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Transnational trafficking often done by sea– UNODC
11 December 2013

Participants of International Conference on Development of International Law of the Sea

Most forms of transnational trafficking start on one continent and wind up on another, often by sea, said United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Representative in Iran Mr. Leik Boonwaat.

Addressing the "International Conference on Development of International Law of the Sea, Twenty Years after Entry into Force of the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)" held at the auditorium of Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) on 11 and 12 December 2013, he added that in 2009, drug trafficking proceeds and other Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) activities was estimated to generate more than US$870 billion annually.


UNODC Representative in Iran Mr. Leik Boonwaat

“Of different types of TOC, the largest earnings come from sales of illicit drugs," he said, adding that it has been estimated that in 2013 the turnover of the TOC has reached some US$1,600 billion.

He pointed out that in recent years, traffickers have relied upon maritime transportation increasingly to ship drugs, weapons, illegal consignments and goods as well as fake and counterfeit goods to global markets.

"Organized criminal groups use the marine environment for profit-oriented crimes that generate massive revenues," he added.

Mr. Boonwat said UNODC is considering developing a Maritime Crime Programme. "Also UNODC in the course of its activities for countering piracy off the coast of Somalia confronted new maritime crime challenges," he said, adding that the programme is based on the expertise gained through the counter-piracy programme and other programmes with a maritime aspect including container control, counter-drugs programs, counter trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants.

The two-day conference was organized jointly by the Iranian Association of UN Studies (IAUNS), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Iran’s Department of Environment, Center for International Legal Affairs of the President’s Office, National Committee for Humanitarian Law of IRCS and UNODC.


IAUNS Chairperson Dr. Nasirn Mossaffa
briefing the participants on educational activities
of IAUNS and the role of IAUNS in organizing the Law of the Sea Conference

Head of ICRC Mission in Iran Mr. Olivier Martin

Also speaking at the conference Head of ICRC Mission in Iran Mr. Olivier Martin said one of the ICRCs tasks is to prepare possible developments in international humanitarian law.

He added that one of the developments relating to this Conference is the San Remo Manual on international law applicable to armed conflicts at sea.

Mr. Martin said in the ICRC's panel in the conference there will be three speeches: on the naval blockade as a method of armed conflict at sea, the work on an updated version of ICRC commentaries on Geneva Conventions (GC) in particular on GCII, and the emerging issue of piracy at sea.


Secretary of International Conference on Development of International Law of
the Sea Dr. Bahram Mostaghimi, briefing the participants on efforts done by
his team for organizing the Conference
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