It is a great pleasure to be here in Vienna for the first time as Secretary-General.  

I thank the United Nations staff based here, the representatives of Member States, civil society and all our partners, for your work on some of the most challenging problems the international community faces today:  transnational crime, human trafficking, corruption, drug policy, cybercrime.  

My overriding priorities since taking office are preventing conflicts and crises, and mobilizing efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and this Commission, have a crucial role to play.

I would like to say a few words about your work, in the context of our global efforts.

I welcome the three resolutions on human trafficking tabled at this Commission. This heinous crime is flourishing, as a result of protracted conflicts, growing inequality and the absence of an organized international response to migration.

The results are all around us: appalling deaths on the high seas and across deserts; forced labour and sexual servitude; the recruitment of child soldiers and many other forms of exploitation and abuse.

But these are just the visible signs of vast, cross-border criminal networks. We need to tackle these networks in their entirety, from recruiters to ship captains and brothel owners, all the way to the gang bosses who make fortunes from human misery.