Illegal migration and increasing drug consumption are two serious global security challenges linked to organised crime, and the European Union’s measures are “not effective enough”, the Hungarian foreign minister said in Kyoto, where he attended the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, on Monday.
Organized with the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Crime Congress represents the world’s largest gathering of governments, international and regional organizations, civil society, experts and scholars focusing on crime prevention and criminal justice. The Congresses have been held every five years since 1955 in different parts of the world, dealing with a vast array of topics. They have made considerable impact in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and influenced national and international policies and professional practices.
The Kyoto Congress was adapted to adhere to strict health and safety standards while enabling high-level and diverse participation, with a limited in-person component and most of the 5,600 participants joining virtually through a new, dedicated event platform.
“The global pandemic has made this Congress more relevant than any other Congress because the global pandemic has started as a health problem and ended up being a human crisis; an economic, and social crisis,”
said the UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly.
“This economic and social crisis has caused increased fragility and increased risks of crime. So, when you have increased risks of crime, of corruption, of terrorism, then a Crime Congress on the prevention of crime and the rule of law becomes all the more relevant.”
In the Kyoto Declaration adopted earlier on Sunday (7 Mar), governments agreed concrete actions to advance responses addressing crime prevention, criminal justice, rule of law and international cooperation. Member States will take commitments forward at the 30th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in Vienna in May.
Speaking to MTI, Péter Szijjártó said that the coronavirus pandemic had created new global security challenges, which, if left untackled, would generate further problems.
He said illegal migration posed a security and cultural threat to Europe and carried a health risk of rapid transmission of Covid-19. Illegal migration is helped by organised crime since migrants “use the services of people smuggling rings often helped by NGOs”, Szijjártó said.
As regards drugs, Szijjártó said that “unfortunately, what we see is that
Brussels supports not only illegal migration but an increased use of drugs”,
adding that “cannabis has recently been reclassified in the UN as an allegedly non-hazardous substance”.
The Hungarian government opposed that step and the European Commission in response launched an infringement procedure against the country rather than increase its efforts to cut drug abuse.