UN Crime Commission

Speech by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the UN Crime Commision-meeting i Vienna, 14 May 2018.

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Thank you Chair,

Secretary General, Executive Director, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

The global threat landscape is changing.

Threats that used to seem far away have moved closer, and are now – in the smartphone age – at an arm’s length.

Yet at the same time, the geographical distance between victim and offender, between attacker and attacked, and between radicaliser and radicalised, has grown.

An online crime scene is truly global.

This creates enormous challenges for law enforcement agencies limited by national borders.

Crime and terrorism are moving into dark digital alleyways where law enforcement techniques and capabilities have not yet been fully developed

Norway has been contributor to UNODCs Programme against Cybercrime from its early days.

We want to strengthen existing capacities and expand our understanding of the threats we are facing in the digital sphere.

As threats are increasing, we need to scale up our response.

I am happy to announce that we will sign a 35 mill NOK/4,4 mill USD agreement with UNODC later today.

The agreement will strengthen efforts to combat cybercrime in Africa, Asia and across the world.

Agenda 2030, and particularly SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies, establishes that security and development are mutually reinforcing.

Our priority as UN member states is to implement the measures needed.

With support from the UN and law enforcement agencies, we have the tools needed to get the job done.

In addition, we must reach out to young people to prepare them for new threats.

As Neil Walsh, head of the UN cybercrime unit, said during a school visit in Oslo last December, today’s pupils need to develop a new set of skills to deal with the challenges to come.  

Nationally as well as internationally, we need to ensure sufficient capacity and technical ability to meet new and constantly changing types of crime.

It is important that we – as governments and policy makers – fully understand what cybercrime is.

It is our responsibility to create a suitable framework for law enforcement agencies and other relevant actors to develop measures to prevent and combat this new type of crime.

In 2017 we presented the first International Cyber Strategy for Norway.

It states as a strategic priority the strengthening of international cooperation to combat organised cybercrime and other serious crimes committed through cyberspace. 

Finding international solutions must be a shared priority – not least due to the global nature of cybercrime.

There is a need for more coordinated responses across borders.

We should develop collaborative approaches and public-private partnerships to find good solutions, while upholding democratic values and protecting universal human rights.

It is also important to see the new challenges in the context of more traditional crime.

Cybercrime is not an isolated type of crime; it is a cross-cutting element in many types of crime, including transnational organised crime and terrorism.

There are also close links between transnational crime and terrorism and the financing of terrorism.

This nexus takes different forms in different regions.

In Europe, for example, there are links between human smugglers and foreign terrorist fighters.

Terrorist groups such as ISIL and their affiliates engage in a broad spectrum of illicit activities, including extortion, robbery, smuggling of oil and drugs, human trafficking, and kidnapping for ransom.

These activities help them to fund their organisation, recruit foreign fighters, and spread their propaganda.

A whole-of-government approach is needed to combat such networks.

But these efforts must also be supported by regional and multilateral organisations, including the Security Council, or by global instruments like the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Identifying and stopping illicit financial flows is important in this context.

Measures targeting the proceeds of crime combined with measures targeting financial flows to terrorists can be very effective.

I would like to commend the wide range of global activities initiated and supported by UNODC that are directed at strengthening criminal justice responses to human trafficking and enhancing efforts to prevent trafficking and improve victim protection and support.

My Government is also implementing a strategy for combating work-related crime, which is a growing challenge involving serious consequences both for workers and undertakings and for society as a whole.

We see this as a vital measure in preventing human trafficking.

I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight the scale, scope and complexity of environmental crime, which is a growing international concern.

Joint responses from the UN, member states and key partners are needed to improve information sharing, civilian protection and law enforcement.

Wildlife crime, drug trafficking and other forms of organized crime thrive in corrupt environments.

We can only tackle these forms of serious crimes if we simultaneously prevent and combat all forms of corruption.

At the seventh Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption last autumn, Norway spearheaded a resolution on the prevention and abolition of large-scale corruption. We will continue to be at the forefront of these efforts.

Finally, I would like to underline the importance of coordinating engagement across countries.

We must make sure that we are not duplicating each other’s efforts, but rather reinforcing them. This will make our efforts to prevent and fight crime, ensure access to justice and build safe and peaceful societies much more effective.

Thank you.