Palermo (Italy) [India]: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai on Friday participated in the two-day UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime Ministerial Conference (September 28-29) at Palermo in Italy.
"On behalf of the Republic of Bharat it is a privilege to take the floor. I take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Italy and the UNODC Secretariat for organizing this Ministerial Conference to mark the 20th anniversary of coming into force of UNTOC Convention," MoS Home Nityanand Rai said speaking at the Conference.
He further said that India's ancient philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' sees all creation as a family.
"We are One Earth, One Family, and we share One Future. Prime Minister of Bharat, Narendra Modiji has given a clarion call for international cooperation by saying that When threats are global, the response cannot be just local!" he explained.
"The world has to come together to defeat these threats. India expresses its strong commitment towards combating and uprooting organized crimes in all its manifestations" he added.
MoS Home Rai said that Organized crime signifies a major global threat. "Advances in technology have been leveraged by organized criminals to rapidly expand their networks. This includes serious challenges posed by illicit trafficking in arms, drug trafficking, organized cyber crimes, human trafficking, corruption, money laundering and international dispersal of proceeds of crime," Rai said.
"India has updated and strengthened its legal framework to combat such crimes through The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016; amendment in 2018 of The Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 and amendment of The Prevention of Money Laundering Act," he added.
Nityanand Rai further said in the Conference that India's G20 Presidency outcomes inter alia included G20 High-Level Principles on Strengthening Law Enforcement related to International Cooperation and Information Sharing for Combatting Corruption, Strengthening Asset Recovery Mechanisms for Combatting Corruption, Promoting Integrity and Effectiveness of Public Bodies and Authorities Responsible for Preventing and Combatting Corruption.
MoS Home further said that Organised crime cannot be seen in isolation. "Organized crime has also emerged as one of the sources of terrorism and terror financing. Organized crime networks often have deep links with terrorist outfits. Activities like money laundering and financial crimes have been known to help terror funding," he said.
"India reiterates that at the international level there can be no safe haven for organized crime, for such a safe haven poses serious global threat. It is incumbent to deny safe havens to those who engage in transnational organized crime by prosecuting their crimes wherever they occur and by cooperating at the international level" he added in conference.
Union Minister Rai further said that The Convention (UNTOC) needs to be leveraged as a framework to enhance international cooperation in order to combat these challenges.
"India has been pro-active in rendering assistance to other countries requests under UNTOC and reaffirms its commitment for future. I am positive that the deliberations during this Ministerial Conference will give impetus to the cause of strengthening international cooperation to combat organized crime," Rai said.