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I2LEC Pledges to Enhance the Role of Law Enforcement Agencies in the Fight against Crimes that Affect the Environment
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  • The International Initiative of Law Enforcement for Climate (I2LEC) which is led by the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, will provide the law enforcement community with a global platform to coordinate efforts and enhance cooperation in the fight against crimes that affect the environment. I2LEC announced the pledge during the 32nd session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which was held last week at the Vienna International Centre.

VIENNA, May 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The I2LEC pledge, presented by the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), gained support from more than 20 countries and civil society organizations from across the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America. The pledge was conceptualized by the Global Expert Working Group which gathers representatives of the UAE Ministry of Interior, UNODC and its partners to provide strategic guidance to I2LEC, a platform coordinating global law enforcement community's response to climate change.

The side event, organized on the occasion of the 32nd session of the UN CCPCJ, was a panel discussion between senior officials of the UAE, the UNODC, INTERPOL and the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI). During the discussion, the panellists highlighted the importance of giving law enforcement agencies the means to effectively address crimes that affect the environment,  including by supporting further research and analysis into the patterns, trends and impacts of such crimes. They also stressed the importance of involving the international law enforcement community in the climate change dialogue, to better anticipate and mitigate related challenges that may impact law enforcement operations.

Presenting the I2LEC pledge, H.H. Lieutenant General Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the United Arab Emirates said:

"Law enforcement agencies face a constant dual imperative: to combat the criminal threats of today and to pre-empt the challenges of tomorrow. There is perhaps no bigger challenge we collectively face than the threat posed by climate change. This harsh reality needs to be recognized on a global scale in order to ensure better management of rapidly evolving and challenging climate change scenarios. The wide support that I2LEC pledge has received from more than 20 Member States and international partners immediately after its launch makes us very optimistic about the success of our combined response to this challenge.  Under the strategic guidance and directions of the UAE's leadership, the I2LEC pledge continues to be circulated throughout the international community for further endorsement, with the aim of gathering the broadest possible support to the initiative by raising global awareness, enhancing international and interagency cooperation, operational and research capacities, as well as encouraging law enforcement agencies to transition to low-carbon models, among other priorities. We expect it to serve as a model framework for increasing global law enforcement community's resilience to climate change."

The UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior  further described the pledge as a unique opportunity to raise the profile of law enforcement agencies' role in climate change mitigation, ahead of the COP28 that will be hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

Ms. Ghada Waly, Director General of the UN Office at Vienna and Executive Director of UNODC  commented on the unveiling of the I2LEC pledge:

"Organized crime poses a major threat to our environment, with organized criminal groups around the world are exploiting the environment and its resources. This exploitation has a serious impact on our ecosystems and on the lives of millions of people who depend on these natural resources for their livelihoods.  It is our hope that the I2LEC pledge announced by the UAE will serve as a call to action for the global law enforcement community to foster greater cooperation in the fight against crimes that affect the environment. UNODC stands ready to support law enforcement agencies in their efforts, by contributing its research capacity as well as the wealth of experience and expertise available under its Global Programmes that focus on crimes that affect the environment and the international legal framework including the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations standards and norms relevant to law enforcement mandates and functions."

The pledge is currently being circulated by the UAE Ministry of Interior to gather the broadest possible support for I2LEC. Among its main priorities, the initiative aims to increase awareness and knowledge about crimes that affect the environment and their impacts to better inform law enforcement policies, strategies, practices and operations; enhance law enforcement agencies' capacity as well as interagency and international cooperation to prevent and combat such crimes, and to effectively carry out their mandates and functions in the context of evolving and emerging challenges posed by climate change; and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices by law enforcement agencies.

In addition to I2LEC, the UAE Ministry of Interior has established the Secure Communities Forum (SCF) which, in partnership with the Joint Environmental Unit (JEU) of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), has launched one of the world's first training programmes dedicated to educating frontline first responders and law enforcement officers on the impacts of climate change for routine emergencies and disaster scenarios. Drawing upon international expertise in the law enforcement, climate, public safety and humanitarian fields, it offers a much-needed universal training on the evolving challenges of climate change. Trainees will receive a certificate from the SCF and the UN JEU upon completion of the training modules.

Access to the training can be found here: https://learning.eecentre.org/course/view.php?id=44

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