G8 Ministers of Justice and Interior Ministers' Meetings

Ministerial and Other Meetings

Conference of the G8 Ministers of Justice and Interior

Milano, 26-27 February 2001

Communiqué

We, the Ministers of Justice and Interior of the G8, convened at Italian initiative, in order to assess the present status of mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation in combating transnational organised crime and terrorism;

eager to continue the dialogue and the commitments undertaken during the Ministers of Justice and Interior meeting held in Washington in December 1997, the video-conference on Organised crime and Terrorism Funding in December 1998 and the Moscow Ministerial Conference in October 1999 on Combating Transnational Organised Crime;

working to implement in full the 40 Recommendations to combat transnational organised crime which were adopted by our Heads of States and Government at their 1996 Summit in Lyon, and to implement the further mandates of our leaders jointly issued at subsequent summits, most recently in Okinawa on 23 July, 2000;

having had a thorough discussion on the general issue of illegal migration, migrant smuggling, trafficking in persons and exploitation of illegal migrants and trafficked persons; and on the need for further cooperative efforts to combat the organised criminal involvement in the smuggling and trafficking of persons, while ensuring that the human rights of migrants are protected;

considering that the plan of action adopted by the G8 in 1998 contains important principles to combat illegal migration and migrant smuggling;

agreeing on the importance of actions to tackle serious phenomena of racism, xenophobia and intolerance;

recognising the threat that terrorism poses to the security of our societies and the need to combat terrorism and its financing and to develop co-ordinated strategies of prevention;

reaffirming our joint efforts to provide each other the fullest possible level of international cooperation and mutual legal assistance in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism;

undertaking the commitment to seek ratification of the UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and to encourage those States which have not yet done so to sign the Convention;

encouraging the Group of Anti-terrorism Experts rapidly to achieve further results, with particular enphasis on the operational problems connected with cyber-terrorism and on the analysis of potentially high-risk international developments;

welcoming with satisfaction the work of the Lyon Group of experts concerning judicial cooperation, law enforcement and high tech crime;

underlining the importance of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (hereinafter "the Palermo Convention") and its Protocols in countering the phenomena of migrant smuggling and trafficking in persons and enhancing the battle against organised criminal activities, including money laundering, through measures such as seizure and confiscation of proceeds of crime and co-ordinated measures against corruption;

IN PARTICULAR, WE EXPRESSED OUR COMMON VIEWS ON THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC ISSUES

 

Outcomes of the Palermo Conference

  1. we express our satisfaction at the success of the Palermo Conference, in which 148 countries took part, noting that 125 of them signed the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, 80 of them signed the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, 79 of them signed the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and that all three instruments were also signed by the European Community;
  2. we agree to promptly seek ratification of the Convention and the Protocols and to undertake, including at the regional and bilateral levels, suitable action to raise awareness of the Convention and the Protocols and encourage those States which have not yet done so to seek prompt ratification;
  3. we undertake to mobilise resources to fight against organised crime through international cooperation and through the assistance mechanisms foreseen by the Palermo Convention;
  4. we look forward to the rapid conclusion of the negotiations and the endorsement of the Protocol against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunitions fulfilling the mandate of the General Assembly on the Convention and related Protocols in order to fight transnational organised crime;

 

Action against high-tech crime, including use of the Internet in child pornography

  1. we acknowledge the benefits arising from the use of new technologies, including the Internet, as indicated by leaders in Okinawa, but express concern in relation to those who use these technologies for criminal purposes, in particular for the sexual exploitation of children;
  2. we stress in particular the alarming expansion of child sexual exploitation through online communications. We agree to attach high priority to the issues of public awareness and prevention as well as investigation and prosecution against individuals and criminal organisations involved in child pornography. Therefore, we note with interest the adoption during the Millennium Summit of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and we welcome the Japanese initiative to host the 2nd World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Yokohama from 17th to 20th December 2001;

  3. recalling our agreement in Moscow to develop options to enhance our abilities to trace criminals' networked communications, we now call upon experts to build on this work by developing specific traceability recommendations, taking into account relevant factors, specifically the protection of privacy and individual freedoms;
  4. we highlight the need to combat high-tech crime which is still on the rise as globalisation and Information Technology development further advance and we hereby reaffirm the need to strengthen international co-operation in combating this growing challenge. We urge the finalisation of the Cyber-Crime Convention of the Council of Europe;
  5. we urge that a solution be found to locate and identify criminals who use network communications for illegal purposes; we therefore support the continuing work by the Lyon Group on this issue and we look forward to early results;
  6. in particular, being aware of the need to ensure both a prompt localization and identification of those who,through information technology networks, are responsible of sexual exploitation of minors on a transnational basis, we deem it necessary to find new and more effective counteracting measures. Hence, we encourage experts to explore the possibility of implementing a G8 Database, co-ordinated by Italy, to be extended to other countries with the aim of ensuring a real-time exchange of information using also the existing 24h points of contact network;
  7. we consider that cooperation between government, industry and other interested parties is essential in tackling high-tech crime. We therefore applaud the May 2000 G8 Paris Industry Conference and October G8 Berlin Workshop and look forward to practical results at the G8 Government-Private Sector High-level Meeting on High-Tech Crime to be held this spring in Tokyo. Furthermore we note with interest the work done by the Lyon Group in developing compatible forensic standards for retrieving and authenticating electronic data;

Money Laundering and confiscation of illegal proceeds

  1. we reaffirm the Principles of the Moscow Communiqué, which stressed the importance of the fight against money laundering within the strategy of countering transnational organised crime;
  2. we commend the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to identify jurisdictions whose anti-money laundering systems do not meet the international standards of the FATF Forty Recommendations, and to take all appropriate measures to bring those non-co-operative jurisdictions into compliance with those standards;
  3. we strongly reaffirm the need for legislative and administrative measures aimed at assuring transparency of the financial systems. We encourage the development of common principles to remove obstacles, such as bank secrecy, to the rapid and effective implementation of requests for mutual legal assistance in banking and tax matters;
  4. we will intensify our joint efforts to improve effective international co-operation and mutual legal assistance in the confiscation of illicit assets, including through measures contained in the Palermo Convention and in existing regional and bilateral agreements;

Corruption

  1. we note that corruption is an increasingly serious problem insofar as it threatens the stability and security of human societies, undermines democratic values and the rule of the law, and compromises the development of States;
  2. we confirm our commitment to relevant existing international and regional instruments and in particular to measures foreseen in the Palermo Convention, and agree to work with the other countries in developing a new UN Convention against corruption that would be as global as possible;
  3. we recognise that corruption has many manifestations in addition to the criminal aspects of the problem. We welcome the mandate given at Okinawa to the Lyon Group to ensure that G8 contribute actively to the negotiations on the proposed UN Convention;
  4. we agree to implement rapidly and effectively the principles agreed upon by the Lyon Group's Judicial Co-operation Subgroup under the Japanese presidency relating to the obligation to extradite or prosecute nationals, and to the effective use of video-link technology in mutual legal assistance practise;
  5. we confirm our commitment to co-operate on these issues and look positively forward to the upcoming Experts' initiatives under the Italian Presidency.

We, the Ministers of Justice and Interior of the G8 look forward to concrete results to be submitted to the attention of the Heads of State and Government at the Genoa Summit next July.


Source: Ministero degli Affari Esteri


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