Cultural property is part of the common heritage of humankind. It is so unique and important a testimony of the evolution and identity of peoples, that the importance of protecting it has been stressed in several international instruments.
Organized criminal groups are increasingly involved in trafficking in cultural property, both through legitimate markets, such as auctions and through the Internet, and in underground illicit markets. Trafficking in cultural property is also becoming an important source for the laundering of the proceeds of crime, and has been recently identified as a possible source of financing for terrorist groups.
Countries debate on the problem of looting, punishment and international cooperation to respond to trafficking in cultural property. In particular, countries make statements about the challenges they have experienced in fighting trafficking in cultural property and how they could improve international cooperation against this crime.
France, Italy, the UK, the US, China, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Syria, etc.
UNESCO, WCO, INTERPOL, OSCE, UNIDROIT, ICOM (International Council of Museums)
The ability of a witness to give testimony in a judicial setting or to cooperate with law enforcement investigations without fear of intimidation or reprisal is essential to maintaining the rule of law. Increasingly, countries are enacting legislation or adopting policies to protect witnesses whose cooperation with law enforcement authorities or testimony in a court of law would endanger their lives or those of their families.
Protection may be as simple as providing a police escort to the courtroom, offering temporary residence in a safe house or using modern communications technology (such as videoconferencing) for testimony. There are other cases, though, where cooperation by a witness is critical to successful prosecution but the reach and strength of the threatening criminal group is so powerful that extraordinary measures are required to ensure the witness's safety. In such cases, resettlement of the witness under a new identity in a new, undisclosed place of residence in the same country or even abroad may be the only viable alternative.
Countries share experiences and debate on the best practices relating to witness protection programs (e.g., early identification of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses; establishing cover witness protection units; protection of victim-witnesses and justice collaborators; protection of witness identity during court testimony, permanent relocation and re-identification, etc.). They discuss capacity building and resource sharing in collaborative witness protection initiatives. Delegates also discuss the adoption of a universal witness protection model law prepared by UNODC.
While gathering the good practices in witness protection, relevant international organizations such as Europol, Eurojust, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, Interpol and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) should be invited to the meeting.
France, Italy, the UK, the US, China, Russia, the Netherlands, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, etc.
INTERPOL, EUROPOL, UNICRI, ICC (International Criminal Court), ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia), etc.
As a global, multi-billion dollar crime, organized criminal groups have not hesitated to cash in on the trade in counterfeit goods. In many parts of the world, international, regional and national law enforcement authorities have uncovered intricate links between this crime and other serious offences including illicit drugs, money laundering and corruption.
The involvement of organized criminal groups in the production and distribution of counterfeit goods has been documented by both national and international authorities. Some of the key products are in large public demand, making this specific criminal market exceptionally profitable.
Groups such as the Mafia and Camorra in Europe and the Americas, and the Triads and Yakuza in Asia have diversified into the illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods, while at the same time being involved in such crimes as drug trafficking and human smuggling, extortion and money laundering.
Delegates report on their experience in the fight against counterfeiting of products, particularly medicines, clothes and foods (including beverages), recommending best practices and innovative solutions. They also deliberate on possible collaboration with the private sector and other relevant stakeholders.
Organizations such as INTERPOL, World Health Organization and World Customs Organization are also central to tackling this crime and should be invited to the meeting.
France, Italy, the UK, the US, China, Thailand, Colombia, Mexico, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Paraguay, India, Bangladesh, Ukraine, etc.
WCO, INTERPOL, EUROPOL, WHO, WIPO.