AEF MORINGA presents:

      The Checkmate Pendulum   e-book from AMAZON  (October 15) hard-copy from AEF-Moringa/PayPall  (November 20)     30 chapters, 490 pages, action in 4 continents        0     PROLOGUE  (Autumn) GRIGORIOPOL,TRANSNISTRIA      I     THE CRISIS   (Autumn) 1.     HANDSOME AND SIMPATICO                     2.     DO I SHOOT, OR NOT?                               3.     NAZIS, STASI, SOVIETS, SATAN                4.     ISOZHU-NYAN: WHO...

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My Corner

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(1) A novel about politics, finance & crime

        The Checkmate Pendulum     What I saw, heard and witnessed in 40 years of international politics            The writing started in the early ’90s when I was Director General for Economics and Finance at the EU Commission.  That was the time when three related events shocked the world:  the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Germany was reunited, and the EU single currency was planned.   The author took part in crucial, secret negotiations associated with these developments:  his personal notes provided the background material for this...

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(2) From fiction to Reality

The Checkmate Pendulum     ... four questions on everybody's mind        Investigating the links between politics, crime and finance, TV journalist Pierre G Bosco is forced to address big questions. Nobody in Europe loves the euro, but everybody needs it.  Is the common currency a step towards greater EU integration or will it cause Europe’s disintegration? Germany has become the EU’s dominant country.  Will Germany save Europe or wreck it a third time in a century? Despite their crimes, bankers are “too big to fail or jail.” ...

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Drug Trafficking into West Africa PDF Print E-mail
Newsflash
Sunday, 10 August 2008 07:30

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(2)    DRUGS TRAFFICKING into WEST AFRICA

 

Growing amounts of drugs are being trafficked through and into West Africa.  If you care about the tragic iimpact drugs are having there, here are three topics you must know about and engage.  First, a growing amount of the drugs coming from Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil into West Africa are being consumed locally.  This is new, though not surprising:  low prices and high supply of cocaine, particularly around the main entry points in Guinea-Bissau and Guinea-Conakry cause havoc among a youth, already so distraught by so many problems.  Let’s not forget that mafias’ foot soldiers and petty traffickers are being paid in kind with the dope then retailed domestically.   Namely, drug addiction is coming to Africa.

Second, there are reports of drug use (as well as trafficking) affecting the military. This threatens more than the security sector reform.  It creates armies of addicts:  as developments in Conakry have shown, soldiers’ behaviour can get easily out of control.  By the way, the disastrous consequences of addiction among the military have been experienced and addressed in other parts of the world – including in rich countries.  The difference is that in Guinea-Bissau there are no drug treatment facilities.  Namely, drug money is comin gto Africa.

My third point is the most serious.  Since July '10 in numerous West African sites were found large amounts of chemicals used in drug processing:  to convert pasta basica into high grade cocaine, and chemical precursors to manufacture ecstasy (worth over $125 m).  Namely, drug production is coming to Africa.

I wish to discuss with you what is being done (not enough) and what (else) can be done to oppose this trend.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2014 11:31
 
Disrupt criminal markets, not just the mafias PDF Print E-mail
Newsflash
Sunday, 10 August 2008 07:30

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(3)   Disrupt criminal markets, not just the mafias

 

In the past quarter century, organized crime has gone global.  It has reached macro-economic and armed dimensions to become a threat to the stability of nations. The report on The Globalization of Crime that I inspired when I was the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, provides the first comprehensive assessment of global crime markets:  drugs, arms, modern slaves, illicit resources, counterfeits, as well as maritime piracy and cyber-crime. 

The threat is not just economic.  The threat is strategic, as criminals today can influence elections, politicians and the military – in one word, they buy power.

Some governments are unable to resist, as they lack the resourcess. Some others would be able to contain the problem, but show a benign neglect  -- and I have in mind some rich nations.

Regarding the vulnerable countries, nation well meaning but with little means, we should help them fortify their resistance to crime. This requires improving their development and their security. Reaching the Millenium Development Goals would be an effective antidote to crime, that in itself is an obstacle to development. A stronger emphasis on securing justice in peace operations would reduce instability, that is a magnet for crime.

