markets. The expansion of drug trafficking is often accompanied by dramatic increases in local crime and corruption, as the United Nations has detected in regions such as West Africa and Central America.
Criminal networks and illicit arms dealers also play important roles in the black markets from which terrorists and drug traffickers procure some of their weapons. As detailed in the 2010 UNODC report The Globalization of Crime, “The value of the documented global authorized trade in firearms has been estimated at approximately $1.58 billion in 2006, with unrecorded but licit transactions making up another $100 million or so. The most commonly cited estimate for the size of the illicit market is 10% – 20% of the licit market.” According to the head of UNODC, these “illicit arms fuel the violence that undermines security, development and justice” worldwide. U.S. Federal law enforcement agencies have intercepted large numbers of weapons or related items being smuggled to China, Russia, Mexico, the Philippines, Somalia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen in the last year alone.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT
TOC networks are engaged in the theft of critical intellectual property countries around the world, including through intrusions into corporate and proprietary computer networks. Theft of intellectual property ranges from movies, music, and video games to imitations of popular and trusted brand names, to proprietary designs of high-tech devices and manufacturing processes. This intellectual property theft causes significant business losses, erodes world competitiveness in the world marketplace, and in many cases threatens public health and safety. Between FY 2003 and FY 2010, the yearly domestic value of customs seizures at U.S. port and mail facilities related to intellectual property right (IPR) violations leaped from $94 million to $188 million. Products originating in China accounted for 66% of these IPR seizures in FY 2010.
WHAT THE PROSECUTORS CAN DO
The International Association of Prosecutors hereinafter the IAP, ever since its first general meeting committed to be the leading in sharing information among prosecutors regarding the rapid growth in serious transnational crime; particularly drug trafficking, money laundering and fraud.
The need was perceived for greater international cooperation between prosecutors and for greater speed and efficiency in mutual assistance, asset tracking, asset recovery and others international cooperative measures.
There is a very special message of the president of IAP, James Hamilton to the prosecutors all over the universe, “As this transnational organized crime poses a significant penetration by using different kinds of tactics and traps, the prosecutors who will fight against it should promote and enhance their professional standards to compete with the ability of those criminals who usually are very smart and tricky”.
Indonesian prosecutors, are you ready enough to fight for the sake of the people and the country ?***