Today is day 4 of the 8th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP8) to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna. It has been a busy four days with Plenary meeting coupled with parallel meeting of Working Groups, and Side Events.
NGO’s form the Alliance of NGO’s on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice This group was meeting on Monday morning October 17 to begin to work on a statement to be made in the plenary session under item 2 (b) Trafficking in Persons Protocol. Read the statement While we were happy to be a contributor to this statement Angela Reed, Sisters of Mercy had the opportunity to make another statement. cop8_gs_som_oct_2016
We had the pleasure of meeting Olga Zhyvytsya who was representing Caritas Internationalis, PCMI and several other organizations who also presented a statement. Good Shepherd had been invited to sign on to this statement through Good Shepherd International Foundation in Rome. However due to limited time constraints our signature did not reach in time.
(Angela and Olga after the statements were delivered)
We had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US National Statement on Transnational Organized Crime and Ambassador Susan Coppedge, from the US State Department, Trafficking in Person Office.
US-UN Mission Vienna @usunvie Oct 18.@JTIP_State Amb. Coppedge and @StateINL PDAS Arreaga discuss #traffickinginpersons with NGO’s today at sidelines of #UNTOC #endslavery (Twitter US-UN Mission Vienna)
Today the NGO’s had a meeting with the newly elected president of COP 8 Her Excellency Pilar Saborío de Rocafort, exploring paths of cooperation on #HumanTrafficking.
(Photo courtesy of twitter account @UNODC)
There were many side events – co-sponsored by NGO colleagues whose members we know in New York – Soroptimist International and Zonta. We met colleagues too from the European Women’s Lobby, ECPAT (Austria), Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) International Federation of Business and Professional Women. One event entitled ‘The many aspects of trafficking – Health aspects, trafficking of human organs and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal, sex exploitation’ was co sponsored by Zonta and Soroptimist International was moderated by His Excellency Per Anders Sunesson of Sweden.