Transnational Organized Crime as a Threat to Peace and Security
This meeting is part of the International Institutions and Global Governance program and the Roundtable Series on the United States and the Future of Global Governance, and is made possible by a generous grant from the Robina Foundation.
MR. PATRICK: Excuse me. I'd like to get this session kicked off. A wonderful turn out today. Testifies to the interest in our speakers and also the topic under discussion today.
This is a special session of the Council's roundtable on the United States and the future of global governance. My name is Stewart Patrick. I'm a senior fellow here and I have the fortune of directing the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council.
Today we are absolutely delighted to welcome undersecretary general Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the U.N.'s Office of Drugs and Crime, and one of the world's most accomplished and respected international public servants.
The council's also honored to have as a discussion for this event Cherif Bassiouni, distinguished professor emeritus at DePaul University College of Law. Professor Bassiouni is of course well known to all of you for his prolific work in international criminal law and human rights and not least for his contributions to creating the international criminal court.
Today we are providing this venue for Undersecretary General Costa to release UNODC's groundbreaking report titled "The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment." I've invited Undersecretary General Costa to begin by providing an overview of the report and then we'll ask Professor Bassiouni to offer some comments of his own.
I want to remind everyone that unlike most council events, this event is on the record. So your comments will not only be recorded for posterity, but can and will be used against you. That's right, you've been mirandized. (Laughter.)
Today's event, if I could -- I assume that still means something, but -- (laughter) -- anyway I just want to offer a couple of framing observations. Today's event fits squarely within the mandate of the IAGG program that I have the privilege of running. What we try to do is look at -- to describe and analyze the nature of today's global challenges and then figure out what sort of multi-lateral frameworks are actually required to address them affectively.
In producing this report, UNODC sheds unprecedented light on one of the darkest aspects of globalization, the surge in transnational crime and criminal activity in all of its many manifestations. The report, I think, shows quite convincingly that crime has become integrally embedded into the global marketplace. It shows how it's diversified and it shows how it's both exploited and exacerbated government's dysfunctionality in different parts of the world, particularly areas of instability and violence. And this ranges from Mexico to Afghanistan to Guinea-Bissau and it's, I think, particularly intriguing the degree to which the report uses case studies to demonstrate this.
It also argues convincingly the transnational crime, which is often politically and polemically described as either a problem of supply states or consumer states, is obviously a global phenomenon or are requiring a sustained, multi-lateral approaches.
Now compiling a report of this magnitude is no mean fete. It goes without saying that hard data on transnational crime is often difficult to come by. Unlike Fortune 500 companies, whose data is sometimes also questionable, unlike Fortune 500 companies, most transnational organized networks do not publish quarterly reports. Despite these significant data limitations, UNODC figures have emerged as the best in the business, much less politicized and more impartial than what many members say governments produce.
All of us working in this field, and I'm completely a book on weak states and transnational threats, it has a chapter on crime, so I'm particularly indebted. But all of us, I think, working in this general field have a great debt to UNODC to Undersecretary General Costa and his colleagues for this thoughtful and comprehensive report.
So with these preliminaries, it's my pleasure to turn things over to you, sir. Thank you for joining us.
MR. COSTA: Thank you very much to you and I'm honored here. I'm honored to be presenting to you a report which indeed you called unprecedented. It is. It is volume one, hopefully there will be the beginning of a series. I don't know whether on an annual basis or not, but the effort in our office to document the developments, I cannot even say whether it's growth or whatever, but the developments surround the globalization of crime.
You mentioned, Stewart, darkest aspect of humanity, and you simply called them sinister affairs, to the point that I was nicknamed at the United Nations for quite some time as the undersecretary general in charge of Sinister Affairs. (Laughter.) A lot of them in charge of the noble causes of feeding the hungry and fighting the pandemics' and of course disseminating education and work.
It breaks new ground, yes. You mentioned also the statistical dimension of it; say that the some of the organized that are referred to in one way or another in this report should be part of the Fortune 500. I actually use a different parameters, a macroeconomic type of parameters, and the aggregate although it is very difficult to measure organized crime. The estimate we have arrived to is sort of a guess estimate, it's of a dimension that would make it possibly the 20th largest economy in the world, right after Sweden, who happens to the be the 19th. Therefore, perhaps even if in charge of Sinister Affairs, I should have been invited at the G-20 meeting. Because after all we do have business.
Okay, I had to decide whether to just talk and give you a sort of a summary of the global crime situation or to use a sort of a power point, very well established practice, power point presentation. The former would have been perhaps less interesting and I'm not very good at narrative. The second one would be a bit more didactic.
I could not decide so I asked Professor Bassiouni for his advice and he said flip the coin, and the coin fell on the power point presentation. So that's where -- (laughter).
A globalization of crime in about 12 slides, all what you see is of course extracted from the report. This is nothing more than a summary of it, and if you wish there have been also an on-paper presentation exactly of the 12, 14 power point pages.
Okay, so we begin, obviously, at either page and we go and address right away the question which is possibly in your mind, and certainly it was in the mind of the press and the journalists who have consulted me in the past few days. What is new?
First, this I the first time we have been able to put together an assessment of global crime market. The globality of the exercise is our first characteristics. Second, we document strategic impact and third, we go beyond documentations. We address the question of what can be done.
Now, this is a policy question and we are far away, of course, providing a policy answer. That is prerogative of member states, but still we have given some elements, namely identify market and telling policymakers and governments that in addition to destroying or addressing and implying law enforcement against mafia groups, they should also at markets.
This is a map of the flows that are dealt with. There will be a similar map later on showing the interaction between the crime markets on the one and the stability they generate or they take advantage of worldwide. In green, on the left-hand side of the screen, you have the cocaine trafficking.
This, by the way, is the latest map we have because cocaine traffic, as we shall see, has changed over time. In dark red in the center, of course you see the outflow of narcotics, namely heroine and opium from Afghanistan into Central Asia and Europe. And then you have a variety of other arrows, which simply summarize the flows that are in other chapters of the report, either flows of natural resources, mostly from Africa, mostly from Congo, whether natural resources on the ground or whether natural resources underground or, for that matter, even timber and wildlife.
Then you have the flows of human trafficking and you have piracy of course of the Horn of Africa and then you have counterfeited products from Asia to Europe and Africa and so on and so forth. So this is nothing more than the world seen through the lenses of crime markets.
We begin -- the report itself has 10 chapters, 10 different areas of activities of mafia groups. Any chapter -- it's all a matrix. The areas, the themes, the activities and then the geographical, just opposed to the market. And each chapter is therefore divided into the source countries and destination countries and addresses the flows.
The first chapter is about human traffic and people smuggling. We limited ourself to -- at least in this presentation, to just a few pages to show the people smuggling, obviously. Most significant, at least on this part of the world, are the flows from -- flows of Latin Americans from -- into the U.S. About six -- I mean, these numbers are incredibly large. Six hundred thousand intercepted and we believe the interception rate is 10, 15 percent of the natural flow. Now, that is an extra ordinary amount of -- if you can think of. Although, when you at the arrows, over time this is the trend listed there at the different check points, the degrees has been very significant.
