9th Plenary Meeting
Vienna, 29-31 January 2020
A briefing session for the Permanent Missions was opened by Mr. Francis K. Hien, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Burkina Faso in Vienna, Mr. Laouali Labo, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Niger in Geneva. Moreover, Mr. Marou Amadou, Minister of Justice, Niger, praised the operational and practical results of the WACAP Network and underlined in a 7-minute video statement that, “the challenges in combatting terrorism, organized crime and the development of good governance remain more topical than ever, which is why we must redouble our efforts”.
Mr. Raphael Jean-Claude Trapp, Alternate Permanent Representative from the Permanent Mission of France to United Nations in Vienna expressed firm support to the WACAP initiative. He highlighted the importance to attain tangible results in addressing all forms of criminality but particularly environmental crime and trafficking in falsified medical products.
Dr. Pontassuglia, a senior prosecutor of Italy’s Anti-Mafia and Terrorism Directorate described their experience with the liaison magistrate pilot initiative which has improved cooperation with Nigeria in addressing the trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants by facilitating coordination and information sharing between national prosecutors, foreign police officers and judicial authorities.
Seven years since the creation of the WACAP its member states have come a long way in improving their legal frameworks, establishing and strengthening central authority units, training criminal justice actors, integrating international cooperation curricula in judicial training institutes, and most importantly cooperating with other jurisdictions within and outside the region – because criminals do not need to respect borders.
Mr. Antonio Mazzitelli, UNODC's Representative for West and Central Africa, observed that “…with the growing use of social media, webmail, messaging services and apps to communicate, work, socialize and to obtain information, an increasing number of criminal investigations rely on electronic evidence that is not publicly available. Therefore, facilitating cross-border access to electronic evidence remains a pressing issue concerning almost any type of crime”. France and all donors to the WACAP network were acknowledged.