DCM’s Opening Remarks for UNODC Workshop

UNODC Workshop

Mr. Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice,
Mr. Secretary General of the Ministry of Interior,
Mr. UN Resident Coordinator in Mauritania,
Representatives of the Judicial Family,
Representatives of the Security Forces,
Representatives of the Civil Society Organizations,
Dear Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to be here on behalf of the United States Embassy in Mauritania.  We are thrilled to help launch the first of four capacity building workshops that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is organizing.  These workshops will help to empower both state and civil society actors responsible for combating trafficking in persons in Mauritania.  As you know, human rights are a top priority for the United States, and this includes tackling the important issue of trafficking in persons in Mauritania.

Under President Ghazouani’s Administration, Mauritania has taken concrete steps to strengthen its legislative framework on trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants.  Updating these laws was an important first step, but challenges still remain in making sure that the law is applied and victims in Mauritania are protected.  Your participation in this workshop is extremely important and shows your commitment to making sure that trafficking victims in Mauritania are not only protected, but that they also get the justice that they deserve.

In the coming days, you will learn about and help identify the tools necessary to investigate, collect evidence, prosecute, and adjudicate trafficking cases.  These skills are vital, and we are very grateful that you have taken the time to come together to share your experiences and learn best practices from others around the room.

The United States is proud to fund and support programs like these and work with partners like you to make sure that everyone’s human rights are fundamentally protected.

I’d like to once again thank UNODC for their terrific work in putting this together, and I wish you an excellent and very productive seminar.