Moving on very rapidly and this is an interesting representation of the involvement of organized crime, whether individual volunteers, coyotes, or whether they are part of, most likely, organized crime group, but 9th as of 2006, about 95 percent. Basically the totality of the migrant was smuggled into the U.S. are using professional smuggler, they are not just trying to cross the border, and therefore here already their involvement -- hint of involvement of organized crime there.
In other parts of the world, similar regular migration into Europe, their numbers are much smaller. This is a representation of 2008, and there's a reason why I'm talking about 2008. The flow of 2009 would be very different, and I'm going to verbalize it to you.
The flows there shows, obviously, the movements of the regular migrants through the Sahara into the Maghreb, especially Libya, and therefore Libya and Egypt, especially Libya, are right into Europe, I would say, basically my country, I am Italian, right into Lampedusa, and from Lampedusa into Italy, much less into the neighboring countries.
This is 2008. At the end of 2008, a major agreement struck between Italy and Libya changed all of this, not one single migrant. Get it right, not one single migrant travelled across the Mediterranean into 2009 from Libya into Italy. The flow now is being moved splinter and being moved towards Egypt and therefore Turkey and towards Mauritania, West Africa, and into the Canary Islands and their peninsula. So we see it -- and this already happened about three years.
So we see these flows as moving very rapidly according to law enforcement. The displacement factor is well-known and as a consequence, we see that organized crime groups are not eradicated in any specific part of the world or country if you wish. They tend to move, obviously, following and we shall be discussing this later on, the path of least resistance.
Very rapidly -- and this was nothing more than a glimpse. You have about 45 pages on drug -- on human trafficking and there's migrant, but we can only be so selective.
Drug trafficking, very rapidly to show you the shifts in cocaine trafficking 10 years ago and in 2008, those are the latest interdiction -- comprehensive interdiction statistics. You see, until '98, basically the bulk of it, about 82 percent, going right into the U.S. and a fraction, that was the beginning of the cocaine epidemic in Europe. 2008 you see, well there's just about equality in 2009. I just learned it was total equality because the European market is becoming as big as the U.S. market.
So you see, a decline from into the U.S. You see a major increase into Europe and most significantly you start this -- the incipient trafficking into West Africa for domestic consumption, but especially into -- for repackaging, transshipping, into Europe.
The reason why the U.S. market is now the recipient of a smaller amount of drugs is because of the trends. Look what happened in the U.S. in the past 15 years and look at what happened in Europe. U.S. went down, leaving aside the peak of '98 and '99, basically from 400, 500 tons to a fraction, 165. And you see now Europe having reached in 2008 144 tons. So you definitely see why the market has shifted.
Now you may engage. I will be happy to try and answer your questions, if you have any. Is it supply pushing the market? Is it demand pulling the market? Are the boat factor playing? Well I'll just leave it there as food for thought.
Colombia is obviously the interesting -- the former supplier of cocaine. You see there an interesting juxtaposition of two different factors. The histogram in blue are the coca cultivation in hectares, by the way. They decreased by almost -- actually by 50 percent from 160,000 10 years ago to 81,000 in 2008. Actually, we just reduced the reports in 2009 and it is 76,000 hectares. So more than half the cultivation was destroyed.
And you see the insurgency. Those are the size of the insurgent groups and you see that obviously the histograms with a time lag of a maximum year or two, the trend is exactly the same. Again, you may ask yourself, are insurgencies feeding itself out of drugs or if drugs have become such a big business that the intent -- and this is basically FAR, or called ELN as well and of course the outer defense is basically FAR.
But by the way, we had exactly the same, in the report, the same histogram regarding Peru, shining path, cultivation, shifting and cultivation and so forth. The same relationship, by the way, this is more geographic overlapping between opium cultivation in Afghanistan. This is the map of 2008. We already have the map of 2009. It shows heavy concentration of the cultivation, 126,000 hectares in mostly in the southern part of the country. The five provinces, which are basically under control of insurgents, and you have on the right-hand the various districts. Not only the province, but the district within each province: Oruzgan, Kandahar, Helmand and several powers, that are affected by insurgency. So again, sort of a destabilizing factor or in this case the cultivation, which is in the hands of organized crime, in the hands of trafficker, in the hands of whatever variety of group. If you wish, we will elaborate on that later on.
And there's -- this is a detailed representation of the earlier map, the arrow and trade routes. Basically the same amounts going to Russia, into Russia, the largest single consumer of heroine and into Western Europe, which in terms of community as union, has the largest amount of consumption.
Of course, you see at the bottom on the right-hand side, a similar amount, 80 tons going into Pakistan and from Pakistan mostly into Iran, which absorb about half of the 80 tons that transit through its own territory. And of course, the flow that is causing the highest degree of drug dependence in the world, certainly to heroine.
Very briefly, into firearms, two areas of concentration, two different markets. The border between the U.S. and Mexico and of course what's happened elsewhere in Africa. To begin with, this is an interesting juxtaposition of stockpiles of weapons. You see the country with the largest stockpiles. You see Germany, you see Russia, you see Ukraine, you see Turkey and then some far eastern countries. And then of course the destination, but the flow -- I mean the flows are not there. You have just the areas where conflicts have erupted in the past 12 years and then of course where the weapons, illegal -- most of the illegally acquired have been used, causing a greater amount of tragedy, a greater amount of casualties that even some of the World Wars.
Okay, we move on. Firearms holding per soldier, this is nothing more than histogram, which I presented on the previous page in vertical, transformed into weapons per soldier. You can see there, the outstanding case of Ukraine, 54 weapons per soldiers, Russian Federation and so on and so forth. Beside Germany, which has a hefty number 13, basically no other western or ECD country.
Then we have a second area of firearm smuggling and you obviously have this enormous amount of smuggling from the United States into Mexico. Those are, by and large, weapons legally acquired in the U.S. and illegally smuggled into Mexico. Of course, I don't want to go into the details, you see the values and three points and you have the percentages of the origin of the weapons is in Mexico.
But what I found it interesting is the next graph, which shows not the stockpile per soldiers, but those are the civilian weapons holding. This is Ukraine, this is United States, 270 million weapons. Of course most of these trends understate, but probably you not hold weapons, it means the somebody has our own share and so on and so forth. So these are heavily concentrated ownership and holdings and weapons. And then every other country seems to have -- even if the country's the following the U.S., India and China, have about six times the population of the United States.
Okay, while you draw your own conclusion out of these values, histograms and flows, let's move onto natural resources. Now, this is a tricky area because we talk about elicit commodities, by and large. There will be some that are not, but already and anyways they are controlled. Elicit commodity that are licitly exploited and, of course, trafficked by organized crime.
This is the rating of Congo. The natural resources, which are illegally extracted by organized crime groups or local warlords. You can use the paradigm you prefer. In the Eastern part of Congo, a key were north, key were south, smuggle including by plane, most of the time by plane, into -- because there's a very, those are either precious or semi-precious materials, such as cassiterite, which you see -- the histogram you see and on the right-hand side.
