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Topnews, Statements

17. May 2021

STATEMENT DELIVERED BYAMBASSADOR RAPULANE MOLEKANE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN VIENNA, AT THE 30TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON CRIME PREVENTION AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, OPENING SESSION, 17 May 2021, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Chairperson,

Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime,

Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me congratulate you Ambassador Alessandro Cortese, in your capacity as Chair of the 30th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Let me also congratulate other Members of the Bureau on their election.

I would like to express appreciation to the Secretariat for its efforts in preparing for this session.

South Africa associates itself with the statements delivered on behalf of the African Group and Group of 77 and China, respectively.

Chairperson,

At the outset, my Government would like to express our deep concern at the continued clashes in Palestine and Israel wherein Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinian worshipers, civilians, women and children. We reiterate our unwavering support to the people of Palestine and assures them that the goal of a free State Palestine living side by side with the state of Israel is indeed a goal that we hope to achieve in our lifetime.

We call on all peace loving nations to condemn Israeli’s continued breach of international law at the expense of the innocent Palestinian people.

Chairperson,

My delegations welcomes the holding of the 30th Session of the CCPCJ under the theme “effective measures to prevent and counter the smuggling of migrants, while protecting the rights of smuggled migrants, particularly women and children, and those of unaccompanied migrant children”.

As the world grapples with the covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged economies and social structures, we find this theme even more befitting and timely to draw the attention of the international community to the unjust consequences of smuggling of migrants. Conscious of our international obligation under the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by land, Sea and Air, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, the South African Government has enacted the Immigration Act 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002) as well as the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004), which complements the Government’s fight against the smuggling of migrants.

Chairperson,

The devastating effects of the Corona Virus and the lockdown of countries has now more than ever highlighted how information and communication technologies have become indispensable to the functioning of modern society and how organised criminals continue to exploit the technological space to advance their illegal operations. It is for this reason that South Africa acknowledges the commendable work done by the intergovernmental expert group (IEG) on cybercrime and welcome the finalisation of its work following the of the 7th Session of this working Group.

We are pleased that after intense deliberations, the Expert Group agreed to transmit to the UNODC, for its consideration, sixty-one (61) conclusions and recommendations which enjoyed consensus. South Africa will continue to offer its support for an international legally binding instrument on cybercrime through continuous expert discussion on Cybercrime.

Chairperson,

The emergence of new crime trends such as illegal mining, wildlife poaching, in particular endangered species as well as the lack of internationally coordinated responses to these crimes continues to be of concern to the South African Government.

Illegal mining in precious metals adversely affects economic growth and development through the fleecing of national strategic assets and resources, leading to major losses in Government revenue; decline in business revenue, thus threatening the long-term sustainability of mines and their secondary industries. As you may recall, the 28th Session of the CCPCJ, adopted a resolution under this topic entitled “Combatting transnational organised crime and its links to Illicit trafficking in precious metals and illegal mining including by enhancing the security of supply chains of precious metals”. 

To give expression to the resolution, South Africa together with our international partners have organised a side event entitled “All that Glitters is not Gold: Stepping up responses to illegal mining and trafficking in precious metals to enhance the security of supply chains of precious metals" on Tuesday, 18th of May 2021 at 2:10 to 3pm for Member States to participate.

Related to the above Chairperson is the issue of corruption which has drastically eroded the much needed state resources. We are pleased to inform of the commendable work done by the Commission of Enquiry into Allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission for unearthing the extent to which state resources were plundered. We look forward to the Report of the Commission for implementation by law enforcement officers.  

Chairperson,

My delegation is equally concerned about the issue of Illegal Wildlife Trade as evident by the significant increase in the poaching of, particularly live pangolins since 2016. To curb this crime, South African National Prosecution Authority, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, the Endangered Species Unit of the Police, private sector stakeholders as well as experts have focused their efforts not only on monitoring cases and providing evidence in aggravation, but also ensure proper rehabilitation of seized pangolins.

In conclusion Chair, let me assure you of my delegation’s constructive engagement during this Session.

I thank you

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