Historic INTERPOL Meeting in Vienna Ends with Call to Fight Organized Crime

PeopleOther ♦ Published: December 3, 2023; 18:07 ♦ (Vindobona)

INTERPOL's 91st General Assembly in Vienna, held to mark the organization's 100th anniversary, ended with an urgent call to tackle the growing threat of transnational organized crime. The so-called "Vienna Declaration" outlines five priority measures to better support law enforcement agencies worldwide in the fight against this challenge.

In response to the growth and sophistication of transnational organized crime, INTERPOL's centennial General Assembly closed with a call to action. / Picture: © BMI/Gerd Pachauer

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock described transnational organized crime as an epidemic and called for stronger networking of different sources of information to combat this threat. The General Assembly also adopted several resolutions on combating environmental crime and the sexual abuse of children on the Internet.

Austria's Interior Minister Gerhard Karner, as host, emphasized the importance of international cooperation: "Shared visions and strategies must lead us into the future. Austria will continue to be a strong partner for INTERPOL." INTERPOL President Ahmed Naser al-Raisi stated that the Vienna Declaration was a genuine commitment to protecting communities and securing borders.

As part of ongoing reforms to modernize and strengthen INTERPOL's governance, resolutions relating to standards of conduct and ethics for the organization's meetings and election campaigns were also approved. The next General Assembly in 2024 will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, where a new Secretary General will be elected.

The meeting in Vienna served as a platform for discussing key topics and holding bilateral talks with partner countries. Topics such as combating transnational money laundering and the strategic direction of the organization for the coming years were discussed in depth. The event was also used to establish and intensify effective bilateral contacts, with the Austrian delegation alone holding 44 talks with various countries.

The INTERPOL General Assembly in Vienna thus provided an important opportunity to strengthen international criminal police cooperation and discuss new ways of combating global crime problems.

The Vienna Declaration: A call to action against the rise of transnational organized crime

For over a century, INTERPOL has assisted its member countries in the pursuit of some of the world's most dangerous criminals. The organization has brought together law enforcement agencies worldwide to share information, operations and best practices. Through its 19 databases, programs and operations, and partnership with member countries, INTERPOL has made the world significantly safer. Nevertheless, transnational organized crime has increased and become more complex due to technological advances, the evolution of criminal activity and increased links between criminal groups. Police chiefs and frontline officers report how this networked crime has made their work more difficult and dangerous.

To address this challenge, INTERPOL has published the Vienna Declaration, which sets out a new approach to tackling organized crime. The declaration sets out five priority actions:

  1. Treat transnational organized crime as a global security priority: Criminal groups operating across borders undermine societies, communities and economies. Many countries can no longer cope with the fight against this crime.
  2. Greater cooperation to combat criminal activity: countries can no longer rely solely on bilateral or regional exchanges. Information sharing across borders must become the norm.
  3. Increased information sharing: policing, justice and national security decision-makers must coordinate their efforts to develop a global response and remove barriers to greater information sharing.
  4. Support police officers on the front lines: Every police officer is a link in the chain that protects their communities and the world. Every officer, including those on the frontline and at our borders, must have access to information from global databases to disrupt criminal activity.
  5. Greater investment in innovation and technology: global law enforcement's investment in technology and innovation is being outpaced by criminals. A significant increase in investment in research, development and capacity building is needed to ensure that police around the world have the tools they need to defeat transnational organized crime.


Austrian Ministry of Interior