They are transported into neighboring and then from neighboring countries that make no use of this highly valuable material transported to the major countries of destination. Obviously Belgium form a colony of power in Congo, is the recipient of the largest amount of the most valuable product from Congo. If you do not know what cassiterite is, just pull out your phone from your pocket and it will have several grams of it. Without cassiterite, no portable phones. So that -- it shows how important this material is.
This is another form of illicit trafficking. The numbers are astonishing. They nearly make me cringe. This is trafficking in elephant ivory. You have the swings in tens, but basically are around the amount of seizures. What is written in red is most remarkable: 75 tons per year of ivory transported illegally out of Africa. Each elephant carries around along about 10 kilos of ivory, that means 7,500 elephants are killed every year.
Wait, I take it back. Seven thousand, five hundred are needed to supply the market. Many of course die of natural and there is nothing wrong with trading ivory off elephant that die of natural causes. Unfortunately the most of the elephants are poached. They do not die of natural causes and they are, of course, the cause of a dramatic reduction in -- we have the same in the report. We have same presentation regarding the horns of the rhinos and you have other wildlife as is aged and so on and so forth.
We are moving onto another elicit trafficking, this time of timber. Obviously, the countries of Southeast Asia are the ones providing the timber, are the ones that suffering deforestation, illegal exploitation of natural resources. The numbers are not in this map but they are in the report. The tremendous amount of millions of tons of timber which is shipped to either Europe, the largest destination, together with China.
I get a lot of questions from journalists who get mesmerized out of this specific flows. They say, a log or a tree once is taken down and is turned into a log and it's floated together with hundreds of thousands of others, floating on the rivers for thousands of kilometers in order to reach the sea, nobody sees those logs? Question mark, which I leave it on your doorstep. Second question mark, of course they are loaded on top of carriers and transported to Europe. Nobody sees those things piled up on merchant marine vessels and so forth?
Well, I just leave that with you, but that is indeed the kind of question which very often I get. Now, if you wish then to start broaching an answer regarding as much as many of the other flows, I can just say we are to start introducing the C-word, C standing of course for corruption.
Okay, we move on very rapidly very rapidly to another drama, counterfeit products and especially the drama unfolds when we talk about medications, pharmaceutical products, that are counterfeited. They're not counterfeited in terms of breaking the patent and therefore stealing intellectual property. They just have water with colors and they are sold as medication with the proper label and the proper packaging so that people don't really know what is being. And sees as they are poor Africans, they have no option. They take that sort of fake medicine and therefore they die in addition to the causes produced by the illness, also because of the fake medication.
Okay, this is the exponential growth of counterfeit seas. Those are counterfeit shipments, not single, not a shirt or tie. Those are shipment that are being counterfeit which are being seized at the European border. Fifty million in 2008, the growth exponential. It was 5 million 10 years ago.
Now, by chance and in the report you see the trend of exports from Asia into Europe, basically from China, but also from India. And you see exactly the same trend. The number of container with lease the commodity, regular trade exported from Asia to Europe increased by 10 times in the past 10 years. What you see here is nothing more than a piece of evidence in counterfeit, in this case, are nothing more than a share, a fraction, of the regular market, understandably so, and we can debate the causes of this.
This is the drama I referred to earlier, the counterfeit medications, also from India, but mostly from China into Southeast Asia, but especially in Africa, especially Southern Africa, let us call it Southern Africa. This is a drama of a gigantic dimension for the causalities, the suffering it causes. They grow about estimates at $1.6 billion.
Piracy is another story, an interesting one. You see here, as of 2009, cases of piracies are reported around the world. The infestation is obviously mostly around the Horn of Africa outside Somalia, as always. Much less you have in the markestrait (ph), which used to be the big problem a few years ago, Southeast Asia, and you have quite a significant amount in West Africa, basically the Niger Delta, outside the Niger Delta. There is a difference between what happens in West Africa and what happens in East Africa.
In West Africa you would call it, this is bookaneering, which means pirates board a ship, they rob anything they can find, and they flee. So they leave the passengers and all the vessels untouched. It's not taken away for ransom. In West and East Africa you have traditional maritime piracy, so you have the ransom stories. You see the number of attacks, 223 in 2009. They are still growing 2010, firs half they are still growing.
Now you would say, is this a crime is it organized crime? Well I give you a simple statistic so that you can ponder. Many, not the ore, but many of the ransom paid in the past 12 months have ranged between two and three and $3.5 million. How does an attack happen?
An attack happens as skiffs, skiff is the name of the boat with usually 10 pirates on. Usually two skiffs attack a vessel and when they make the hit, two skiffs, 20 people share the ransom. No, not share the ransom, take a part of the ransom. How much do they take? The pirates I consulted, interviewed, three or four weeks ago in Somalia, they told me the rate has gone up to $15,000 per pirate. Last year it was $5,000 per pirate.
Twenty pirates, $15,000, it means $300,000. If the ransom is 3 million, we are missing 2.7 million. Draw your conclusion, that is the money that organized crime in various ways uses to feed itself but also to supply the transport. They transport equipment to illicitly imports the kerosene, sorry, oil from Saudi Arabia through Yemen and so on forth. Communication gears, negotiation run from London and other location with the owners of the vessels, the insurance agencies and so on and so forth.
The presence of organized crime in this criminal act, I'd say is enormous and growing. This is nothing more than a representation of the development of piracy 2006, '07, '08 and '09. And you see, not only the number is increased dramatically but they are reaching as far as 1,200 kilometers, almost 1,000 miles, from shore and of course causing the kind of havoc which you are familiar. And we can talk about this later on.
The economics of crime, this was a short summary of a few of the market we did not put into this power point, anything regarding, for example, cyber crime or, as I mentioned earlier, trafficking of human being, just the smuggling of migrants. There could be more, if you wish, but I believe the debate would be that the most important of our discussion.
The economics of crime, very briefly. This is not the entire business of crime. This is what this document is about. And you can see right there on the left-hand side there's the heading of the histogram, the value of drug trafficking and then counterfeit, the smuggling and so on and so forth. The total is about 200 million and what you have here in drugs is about half of it, 100 million. Billion, billions. Obviously be aware we have a greater -- I take that back, lesser uncertainty regarding drugs. We can measure the problem relatively well. We see the cultivation on satellite. We can basically have a pretty good estimate count of the addicts. We can number the doses they use, the frequency of the doses and somehow arrive to demand and the supply sort of a mediation. The number is pretty solid.
Everything else is by far less solid, but it is another billion dollars. The flows listed before, in addition to the flows you see the blue dots that are the areas of United Nation peacekeeping operation. You see obviously the overlapping of, to a large extent, the whole argument of the report is that organized crime has become so big in economic size and so powerful in strategic and military capability, fire power capability, that there's become a destabilizing factor or in any event, destabilization and insecurity facilitate the organization, organized crime.
This is the end. Sorry I didn't realize. I would like to thank you for your attention and I'm sorry I rushed too much but it had to be done.
