Wien, 25. May 2011 Press release

Waldner: "Organized crime knows no borders"

41st Vienna Seminar by the International Peace Institute deals with new security threats

Vienna, 25 May 2011 – "No part of the world is spared the devastating impact of organized crime. Today, criminal networks operate on a global scale. Drug, weapons, and human trafficking as well as corruption does not stop at the borders of Europe", said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner today in his speech at the 41st Vienna Seminar of the International Peace Institute (IPI) in the Diplomatic Academy.

This year the event, organized by the IPI’s Vienna bureau in cooperation with the Foreign and Defence Ministries is dedicated to the new threats and challenges for security in Europe and Central Asia. In addition to national conflicts in the Balkans and in the Caucasus, illegal migration and the attitude toward cultural diversity, these include above all cross-border phenomena such as organized crime and energy security. On the sidelines of the seminar, State Secretary Waldner held a bilateral meeting with Middle East Special Envoy and IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen on the sweeping changes in the Arab World.

He expressed the view that transnational challenges cannot be met by individual states themselves. An answer to today's security threats can only be found within the framework of multilateral institutions, stressed the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna has a key role to play in this. During its membership in the UN Security Council (2009/10), Austria successfully promoted a regular exchange between the UN Headquarters in New York and the UNODC that now has become a common practice.

 „The international organizations based in Vienna constitute competence centres for new security issues. We are very keen on strengthening the dialogue within and between these institutions“, said Waldner.

"Cross-border criminal activities undermine the international legal order and the ability of individual states to uphold good governance", stressed the State Secretary. The new security strategy presented by the Federal Government in March also identified cross-border organized crime and corruption as security risks. With the establishment of the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Laxenburg and the creation of a national task force against human trafficking, Austria has already taken significant steps to deal with these threats.

For more information:
Federal Ministry for European
and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: +43(0)501150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: +43(0)501159-213
Email: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at