Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer
Permanent Representative of Australia
Australian National Statement
Twenty-seventh Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
14 May 2018
Thank you Chair.
Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper acknowledges that crime is becoming increasingly international. Indeed, about 70 per cent of Australia’s serious criminal threats now have an international dimension. So Australia’s need to cooperate internationally to fight crime has never been greater. And this is what drives us to participate so fully in the CCPCJ.
Australia is pleased with this Commission’s focus on Cybercrime. That’s partly because – in our Indo-Pacific region – businesses are impacted by cybercrime a third more than in North America or in the European Union. For example, 27 per cent of all ransomware attacks have been launched against targets in our region – more than anywhere else in the world.
To help meet the cybercrime challenge, Australia has embraced a comprehensive strategy entailing:
- strong cyber defences
- regional capacity building
- and national law enforcement.
Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy, released in October 2017, includes commitments to invest 30 million dollars to improve cyber resilience in the Indo-Pacific region. Working with our regional neighbours, we are cooperating to build legal frameworks to ensure cooperation on cybercrime across our borders based on the norms of the Budapest Convention. That’s because we know that countries are able to work together more effectively on trans-border investigations and prosecutions when domestic legal and law enforcement operational frameworks are harmonized with that Convention. This raises the cost of 'business' for cybercriminals and prevents the formation of cybercrime safe havens.
Australia is a strong supporter of the UNODC Global Programme on Cybercrime. Under this programme, we fund cybercrime threat assessment, training and regional cooperation activities. These are coordinated through UNODC’s Bangkok office. We encourage other states to join us in providing the UNODC with the necessary mandates and financial support to enable it to deliver further capacity building projects on cybercrime.
If we can cooperate together in this way we can squeeze down the operating space of cyber criminals to ensure we can all enjoy the benefits and opportunities offered by the digital economy.
I would like now to turn to another area of major interest to Australia.
As you know, Australia has a history of regional and global leadership in tackling modern slavery, including forced labour and human trafficking. Australia staunchly supports the global initiative, Alliance 8.7 to strengthen the work of all United Nations and international agencies engaged on Sustainable Development Goal target 8.7, which is to end forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.
Alliance 8.7 is an important platform by which governments can work with civil society to tackle these challenges.
Beyond this, I am very pleased to announce that Australia will be providing $50,000 to assist the work of the UNODC through its Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
This grant will support efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery and other UNODC activities, with a particular focus on the Indo-Pacific.
Australia co-chairs, with Indonesia, the 45-country Bali Process, which is the pre-eminent forum in Australia’s region that works to defeat human trafficking and slavery. Many nations in this process have strengthened their anti-trafficking legislation, but much work remains.
We know that when governments and businesses work together, we can accelerate progress in eliminating human trafficking and slavery. So in 2017, the Bali Process co-chairs launched a regional business-government partnership to address:
- ethical employment,
- supply chain transparency and safeguards,
- and redress mechanisms.
Meanwhile – at home in Australia – we are developing relevant new national legislation to combat modern slavery. Large businesses will be required to report on their efforts to combat modern slavery in operations and supply chains.
Ending violence against women is a central pillar of Australia’s international efforts to promote gender equality and advance women’s empowerment. Very sadly, over two-thirds of women in the Pacific region have experienced physical or sexual violence, rising to three-quarters in some countries. It is appalling that is almost twice the global average. So across the Pacific, I am proud to say that – over the past 5 years – Australia has helped over 56 000 women to access crisis support services, including counselling, health and justice services.
Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper highlights a shared agenda with the Pacific focusing on security and prosperity. In support of this aim we are establishing a new Australian Pacific Security College to deliver security and law enforcement training at the leadership level. Australia’s investment in good governance, legal structures, and law enforcement operational capacity are key to addressing transnational crime and gender-related violence in the Pacific region, and will underpin the region’s economic development.
Australia looks forward to fruitful discussions with colleagues over the coming days. The threats we are facing require our collaborative efforts more than ever. By working together we can enhance our domestic and international responses to crime.