MR. PATRICK: Well thank you very much for the wonderful job -- (Applause.) -- distilling what is obviously an incredibly comprehensive and detailed report. I believe we have until 3:00. I want to now turn things over to Charif Bassiouni to offer a view reflections and then I would plan to open it up to everyone here.
MR. BASSIOUNI: Thank you, Stewart. It's a particular pleasure for me to be here to see some very dear old friends, Michael Kennedy, Jim Hoge, Larry Johnson, Michael Hanna (ph), old friends and colleagues, Jeff Laurenti so it's a great pleasure to be here.
This morning, Mr. Costa and his colleagues made the mistake of inviting me to comment or speak at the general assembly on the topic of the transnational organized crime convention and its protocols. And I had some fairly critical comments to make, and he repeated the mistake by asking me to comment on this report, and you will see some pretty critical comments following.
However, before doing that, I think that it is appropriate to pay tribute to Mr. Costa for his leadership of the UNODC over the last few years and for really being the leader behind producing of this first report, which makes an inventory of a variety of organized crime and criminal activities. This is certainly a very, very important step, but I think that since he is stepping down from his post, this is an important occasion and I want to be among the first representing NGO community to pay tribute to his work and to thank him for it. (Applause.)
And we also have with us here the author of the report, which I think is the beginning of something of extraordinary importance. But obviously, as every beginning initiative with limited resources, it's very difficult to make what I would call a genuine threat analysis. The best it can make is an inventory.
An inventory starts telling us a little bit of the size of the story, but it doesn't really tell us the impact of the story and the future threat assessment of the story in different categories.
A few months ago, I published the outcome of a 2.5 year study, which I did along with 43 experts in five regions in the world, which came about because I was unable to find, in some research I was doing, data about world conflicts. And to my surprise I found that there's nowhere in the world where such data is being kept.
So, with the help of the European Union, I conducted the study and we came up with 313 conflicts in the world since 1948, from 1948 to 2008, generating 92 million victims. That is twice as many people killed in Worlds War I and II put together. Of particularly astonishing facts that came out is that 126 countries provided general amnesty laws after these conflicts. So much for deterrents.
Most of the other countries provided some partial amnesty laws following some truth commission or similar post-conflict justice mechanism. I explored with a statistician, how many people does it take kill 92 million people in 313 conflicts over 60 years? And we came out with an estimate that was really modeled after what we thought was the estimated number of person who participated in the holocaust during World War II and in the Stalinist purges and the minimum estimate was about 2 million people.
And the question that I then had is if there were 2 million perpetrators, or potentially 2 million perpetrators, who kill 92 million people, how many of them were actually prosecuted? And to my utter surprise, the number is 867. Again, so much for deterrents.
That really tells you that what we have at the international criminal justice level, a policy of accountability on paper, but a policy of impunity in fact. It then took me another step to look into something I had discovered when I was the chair of the security council commission to investigate war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. At that time I was surprised to find out that there were 86 paramilitary groups involved in that conflict. And of these 86 paramilitary groups, at least a dozen of them blatantly and openly engaged in what we would call organized crime activities.
One group in particular, the Tigers, were in engaging in drug smuggling from the U.S.S.R. and they continued even after the end of the conflict to be the traditional bulk and routes. I then started looking at some of these conflicts to see what is the connection between these non-state actor groups engaging in these conflicts and organized crime. And I will give you just one example, which is obvious and known to all of us, it's Charles Taylor.
Charles Taylor starts as an organized crime group. He's seeking to get the diamonds. In the course of getting to power, 300,000 people are killed, 30,000 women raped. How does he manage to do that? He manages to do that because he got the diamonds and the diamonds found their way to western companies, which then find their way to money laundering the proceeds, which then found their way to small arms trafficking to increase the carnage that comes about.
And so suddenly you see a relationship, not only between the non-state actor groups who engage in internal conflict, but how they fund these activities and how they realize that the only way that they can ensure themselves impunity, as also in the case of Taylor, is to escalate the level of violence to such a point that the international community, particularly the security council, would find it easier to trade off impunity for a political settlement or a cessation of hostilities.
And so, you suddenly realize, and this is just one small example, that what we are dealing with is a continuum. That there's absolutely no logical, rational way that you can break this continuum or compartmentalize it. Yet, for the last 60 years, the United Nations has done exactly that. It has not only compartmentalized every aspect of what I would call crime and deviance, but it has done so in such a way that it has even prevented the opening of contacts and communications between them.
For example, we have a regime that deals with terrorism. What does this regime consist of? Twelve specialized conventions, which deal exclusively with different subject matters or methods of engaging in terrorism, so that we have four conventions on hijackings, two on hostage taking, one on terrorism bombing. And if tomorrow, somebody decides to do terrorism by way of stabbing forks somewhere, we'll have a specialized convention on stabbing forks.
Does that make sense? Can you say that terrorism is defined in this instrumentalized method, is unrelated to anything else? At what point in time can you say that the FARC is engaging in terrorism or engaging in organized crime when it relies on income produced from drugs. Can you draw an artificial line between these two?
And the same thing applies to drugs. We have 13 conventions dealing with drugs. We don't have a single regime that deals comprehensively with the multiplicity of these criminal activities. We don't even have a policy understanding that these forms of crimes and deviance are all on the same continuum and that that which can start with quality organized crime activity of drug trafficking can lead to a variety of other things, including conflicts of a non-international and maybe conflicts of an international character, when state actors find themselves engaged in that conflict.
The United Nations has never had a genuine stock taking of this whole concept, this comprehensive approach to crime. Instead what we see is a division between domestic crime, transnational, international crime. We have made inroads into international crime with the ICTY, ICTR, the mix model tribunals and the ICC, but very cautiously remaining with genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes. But without realizing that even within that, we have a compartmentalization of legal regimes. We have a different legal regime that applies to conflicts of an international, non-international characters. We have no regime that applies to purely domestic conflicts.
We have a very big distinction between activities which are considered war crimes and activities which are considered organized crime, which fall full in a completely separate regime. That being the case, and considering globalization and considering the inventory that's been made, though be it partial, and I'm not saying that as a critique of what was done. It's necessarily limited in its ability to produce that enormous amount of data. That inventory shows that in the world of globalization in which we live, the dynamics of international networkings are such that the multiplier affects are far greater than what we can see in terms of the specifics. And that's a why a genuine risk assessment is almost impossible.
A few years ago I had the privilege of being chosen, and I don't know by what serendipity, to chair a group of experts representing Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the U.S. on trying to develop a weapons of mass destruction free region in the Middle East. So for six years we met discussed and to my utter surprise, it was one of the most beneficial things I've ever seen. The degree of collaboration between the official delegates, about 10 from each country, was just extraordinary because they all had the same goal in the mind.
But it taught me something about threat assessment, because I remember at the first meeting, being a total neophyte, when the delegate of Israel came very strong with a whole list and started by saying that Syria had X number of tanks and planes and so did Egypt and so many cannons and whatnot, and you added those up, you suddenly realized, my goodness. Here are thousands of tanks and cannons and planes and whatnot. But then when you started looking and probing the quality of these weapons, you realize that even though Israel may have had only one tenth in the numbers, the quality of the numbers they had by far superseded all of the numbers that were there on other side.
