Brian A. Nichols
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Vienna, Austria
October 24, 2012

This is a convention of the parties of the UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention. This is an opportunity for over a hundred and seventy countries to come together to harmonize our policies in an effort to combat international crime, money laundering, trafficking in persons, human smuggling, theft of cultural property and a whole host of other problems that affect our peoples. Crime affects all of us and it’s a globalized world now. A crime can take place in one part of the world, like a cyber crime or internet fraud can take place way around the globe and effect people in the United States. So it’s something where we have a collective interest in preventing crime everywhere. Victims of crime like trafficking in persons can be brought half way around the world to work in slave labor or forced prostitution. And those are issues that we care about deeply. The United States has now used the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols over 100 times with 37 different countries to extradite people, obtain evidence and secure convictions against the real world criminals. Our use of the convention has more than doubled in the last two years and we continue to find it as a valuable tool to put criminals behind bars. We’ve had great impact on the lives of ordinary people. I’ve traveled around the world and I have seen the effect of our efforts collectively. Whether it’s trafficking victims in Moldova, people who have been smuggled as migrants illegally through Central America, or victims of cyber crime who’ve been defrauded in the United States and even lured to other countries to be further defrauded, we’re able to help combat crimes and bring criminals to justice in collaboration with all the other international partners and countries. I think this is having a real concrete affect on people’s lives.