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    UNIS/CP/920
    6 June 2016

    Some of the world's most majestic creatures face extinction, says UNODC Chief at New York meeting

    At high-level meeting, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) discusses policy implications of first World Wildlife Crime Report

    VIENNA/NEW YORK 6 June (UN Information Service) - Speaking at a high-profile event on wildlife crime, the head of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, said it was clear wildlife crime represented a serious transnational organized crime with global dimensions.

    The UNODC Executive Director was speaking at an event at UN headquarters in New York, co-organized by Gabon and Germany as the chairs of the Group of Friends on Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking. It was also attended by the President of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft.

    Acknowledging that some of the planet's most majestic species - tigers, African elephants, and rhinos - face extinction at the hands of poachers, the UNODC Chief reminded the audience that there are, "thousands and thousands of lesser-known animals, as well as marine and plant life, that are under serious pressure, and that cannot survive without our attention and help".

    Mr. Fedotov noted, "All countries play a role as either source, area of transit or destination market." As a result, every country had a  shared responsibility to act. He noted  UNODC's first World Wildlife Crime Report showed "Nearly 7,000 different species have been accounted for in more than 164,000 seizures, affecting 120 countries."

    To stop the poachers and traffickers, Mr Fedotov said, it was crucial for the international community to address gaps in information, legislation and regulation, and law enforcement capacity.

    He said UNODC's report had identified several policy implications, including: criminalizing illegally sourced wildlife; supporting sustainable development for communities in so-called range countries; strengthening the activities of border guards and customs officials; establishing newly protected areas to address habitat loss, and a strong focus on tackling forgery, fraud and corruption, among others.

    Additional participants at the high-level meeting included Ambassador Harald Braun, the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations in New York; Lee White, Presidential Adviser on Wildlife Trafficking and Director of the Gabonese National Park Service; Cristian Samper, President of the Wildlife Conservation Society; John Scanlon, Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); actress and humanitarian, as well as former UNODC Goodwill Ambassador, Famke Janssen ("X-Men", "Goldeneye", "Taken"), and Edmund Mulet, Chef de Cabinet of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who delivered the Secretary-General's message.

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    For further information, please contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Telephone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org