We need to have a better understanding of what we mean by the threat analysis of these manifestations. We are now just starting with this new effort to start making an inventory. We are just starting to take it all in in terms of getting all of the facts together. We need to have a better understanding of it.
And more importantly, we need to have a better understanding in order to devise policy in order to amend it. And I'll give you a small example. We are estimating that Afghanistan is producing enough opium to supply 75 percent of the needs of Europe and maybe 10, 15 percent of the needs of the United States. What if the International Narcotics Control Board did to Afghanistan what it has done with Turkey and Russia, for example, and say, you know what, we are going to give a license to the government of Afghanistan to produce opium. And the Afghan government buys all of the opium production.
So, you're not creating social disruption with that society. How much would it cost? Three billion dollars a year. Well, with $3 billion a year in buying all of that production be worthwhile as opposed to the cost that we're spending in interdiction and the consequences that are happening. And this is just a small example of what comes out in terms of policy choices that one has.
Ultimately, a good threat analysis may conclude that our entire policy towards criminalization of drugs may have to be reversed. That this is really -- I hate to say that, but the traditional definition of insanity, which is to try to do the same thing repeatedly and hope you're going to get a different result, we've been trying that for years and it hasn't worked. Maybe we should go to a different situation.
Maybe we should conclude that we should have a policy against impunity and a genuine policy of accountability that we're not going to barter political settlements for impunity because of the consequences that would derive from maintaining such a hard-line position.
So there are many policy questions that still have to be addressed. The problem is that people at the United Nations, I'm not speaking of Mr. Costa of course, but within the General Assembly, people are not thinking along those terms. And we find ourselves constantly plowing old fields with the same old tools, coming out with the same old results.
So I hope this was provocative enough. I know Mr. Costa is fidgety. So it means that I have produced some results.
MR. PATRICK: Before turning it over to everyone, thank you. We'll give the secretary general the opportunity for rejoinder.
MR. COSTA: Yeah. You said wonderful thing and something we absolutely wrong and astonishingly wrong, Bassiouni. (Laughter.) You are corrupt. Your plan for Afghanistan would be the most tragic error humanity ever engaged. The British tried in 2002 buy opium. They spent 75 million, that time the pound was a strong currency, million pounds. The result was either the following year, the farmer doubled the cultivation. And they tried again and they double again. If you want to double the cultivation in Afghanistan, go ahead with your plan.
Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
MR. PATRICK: Okay. Let me -- I'd like to go two at a time here, if I could, just at least to begin with. Could we have Patrick Hayford and then Lucy Komisar? And if you'd like to be acknowledged around the table, go ahead and put your -- yeah, go ahead.
Q Answer one-on-one or --
MR. PATRICK: Yes. Yeah, perhaps I'll take two at a time and then you can answer. And if you'd like Professor Bassiouni to respond as well, please indicate that. Yes, please -- excuse me. Actually I've got -- I think I've got Mr. Hayford first.
Q Well, thank you very much. First of all, I'd just like to pay special tribute to Mr. Antonio Maria Costa for how much he has done to bring these complex issues to the attention of all of us. And I'd also like to thank Mr. Bassiouni for his very thought-provoking remarks.
But I just want to say that we should, while acknowledging how much more needs to be done, we've come a long way in recent years. We have a convention -- (inaudible) -- meeting and discussing complexities involved in this. It's already a major -- I think it's significant.
But I wanted to ask Mr. Costa a question. We've had a lot of discussion about organized crime in West Africa, drug trafficking, et cetera, and the impact its having in West Africa. But would he care to say a word or two how serious is the impact of the problem in other parts of Africa and to what extent the networks now focusing on Africa, hooking up with the networks elsewhere?
But finally, I just want to thank you again for all that you have done.
MR. PATRICK: Thank you. And Ms. Komisar, if you could ask your question, and then we'll have --
Q Yeah. I am Lucy Komisar. I am a journalist and my specialty is writing about offshore bank and corporate secrecy. So my question to both the gentlemen is to what extent do you think that the international offshore bank and corporate secrecy system, which exists by sufferance of the big international banks and the western countries, is essential to the continuation of the international crime you've described, especially the drug trafficking and the arms trafficking? And do you think that the powers that could change this, again basically being the western countries, have done what they ought to do to change that?
MR. PATRICK: Just to pick up on that very interesting question, I was struck that amongst the threats not mentioned was money laundering, which in a sense is the circulatory system of so much of this, it would seem to me.
MR. COSTA: Why don't I start from your point, Stewart. No, we did not deal with money laundering, we did not deal with toxic waste, we did not deal with a number of other crime that are well known in the hands of organized crime that are well known. That you'll have to wait for installment number two. But we'll address that.
Patrick, thank you for your kind words. Regarding the threat to Africa, not only to West Africa, we were the ones, the UNODC, that called the attention of the world, the security council, to begin with. When West Africa was first attacked in 2004, for about two-and-a-half years, there was no response whatsoever.
The United Nations, media, nobody reacted to. It was only in 2007 that finally, and the Security Council became very involved ever since, but we are still paying the price of the three, two-and-a-half years of inertia. Now that was West Africa. And that was it started in 2004 in Cape Verde. We put a lot of money to assist Cape Verde, European Commission money. And eventually, within a year-and-a-half, the transit was shifted to Guinea-Bissau and then eventually from Guinea-Bissau to Guinea and immediately neighboring country.
Of course, there were big stories in the press, security council and other events and bilateral assistance, but better patrolling of the seas of the Atlantic. And all of that significantly reduced the amount of drug getting into these frontier countries, frontier in terms of being shore countries. As I said, the two are Guinea and so forth.
What we have seen since -- your question was about how serious elsewhere in Africa, are two things. First, traffickers are getting smarter. They always look for the path of least resistance. Keep that slogan in mind. And have reduced the amount of narcotic being moved by ship across the Atlantic. They've been using planes, including large cargo planes.
Well known is the case of the Boeing 727 that landed in the eastern part, central eastern part of Mali. Recently I was there; 10 tons of cocaine. Twenty-four pickup trucks approached the plane, and they split within 24 hours into all directions.
So they have gone beyond small, they call them fast boats in Colombia. They carry a maximum a ton or fishing vessels masqueraded as boats which are masqueraded as fishing vessels. They are now using planes that go straight into -- I going to go back to the link with insurgency into Mali, Niger. The cocaine is then shipped through by road to the northern part of Mali there where, again, insurgents are, rebels are, al-Qaeda groups are and so forth. And again you have this sort of implicit evidence of the link between the two.
But what we have seen also two additional phenomenon, some of the sea trafficking from Colombia to an extent, but mostly Venezuela, now is moved further the south, including as far as Namibia. And we have also seen a second attack against Africa not only from the west, cocaine, but from the east, Pakistan basically, the gulf countries. You're talking heroine coming from Afghanistan. That is hitting Yemen and after Yemen is hitting Somalia, is hitting the east coast of Africa like Kenya and Tanzania, Kenya in particular, causing havoc.
