Strong commitment of the UN to end human trafficking
Launch of UNODC’s 2016 global report on trafficking in persons - Remarks by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 21 December 2016
General Assembly President Thomson,
Ambassador Murad, Chère Nadia,
Dear Colleagues and friends,
It is a great honor for my outstanding team and for me to be here with you this morning to support the launch of the 2016 global report on Trafficking in Persons, and I would like to express my warmest thanks to UNODC for inviting France to be a part of this event.
Yesterday, we had a very important debate within the Security Council on Trafficking in Persons in situations of conflict, which culminated with the adoption of a historic resolution (2331). For the very first time, the Council has clearly established that the link between trafficking in persons, sexual violence and terrorism in situations of conflict constitutes a threat to international peace and security. If you think about it, this is a real breakthrough that gives us the tools we need to act. The resolution sends a very strong message to the UN system and to Member states: we need to do more - and I would add much more. More to better understand the extent of the phenomenon and more to find ways to respond to this dimension of the threat, through training, capacity-building as well as sanctions when they may be useful. So the next step is to redouble efforts to ensure that those responsible for committing such acts, which may amount to crimes against humanity or in certain cases crimes of genocide, are held accountable. We remain committed, alongside our British colleagues and others, to building a strong Security Council response. Again, with the debate and the resolution adopted yesterday, I don’t say everything is perfect but we have made some important progress, we now have the tools and a strong commitment from the members of the Security Council.
As you said, Simone, trafficking in persons is such an important issue that there is work to do for both the Security Council and the General Assembly, hand in hand. We are here today to mark the launch of UNODC’s global report on trafficking in persons, as mandated by the General Assembly, and I want to commend you and President Thomson for your commitment to this fight. This excellent report tackles a broad range of issues: (i) first, it details the current patterns and flows of trafficking in persons; (ii) second, it explains the specificities of trafficking in persons in the context of migration flows and conflicts; (iii) finally, it offers a very detailed analysis of the situation and the trends in every region of the world. I would like to really commend UNODC for the great work that you collectively have done under your leadership Yury.
As you know, trafficking in persons is a very high priority for France, and will remain so - no doubt about it. We are engaged at the national, regional and international levels to fight this scourge by every considerable means, frequently alongside or in support of UNODC. But many of you in this room are also actively engaged in this fight, and actually the commitment of many of you is really second to none, and I want to take this opportunity to recognize the crucial work that you are doing, that creates a strong collective momentum. On such an important issue, we must continue to build strong partnerships with all relevant entities, especially INTERPOL – and I am really glad that Emmanuel Roux, the head of INTERPOL in New York, is here with us this morning -, the IOM (International Organization on Migrations), the ILO (International Labour Organization), UNHCR, regional organizations as well as the private sector and civil society. I cannot stress that last point too much and Nadia’s presence today reminds us how invaluable the participation of civil society is for our efforts. Your presence Nadia means the world to me and to all of us.
To conclude, you can count on France’s full commitment. We look forward to continued discussions with all of you so that we can join and combine our efforts to fight trafficking in persons and hold to account those responsible of such despicable crimes. This is time for action. Merci beaucoup.