Organized Crime on the UN Security Council Agenda

Luncheon Discussion with Dr. Judith Vorrath Senior Associate in the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)



There has been an increasing attention for organized crime on the UN Security Council. For years, the number of resolutions relating to organized crime, whether linked to drug or arms trafficking, piracy, kidnappings or illegal trade in natural resources, has increased substantially. In June 2018, for the first time, a Committee of the United Nations Security Council placed individuals on a sanctions list for human trafficking. As part of the Libya sanctions regime, travel bans and asset freezes have been imposed on six persons identified as leadership figures in illegal activities relating to human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. While this kind of response will certainly remain an exception, it does indicate that UN sanctions can play a role in tackling organized crime related to violent conflict and insecurity. This raises the question why and how organized crime gets on the Security Council’s agenda and what role UN sanctions have played so far alongside other measures.

Light lunch will be served.


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Judith Vorrath is a Senior Associate in the International Security Division of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Dr. Vorrath is currently doing research on the UN Security Council at the International Peace Institute in New York. Her work focuses additionally on illicit economies and transnational organized crime in West Africa and international responses to organized crime in the context of violent conflict and state fragility. Previously she has been a post-doc fellow at SWP, at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. and the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris.

Judith Vorrath holds a Doctor of Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). From 2005 to 2010, she pursued her studies as a Doctoral Student at the Center for Security Studies, Zurich, and as a member of a National Research Center (NCCR Democracy), engaged in a project on democratization in divided societies. In this project she focused particularly on the African Great Lakes region. Prior to joining the Center and the NCCR, she worked as a Research and Programme Coordinator at the Development and Peace Foundation (SEF) in Bonn for several years.

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