Drug addiction is been traditionally a problem of rich countries, North America and Western Europe. Now I've never seen a mob of drug addicts would sit with syringes in their hands, as I saw in Mombasa about two months ago. So we see at the beginning of a very serious problem.
Bank and secrecy, Lucy, thank you, this is a key problem, key preoccupation. Now, we made a breakthrough regarding two -- with the two convention. The convention against organized crime and especially the convention against corruption that I stated in two different articles very clearly. The banking secrecy cannot be any longer used as an impediment to investigation.
That was a decision which caused a lot of blood on the floor during the negotiation 2002-2003 in Vienna. How effective is this convention? Not as effective as we thought, certainly not the convention against organized crime. The convention in corruption, finally we got the mechanism of review of implementation agreed recently in Doha. We hoped we have a similar mechanism of implementation for the convention against organized crime. We are just at the beginning of the process. And this is ten years after Palermo, the convention against organized crime; seven years after Merida, the convention against corruption.
Obviously, member states have lost a lot of time. You can go into this discussion, which I broached at the meeting with the assembly just this morning. There's a lot of benign negligence about these crimes on the part to the rich countries who could do something and there is a lot of inability on the part of the poor countries to do something.
So, we are facing a situation whereby most of the countries are not as active in fighting either organized crime or corruption. Now, that leads me to the final point; the question of current measures to fight money laundering, which is basically a problem related to bank secrecy.
Traditionally, in the 70s and especially in the 80s most of the transaction, the Enzo mafia, were done through the banking sectors. 1989, the distinguished merit of being one of the father of FATF; the Financial Action Task Force was presented to the summit, the G-7 summit in Paris. Became a reality and between, let us say 1990 and 2005, 2006, 2007, organized crime transactions, money laundering were squeezed out of the banking sector, with the financial crisis they got back into. Right, because obviously the financial crisis became a crisis of liquidity; no inter-bank lending, no ability to raise money, and the only ones who had cash, because they could not use financial transaction before were mafia groups and that has been another problem, another debate which we cannot settle.
MR. PATRICK: Thank you.
Assistant Secretary Diang (ph) please and then Yuri Vitrenko (ph).
Q Thank you very much. First of all, I would like to join Patrick and really pay tribute to Costa. I mean, I should say that -- thanks to the police who were able in my region, West Africa, become more concerned about these issues. And when we have the discussion with the Council, I think I may have been too optimistic at that time. But still, when I realized that a couple of days ago, 600 tons of cocaine were discovered in a small space of The Gambia, which is, as you know a tongue in my country, Senegal, I said we need to do something.
When we visit most of the countries of the region today, you are really surprised to see the gap between the rich and the poor. And those who uphold the rich, you notice that many of them, I just wonder where did they get that money to build those palaces?
So, which means definitely that is the close link between the issue of corruption, as you rightly put in the face of the report. Corruption, the strengthening of the rule of law, and also destabilization of the institutions.
And that's why I think my good friend Cherif Bassiouni is right. The U.N. has been a bit, how to say, washy-washy in its way of dealing with some of these issues. And that's why I really support your recommendation, the one you made this morning at this panel that the GA consider seriously establishing a committee to look into this matter. I think the work which have been done -- of course, having this inventory -- is for the first time is a starting point. And we need to get all these norms, as you rightly say, and to see -- assess it, and to see how we can come with a more strong structure to address this issue.
Because one thing is, and of course I'm just responding to Patrick because he referred to the inability to poor countries is one thing. But when they also talk about the unwillingness of the rich countries, the Western world, because to my view, one could have achieved a lot. And that's where we have to see how we can come with a solution.
Some people say, "well, you are too an idealist." And I think we are. And as you said, that is why when you are referring to Costa, being a U.N. person, but at the same time with an NGO mind-set. I think the civil society and that linkage through the society we need to also strengthen that relationship to see how we can bring, finally, this issue on the table. If the issue get out of the U.N. room, I think we need also to get this debate going on among members of the civil society. We can get the civil society in West Africa to own this debate as well. This is why I think UNDOC should also aim, A, to get this report being translated; and get also connected with the NGOs in the region, and I think there also some relationships can be built.
But most importantly, Cherif, as you said, we have really to have a holistic view on this issue and come up with fresh solutions.
Once again, Costa, all the best for the future. Keep continuing to -- (inaudible).
MR. PATRICK: Thank you very much.
Yuri Vitrenko (ph) please.
Q First of all, I would like to thank organizers for this important meeting. I have just a -- I am with the mission of Ukraine to the U.N.. I have just brief comments and maybe a few questions to distinguished Mr. Costa.
I can't help noticing how frequently you've been mentioning Ukraine recently. One of the example was the Security Council debate on small arms in Central Africa, where Ukraine was singled out as a bad guy, as a source of all evils. So, after this we dismissed this information as groundless and biased. Still you decided to go on, and now I see almost the whole chapter and the study dedicated to Eastern Europe and it is based on the Ukrainian case.
So, I'm just wondering where this affection to my country comes from and from the methodological point of view, is it possible to base a credible study based on one particular country? Wouldn't it be better for the sake of credibility and balance to name at least other major players on the arms market? Aren't international servants supposed to be guided by the principles of impartiality and objectivity? And I'm just wondering where is the line between search for the truth in accordance with U.N. standards, U.N. ethics and information campaign? And finally, I'm just wondering, what are the financial sources for this study, is it from the U.N. budget or from donors?
These are just a preliminary comments, we will comment extensively in the G-8 debate in the -- (inaudible) -- this afternoon. But still, what we can tell right away, there is no smoking gun in Ukraine. So, thank you very much.
MR. PATRICK: Thank you, Yuri. Your responses to either question?
MR. COSTA: Very briefly, although I will ask my colleague Leggett (ph) to address specifically the early point regarding the methodology and regarding the frequency of treaty.
Well, I believe that Assistant Secretary Diang (ph) did not really ask a question. I mean, made a statement, made a point, which I certainly agree with. You refer to, as I did this morning to the unwillingness of country, I'm talking about each country, which could indeed my colleague benign neglect the severity of the organized crime problem. No, the report of course does not provide all answers to all questions. It's nothing more than an inventory, which we consider crucial to facilitate policymaking, we make no policy. And even the point raised by Assistant Secretary Diang (ph) referred to the statement by Bassiouni. Even the point you raised, Cherif, it's about the U.N., but one aspect of the U.N., the policymaking, the decision-making, which is not what we as Secretariat can possibly be responsible for. We just provide the evidence so that eventually member states take the decision.
Regarding Yuri's point, yes I do have a personal predilection for Ukraine, which goes back to my early studies after the degree in Italy. But I don't want to be so ambitious as to address methodological question. I would like, if you don't mind, the gentleman behind you, the gentleman who is now standing, Mr. Thiago Leggett (ph), is really the mind and the pen behind this report. Ted, would you mind? I don't want to put you on the spot, but I think that you were prepared for this question, go right ahead.