Regarding the rich countries, I recommend greater vigilance:  all illicit flows in our report head north. The world’s biggest economies, namely the G8 and the BRIC countries, are the biggest markets for illicit trade – even if they have the most to lose if organized crime is allowed to manipulate market competition.

Therefore, the greatest challenges is to reduce demand for illicit goods – like reducing vulnerability to human trafficking, improving drug pervention, raising consumer awareness about the origin of products (like the Kimberly process), and getting the private sector to keep illicit goods out of their supply chains.  

Demand – and not only supply, fuels illicit markets. Arresting some traffickers may divert the flows, but it will not shut them off: other criminals will fill the void as long as there is money to be made. Therefore, in addition to disrupting the mafias groups, we need disrupting their markets.  

In also invite you to crack down on the accomplices of crime, white-collar professionals – lawyers, accountants, realtors and bankers – who cover up and launder mafia proceeds.

Furthermore, in our inter-connected world, national responses just displace the problem from country to another.  For this very reason, ten years ago – in Palermo – the UN member states signed up to coordinated efforts against international mafias.  Unfortunately, over the past decade, not muchwas done and crime has internationalized faster than law enforcement and world governance.

I therefore urge governmebts to take more seriously the threat posed by mafias:  international laws (conventions) will not strike fear into the hearts of the mafia; law enforcement will.  I therefore urge readers to send a clear signal on the need to strengthen international cooperation to fight crime.

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 October 2014 11:31
 
Virtuous trilogy vs. sinister nexus PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Wednesday, 06 August 2008 20:29

Speech to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

New York, 7 October, 2009

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Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Around a decade ago, Member States had the foresight to strengthen the collective response to drugs, crime and terrorism.

  • In 1998, a special session of this Assembly focused on the threat posed by illicit drugs. A 10-year plan of action was launched with results that - as I'll show, turned out to be significant.
  • In 1999, Member States started the negotiations for a Convention against organized crime, eventually adopted by the General Assembly in November 2000 and signed in Palermo a month later.
  • In 1999, after the murderous attacks in Kenya and Tanzania, the Security Council created the 1267 Committee. Following 9/11 the Council moved quickly to strengthen the multilateral response tointernational terrorism through resolutions 1368 and 1373.

By any standard this represents an excellent crop of meetings, deliberations and resolutions.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:15
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Rewards for Unbridled Imagination PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Monday, 21 July 2008 15:06

Posted: 21 July 2008

The Secretary-General has encouraged staff not to be risk-averse, to be creative, and to push the boundaries in order to innovate. At UNODC, we take this message seriously. In fact, for the second year in a row UNODC staff have won more than a fifth of the UN21 awards that honour staff initiatives to improve the effectiveness of UN programmes and services. More than 20% of the awards from an Office with less than 2% of the UN's staff! Not bad.

UNODC winners this year were awarded for the National Drug Control System that ensures that medical products containing controlled drugs are available for patients who need them, but prevented from being diverted into illegal channels. An award was also given to staff in human resources who developed an on-line Clearance System for staff departing the Organization.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:11
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Drug Addiction: A is for Abstinence PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Thursday, 17 July 2008 15:08

Posted: 17 July 2008

I have been arguing for some time, based on evidence from the World Drug Report, that the world drug problem is stabilizing. But containing the problem does not go far enough. If we are to reduce the number of people who are dependent on drugs, then more attention must be paid to drug prevention and treatment.

That means adopting a drug control policy that puts health first. After all, health is the first principle of drug control.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:11
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A study tour of Amsterdam PDF Print E-mail
The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)
Monday, 23 June 2008 15:16

Posted: 23 June 2008

According to economic science, the greater the availability of a commodity on the market, the more likely its consumption (via the price effect, but also thanks to psychological factors). Does this only apply to normal markets? My Office has examined whether there is a statistical relationship between availability of drugs and their use, and reached the same conclusion.

Not everybody accepts the argument.

Inevitably in public meetings I have been asked:  how do you explain the fact that cannabis consumption is not higher in the Netherlands than in neighboring countries, although in the Netherlands cannabis is available in coffee shops?  The issue has even evolved into a mini-cause celebre in some corners of the NGO and YouTube crowd.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:10
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