Chairperson of Crans Montana Forum, Mr Jean-Paul Carteron
Co-Chairperson, Mr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Salem
President of Benin, President of the African Union, Mr Boni Yayi
Former President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Banda
Prime Minister of Mali, Mr Cheick Modibo Chiarra
Scientific Council of Crans Montana Forum, Prof Daniel Warner
Minister SJ Sitta, from Tanzania
Minister G Nzigama, from Burundi
Mr. SB Maiga, founder and President, Sahel Observatory of Geostrategy and Security, Mali
Mrs. S Ghernaouti, Director, Swiss Cybersecurity Advisory and Research Group
Mr. RM Maharramov, Country Programs Manager, Islamic Development Bank
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is an honour and privilege for me to address this august gathering on behalf of government of the Republic of South Africa.
The South African Government’s understanding of crime is premised on the following, that crime is a scourge that does not respect borders, with syndicates that have made the entire globe the theatre of their operations.
The world has become more and more interdependent, operating internationally and cutting across and often ignoring national interest.
This gathering provides us with the impetus to elaborate a new international solidarity which reflect the new realities facing humanity. An international exchange of views amongst ourselves on these questions is vital.
The challenges posed by drugs and organised crime pervades all levels of life. It is reflected in corruption, drug abuse, violence, indifference to the suffering of others, the breakdown of the family life, crisis of morality, culture and philosophy.
The drug trade and its associated problems continue to grow in most parts of the world. Global abuse and accessibility of drugs has become increasingly complex, as trafficking routes have become shorter, more diverse and more easily traversed.
The organised crime and drug trade involves growers, producers, couriers, suppliers, dealers and users and affects people in all countries, regardless of colour, gender, class or religion.
Trafficking in illicit drugs tends to be associated with the commission of violent crimes. Reasons for the relationship between drug trafficking and violence amongst others include the following: competition for drug markets and customers.
It also includes disputes and rip-offs among individuals involved in the illegal drug market as well as the tendency toward violence of individuals who participate in drug trafficking, resulting in murder.
We further notice that property crimes are often committed to raise drug money and, more speculatively, social and economic interactions between the illegal markets and the surrounding communities.
White-collar crime, these criminals behave in unethical ways for self-gain. Victims of white-collar crime include the economy, employers, consumers, and the environment.
The urgent need to fight criminality is the major factor necessitating international solidarity. A new level of understanding has to be reached as to what the priorities and objectives are of this gathering.
This gathering is an admission or recognition on our part that, the networks of crime have grown in their reach and sophistication across national boundaries. These include syndicates that deal with money laundering, human smuggling as well as drug trafficking and abuse.
Forums of this nature also sends a message that, all of us diverse as we are belong to a kind of extended family with a commitment to common ideals and a desire to realise them.
We must meet the challenge posed by criminality by stepping up cooperation bilaterally and at the international level in the interest of social progress. Today it is around the issue of crime that all of us without exception are obliged to define our position.
Crime is a global problem common to the whole humankind. But it has not been engendered by whole humankind as a body. It is either we fight crime now or crime will turn into a problem for humankind threatening our wellbeing and very survival.
The forums of the anti- organised crime and drug trade are not platforms for ideological and interstate disputes but are an anvil where all progressive forces should try to forge their common weapon to fight criminality in every form it emerges.
As the African National Congress government in South Africa, we move from the premise that the destinies of all peoples struggling against organised crime and drug trade are interlinked and inextricably interwoven.
This summit is a culmination of human efforts against the menace of crime and its derivative. We, who are gathered here both as leaders, civil society and every other station of life there are certain basic things we need to do. Amongst them are the following:
In order to carry this extremely complicated and difficult a task, the maximum mobilisation of the people is not a luxury but a critical necessity. The success in the war against crime depends on ordinary citizens playing their part.
We must appreciate the fact that, this war is being waged in a complex and difficult national and international situation. The correct solution to the problems of our time requires a proper understanding of the international as well as the national dynamics.
One of the tragedies of our time has been the discord in what I will call the people’s camp which has weakened the main shield of the peoples against criminality.
The knowledge of the discord and disagreement which exist among the progressive forces has spurred the criminals to strike left and right in every corner of the world using various tricks, at times playing us against each other.
It is therefore the solemn duty of all genuine activists against organised crime to strengthen the unity of this mighty force, and to make it as invincible as it should be.
It is impossible, if not fatal, to divorce the struggle of the people in one country against organised crime, from the efforts of the peoples of the world against the same evil.
We must take upon ourselves the task of organising a universal struggle against crime and criminality in such a manner as to obtain the support of all the people.
In the struggle to establish the united front, the importance of government increases extra-ordinarily. The government can and must ensure the mobilisation of the widest possible united front of people against crime.
The formation of civil society organisation is a product of the people’s determination to fight this scourge and we must be part of those forces. Crime is a menace to peace and social progress.
The most vulnerable point of criminals is their small number and their diminishing proportion in relations to the total populations. This gives us an urge over them.
Crime and criminality impels the people to wage unprecedented struggle against this phenomenon. Our task is to instil self-confidence in society, to rouse their initiative and increase their offensive and striking capacity against crime. Our success depends also on our ability to encourage, harness and incorporate into these endeavours the creativity, daring and energy of youth.
The joint and concerted action of all progressive forces against this scourge and the mobilisation of the vast masses of the people into a united anti-crime front constitutes a mighty and invincible force for the destruction of the criminal gangs.
The movement against organised crime and drug abuse is the united effort of all countries, organisations and individuals throughout the world. It is a broad movement composed of people with different political beliefs, of different classes, social background, from different walks of life but who are united by their hatred of the evils of crime and drugs.
We call on all citizens of the world to join us in this march to a better future. We are keenly aware that it will take time to realise the strategic objective of a crime free society. But the foundation has been laid, and the building has begun.
It is not enough to contemplate the problems of the world. It is necessary to change it.
I thank you.