THIAGO LEGGETT (PH): We decided in doing this study not to try to do global estimates, because they tend to be highly inaccurate due to some big data gaps --
MR. COSTA: You're talking about arms.
MR. LEGGETT (PH): Throughout the study. So what we looked at rather were flows, specific origins, transit countries and destinations.
This way we can be a little more precise, not only in our estimates of the size of those markets, but also in getting to some of the methods that are actually used by the traffickers because the global problems are very diverse. So we looked at specific case studies basically, talking as a series of case studies.
And the way that we came about looking at the -- we looked at two different types of arms trafficking; one that's the types of arms trafficking that's done for political purposes, which are usually done through corruption because these are large volumes of military weapons that are being moved, and they need to be moved through the mainstream channels of -- not clandestinely, but through the mainstream channels of transporting weapons for the most part.
And then we look at the criminal side. Weapons are used for the purposes of crime, and they are working primarily at handguns, in some cases a little bit more advanced military weapons, but the kinds that can be bought for example in the United States through gun shops and things of the sort.
So when we were looking for examples of these two, when we looked for, as Mr. Costa showed, for the case studies that might be involved here, we looked, well where is the largest supplier of civilian-type handguns that might be used in street crime, and the obvious example there was the United States, and there happen to be quite an obvious flow to look at there going into Mexico.
With regards the military side of things, we had to look, as Mr. Costa showed it, which country has the largest firearms surpluses relative to the number of soldiers that they had that might actually use those firearms? And in that case we did the graph and we wound up with Ukraine popping out at the top.
Now the chapter actually looks generally Eastern Europe, or talks generally about Eastern Europe, not strictly the Ukraine. The Ukraine is the single case study we use the most often. There are many cases historically that have been linked to the Ukraine in terms of either the traffickers of Ukraine, the origin of weapons of Ukraine, the companies involved for Ukraine.
So I don't think it was a completely unjustified case study to take. But we emphasized quite clearly that this is a case study; it doesn't intend to describe the entire global arms trafficking situation. It couldn't possibly be comprehensive because of the data gaps in clandestine markets.
So the actual volumes we're talking about in both of those arms trafficking -- (inaudible) -- in terms of both volumes and valuation are actually quite small. And these are the figures that we rely on. So that's adequate answer.
MR. COSTA: Thank you, Ted. Regarding the final point raised by Yuri, the sources, the funding for this project, it came from voluntary contribution from member states, not from regular budget of the U.N. We cannot run research -- (inaudible).
MR. PATRICK: Thank you. We have Jeff Laurenti and then Henry Jackelen and then we'll go to another round.
Q Hi, Jeff Laurenti with the Century Foundation. Mr. Costa and Professor Bassiouni, I don't know whether -- since we haven't had a chance to look through the entire report, you have a section here or a graph here on globalization of law enforcement as a kind of remediation mechanism. But I wonder if you could all discuss with us how effectively governments and international agencies and judicial systems are keeping up with the changing patterns of transnational crime, especially in those developing countries that are either transit points or launch pads, and where so many governmental capacities are inevitably underdeveloped I guess.
I was struck, Mr. Costa, by your account of the miraculous, it seems, end to the human smuggling from Libya to Italy almost overnight, and one would presumably not attribute it to some new efficiency, either by the carabinieri or by the Libyans.
And then finally, following up on these, what's the evidence on effective controls from one country or another? Severity of sentences have any impact? Is it police per capita, or are there any indices that suggest cross-nationally that some responses produce more powerful effects than others in dealing with crime?
MR. PATRICK: Thank you. Henry Jackelen.
Q Yes, let me join my colleagues in expressing a deep admiration for Antonio's work. And then I'm from UNDP so I have had the privilege of working with your people in Brazil and Bulgaria especially. And I think very few here who are not directly in the U.N. or involved with the U.N. have any idea of what it took for UNODC to do this report, because I think you know the interactive process that we run with our governments. And to get as far as you have gotten, which, you know, the perfect can be the enemy of the good.
And in this case, the imperfections -- and I myself can add $2 billion in here that's not here, but I have an idea why it's not here. I mean, this is a lowball report if anything. I think the number, if we had empirical proof would be much higher.
The point I would like, Antonio, is that you would give us a view of the future; you have this unique vision. You've been fighting the battle and you come from a society that's made some remarkable transformations. But I think you have, from that perspective, a particular view of this whole global trend.
How would you see it five and 10 years out? Because as I see it, it may be a more negative than positive trend, which means that it really is not the 20th economy, but it may be getting to the 10th at some point.
MR. COSTA: Thank you very much. Regarding Jeff's question or points, globalization or law enforcement, the whole document, starting from the introductory remarks and the preface, which I wrote, it does show or it concentrate the attention on the fact that the globalization of the world economy and financial and communication aspects of the world economy in terms of speed has exceeded enormously, the ability of member state to agree on something; governance rules have not been established.
Yes, we have the two convention which are not well implemented and that's all what we have. So there has been this -- you're going to ask yourself, when did globalization started? Basically with the collapse of the Berlin wall. I mean, collapse of communism, collapse of the concept that the world was divided in one way or another politically or in terms of affiliation to different ideology. And that is when the globalization started to pick up speed.
Now, what can be done? I would particularly refer to Libya, Italy in one second. What can be done? You see, the usual three elements which I keep in mind are, the first one regarding drug -- or attempt to fight the drug trafficking. We have made -- we, collectively, the world has made enormous progress.
I know that you have in mind the border with Mexico and what goes on and so on and so forth. But in terms of collegial work, we can organize a controlled delivery from -- I'd mentioned the other day to that, the assembly from Kabul to London, with about 20 countries or 15 countries crossed, and we can count on the discretion and really confidentiality requirement that support just about every single law enforcement agency.
So there is a great collaborational door. We have obviously areas like the one I referred to here with Mexico that are not equally patrolled. When you go into organized crime, it is a very different story. You put three, four countries around the table there is no agreement on anything. If you put two countries, you may get an extradition agreement, one, two, three countries; you get very limited amount of support, but some support.
When you go into the next stage, which is terrorism, you get zero, no whatsoever collaboration. Yes, occasionally, you get a terrorist extradited from one country to another, and that's front page news, you know, on your paper.
So the question I'm asking myself, why are we so much better to some extent in dealing with drug trafficking? And indeed, the numbers are quite impressive. I think the world that seizes about 40 percent of all the cocaine produced, 40 percent is quite an amount, now there's still 60 percent which is traffic in causing the havoc which we see in Mexico, but still the progress has been made there.
Why so much success in fighting drug trafficking? In relative terms, as against organized crime? Because international agreements and the conventions that they've established drug control regimes, are 40, 50 years old -- 50 or so. Started in 1961, and now the convention against organized crime -- the crime itself, organized crime being relatively new. Past 20 years, the conventions are 10 years and as a consequence even at the level of law enforcement, there is not such an amount of trust, collaboration that we would need. So there is a long way to go.
