Thank you, Mr. Chair. The United States is pleased to join consensus on the resolution introduced by Belarus, “Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons,” with the following Explanation of Position.
The United States remains committed to combating trafficking in persons in all its forms, regardless of whether the crime is transnational in nature. International attention needs to remain focused on implementing the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The Global Plan of Action should help promote the full ratification and implementation of this Protocol. While some member states have made progress in adopting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, prosecutions and convictions of traffickers remain disappointingly low, compared to the magnitude of the problem. Effective enforcement of laws and meaningful protections for victims are very important in the fight against human trafficking.
The United States does have concerns about the budgetary impact of this resolution. The oral PBI statement noted that “ … all possible efforts would be made to absorb the additional requirements of $62,300 within the existing resources … and to report thereon in the context of the second performance report for the biennium 2012-2013.” We are concerned that the costs of this meeting may be difficult to absorb within the existing budget, as the financial and human resources needed to organize a high-level meeting would strain the resources of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. While fully absorbing these costs will undoubtedly present challenges, we underscore the importance of doing so. The United States joins consensus with the expectation and on the understanding that all possible efforts will be made to achieve the stated objective regarding costs.
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