Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti
Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
Threats to international peace and security
New York, 24 February 2010
I join previous speakers in thanking the Executive Director of UNODC, Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, for his comprehensive briefing.
We share the concerns regarding the impact of drug trafficking in different regions of the world. Drug trafficking and related organized crime tend to weaken domestic institutions and may contribute to bringing political instability, as pointed out by many in this Chamber today. This is particularly serious in situations of armed conflict or in countries emerging from conflict.
In some cases, there is also evidence that proceeds from drug trafficking are used to finance terrorism.
The Security Council may therefore find itself confronted with significant threats to international peace and security brought about by drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. When faced with such challenges, the Council should be ready to act, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, due consideration being taken to the specificities of each case.
Avoiding such a grave risk should be a common goal to be pursued through the active cooperation of Member States in the specialized international entities and bilateral and plurilateral initiatives. Drug trafficking is indeed a matter that, by its very nature, requires concerted and multi-dimensional action at all levels. Needless to say, efforts in this area should be based on the principle of shared and common responsibility and focus on all aspects of the phenomenon.
Among the several areas where such cooperation is important, capacity building in law enforcement is of particular relevance, especially in the judicial and security sectors. Strong State agencies and well-trained personnel are indispensable in the fight against drug trafficking. This is an area where the prospects for South-South cooperation are promising. Brazil, for example, has been working closely with the UNODC in Western Africa, particularly in Guinea-Bissau, where we have been investing in the training of law enforcement agents and the establishment of related infrastructure.
My delegation is concerned with the situation in Western Africa in general. We praise efforts already undertaken by ECOWAS, and look forward to the full implementation of its regional anti-drugs operational plan. We also welcome the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) and extend our support to the creation of transnational crime units that will allow for increased sharing of information and intelligence in the region. In my capacity as Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, I value the cooperation with the promoters of WACI.
Repressive measures alone, however, are not enough to fight drug trafficking in an effective and sustainable manner. It is indispensable to address the frequent underlying socioeconomic factors of the problem, which tends to thrive in a context of economic despondency and high unemployment. Any successful anti-drug plan must therefore encompass actions aimed at creating alternative livelihoods, especially for the youth, to prevent the population from being lured by the drugs business.
It is only through a broad engagement that takes into consideration all dimensions of drug trafficking and transnational organized crime that we will succeed in our common endeavour against them. The UN system provides us the institutional means through which we can actively and effectively cooperate. In so doing we shall be able to avoid the risk that such problems threaten international peace and security.
Brazil supports the Presidential Statement to be adopted by the Council and thanks your delegation for the work undertaken in its preparation.
I thank you".