Very briefly, regarding Libya and Italy, nothing more than an agreement between the two countries, actually between the leaders of the two countries. Libya has dismantled all departing stations from his own country; they have seized all data from all the manufacturing facility where they repair the boats which were used for this poor, irregular migrant. So there has been no departure from Libya, guaranteed. This is not a joke; this is a fact. And it's not a miracle, it's just when government put their mind at it, they can indeed get something done for future. Yes, it was the next page, I missed it. (Henry ?), wow, that's the toughest question.
We did not even, beside attempting to estimate the flows that are investigated here and we are very cautious about measuring the actual force today, you can imagine how perplexing, how difficult is the question of what will happen in 10 years from now.
Definitely something can be done, you mentioned the case of Italy gain is coming up for a different reason. I would say that Italy is a distinguished merit of having invented mafia to a large of extent. And also having work so hard at it, when Mafia, which -- they're about 150 years old, as you've -- under different incarnation of it. It was not taken seriously until Mafia were with the values judges for (Koln ?) and (Barcelona ?) and the others were attacked. At that point Mafia made a major error. It challenged the sovereignty of a mature country, if you wish.
And at that point the government responded. But as long as it was extortion, as long it was a racket, as long it was importing this and selling that, nobody really paid much attention. Although the articles -- and the many articles on the daily pages of newspaper. But when the -- and that was the error committed by the younger Mafia, the ones who really want -- not the big padrinos, the old padrinos in their 70(s), but their own nephews, I would say -- or, sorry, grandchildrens if you say. And they made a strategic error and to a large extent Mafia as a Sicilian problem, is very much under control.
Now we have the -- (inaudible) -- problem in Calabria, and so on and so forth, much tighter, smaller group very dangerous, extremely bloody. But again it shows that when a country or when we put our energies together, I'm going to go back to Jeff's point, we can get some result.
Regarding the trends in the next 10 years, unless member states are more serious about it, I'm afraid it will be a gigantic problem. I don't know whether you will go off from the 20s to the 10th economy into world, but it will be a gigantic problem. It will probably acquire intensive controlling the territory in a very large parts of Africa, perhaps some parts of Central America, some or the -- and we see the newspaper.
Now already some of the Caribbean countries, I think are threat, and I don't want to be a prophet of doom. I just see the evidence on the ground is growing. Now the other day, another undersecretary, nothing to do with me, the undersecretary general in charge of UNICEF, made a startling statement, of course counting on the information coming from the ground, what they see in shanty town, what they see on the children, obviously that's UNICEF, these were children.
The point made by the undersecretary in public and not from -- (inaudible) -- was it maybe one of the most serious threat to humanity in the next 20 years, but that is an assumption which I just report to you, not made by me. But we have to be serious.
MR. PATRICK: Cherif, did you want to say something before the next round?
MR. BASSIOUNI: Yes, Jeff I think more progress has been made in international cooperation and law enforcement in the last eight years, as a result of 9/11, than has existed in the previous 50 years. But it's been driven by the intelligence community putting pressure on law enforcement than anything else, which has broken down traditional barriers and jealousies between law enforcement agencies domestically and internationally.
So those rivalries have been put aside a little bit with enhanced cooperation. A great deal has been done also by agencies like UNODC and the EU, in terms of providing technical assistance and support and training. And a number of agencies, I mean to give you an idea the IMF asks the institute I direct in -- (inaudible) -- to do every year two training seminars on extradition for people in ministries of justice and foreign affairs of a variety of countries.
So there are a number of agencies that have moved in that direction. Libya, Egypt, Italy because I've been directly involved in that. I arranged for an agreement to be made between Italy and Egypt as well as Italy and Libya. The agreement with Egypt was to send officers from Italian law enforcement agencies to work with Egyptian law enforcement agents to board ships coming from Asia before they transit through the Suez Canal. And that these types of transit inspections have ferreted out a great deal of smuggling of human beings and illegal migration.
On the Libyan side, it was a little different. The Libyans obtained from the Italian government a number of speed boats and made the commitments of patrolling their coastline. Because the boats and various embarkations used were so primitive, having a significantly large number fleet of speed boats and the commitment of the governments have produced an enormous result.
The government of Libya cracked down significantly most of the people coming into Libya from a variety of countries including Egypt by the way. Chad and other countries were stopped by the Libyans. What it did however, it pushed the ball, rubber ball underwater, which meant the rubber ball surfaced either from Egypt or from Morocco or elsewhere.
It doesn't address the problem, but it stopped that line of trafficking. That may be a lesson that is important to learn that is, if you don't address the problem, but you merely submerge the ball you should expect the ball to come up elsewhere.
I want to add something to Lucy's question if I may. First, there are three legal regimes that deal with money laundering. There's one regime that comes out of the corruption convention, one regime out of the organized crime convention, and one regime that's really been developed with respect to financing of terrorism by the Security Council.
Interestingly enough there are three different regimes and nobody has thought of well, does it really make a difference whether the money laundering is for the purpose of funding terrorism or something else. What we want to do is stop the money laundering. But the reality is that in the world of globalization today, the creation of a single financial circuit around the world is incompatible with any limitations on the control of the flow of money.
The only way you can control the flow of money is at the point of entry, which shifts the burden to national governments. And that depends on the capabilities of banks, bank employees and federal authorities that supervise banks to control it. Once the money is in the pipeline, you cannot distinguish white from black, from gray. It's all the same color, so that's one factor.
The other factor is there isn't a single government in the world that doesn't have an interest in money laundering. And let me tell you why. There isn't a single government in the world that doesn't have an intelligence agency. And there isn't a single intelligence agency that will do a wire transfer from CIA to MI6. They are going to have to find ways to money launder for that.
Look at the major countries that produce weapons, and how these weapons are sold. Is there any weapons transaction that does not involve any corruption and bribes to military persons in other countries? How do you pay them, you need to have access to that? How do you do today in some government banking institutions to shore up their currency to fight against hedge funds.
So governments do have an interest in preserving the system. But last but not least, you can't look at the banking system alone to control that. You have to look at the corporate legal system. Because if you can go to a country like the Grand Cayman, incorporate have a company with bare shares, give a power of attorney to an attorney, who has attorney client privilege communications, who makes the order, you'll never be able to retrace a box within a box within a box. So we are concentrating on regulating the bank, but not on regulating the legal profession and the corporate world.
MR. PATRICK: Okay. I think that we're probably going to have to -- yes I think, and the undersecretary general has indicated that he needs to go. So unfortunately we're not going to be able to get the last two questions.
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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
Listen to the mayor of Nuevo Laredo and the former Colombian foreign minister discuss steps Mexico and Colombia are taking to control organized crime in their countries.
This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?, undertaken in collaboration with the Latin American Program and Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and a grant from the Robina Foundation for CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program.
Watch experts discuss organized crime including the circumstances under which criminal activities constitute a threat to national security.
This session was part of the CFR symposium, Organized Crime in the Western Hemisphere: An Overlooked Threat?, undertaken in collaboration with the Latin American Program and Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and made possible by the generous support of the Hauser Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and a grant from the Robina Foundation for CFR's International Institutions and Global Governance program.