ICAT Briefing to Member States

Event Date: 
Thursday, June 14, 2018

ICAT Briefing to Member States

On 14 June 2018, the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT) hosted a briefing for Member States regarding the outcomes of the first high-level meeting of heads of United Nations and other international and regional organisations that make up ICAT, gathering 21 out of 23 ICAT organizations in London on 2nd May 2018.

Held at the United Nations Office in Vienna, the briefing gathered the three-Vienna based ICAT members, namely the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). Chaired by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus in Vienna, H.E. Ambassador Alena Kupchyna, the briefing was the first of a series of events to inform States and other stakeholders of the high-level meeting and future plans of the Group, in line with the mandate given to ICAT by the General Assembly.

Mr. Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC, and ICAT Coordinator, stressed the importance of coordinating, and thereby enhancing, efforts to address trafficking in persons, noting that ICAT members had adopted, with consensus, strategically important decisions at the highest level to bring effect to ICAT’s role as the UN’s main interagency mechanism to address human trafficking.

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC & ICAT Coordinator: “In recent years, coordination of anti-trafficking action is desperately needed, now more than ever. I am proud to say that ICAT has been able to step up, and I believe we have taken some important steps towards enabling ICAT to live up to its promise as a coordination mechanism to strengthen responses to human trafficking.”

Ambassador Jarbussynova, OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, recalled the role of international organisations in developing comprehensive and multi-agency partnerships. Reflecting the spirit of UN General Assembly Resolution 72/195, encouraging a more robust participation of all members to ICAT’s work, she described OSCE plans for co-chairing ICAT with UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) for 2019. 

Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova, Special Representative, OSCE: “The very existence of ICAT platform to bring together leading agencies and practitioners to share expertise, inform national strategies and promote a holistic approach in tackling human trafficking is a goal in itself to which we attach great importance.”

Mr. Gehrke, ICMPD Director for Policy, Research and Strategy, emphasised that there is also an important role for non-UN agencies in ICAT. He stressed how ICAT builds upon the combined expertise and experience of its members and partners to advance a jointly developed and agreed programme of work, ensuring that the international community increasingly addresses key issues concerning trafficking in persons with one voice. 

Mr. Gehrke, ICMPD Director for Policy, Research and Strategy: “The best way we can make a difference with our work (against human trafficking) is by partnering with peers sharing common objectives, and ICAT provides the perfect environment”.

The briefing was extremely well-attended, including by representatives of other ICAT organizations, IOM and UNHCR, and Member States welcomed the opportunity to learn more about ICAT’s work.  The Bolivian Ambassador congratulated ICAT for its work, and expressed its continuous support to its efforts.  The United Kingdom’s Ambassador mentioned that ICAT is the key mechanism to ensure the international community is coordinated to combat human trafficking, while the United States stressed that inter-agency cooperation is key to tackling this global issue and expressed hope that ICAT principals will continue to meet in the future.

Recent ICAT outputs