The UN Convention Against
Transnational Organized Crime Dimitri Vlassis
In November 2000 the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, along with two additional protocols addressing human trafficking, and migrant trafficking and transportation. A third protocol, against the illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms, was subsequently adopted (May 31, 2001) during the fifty-fifth General Assembly. This chapter outlines two decades of UN efforts to combat organized crime, describes the sometimes difficult discussions that led to the convention, and analyzes the document's key features.
The UN has been working to strengthen international cooperation against organized crime for the past twenty-five years. The issue in all its various aspects has been debated and analyzed by the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program (UNCPCJP), and in five-yearly Congresses on Crime Prevention. The end of the Cold War and the rapid expansion in membership, together with the growth in cross-border crime, added fresh urgency to this work. In December 1990, the General Assembly adopted model treaties on extradition; 1 on mutual assistance in criminal matters; on the transfer of criminal proceeds; and on the transfer of supervision of offenders. The General Assembly also urged member states to implement guidelines developed by the eighth UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNPCTO), and invited them to make available to the Secretary-General their national legislation against organized crime and money laundering.
In 1991 the Secretary-General convened the Ministerial Meeting on the