1 December 2021 


193 countries adopt first-ever global agreement on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

All the Member states of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted on Thursday a historic agreement that defines the common values and principles needed to ensure the healthy development of AI.

Artificial intelligence is present in everyday life, from booking flights and applying for loans to steering driverless cars. It is also used in specialized fields such as cancer screening or to help create inclusive environments for the disabled.

However, the agency warns that the technology ‘is bringing unprecedented challenges’.


Drowning of 27 migrants in English Channel is worst disaster on record: IOM 

Urgent action is needed to avoid a repeat of tragedies like this week’s drowning of at least 27 people in the English Channel, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Thursday. 

The incident amounted to the largest single loss of life in the English Channel since the UN migration agency, IOM, started recording data in 2014.  

Another106 migrants were rescued in French waters on Wednesday alone.  


World ‘dangerously unprepared’ for future pandemics unless leaders tackle inequalities, UNAIDS warns

Unless leaders tackle stark inequalities, the world could face 7.7 million AIDS-related deaths over the next 10 years, the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) warned on Monday in a new report.

In an urgent call to action ahead of World AIDS Day on 1 December, the agency focused on ending the disease as a public health threat by 2030, said that if transformative measures are not taken, the world will stay trapped in the COVID-19 crisis and remain dangerously unprepared for all future pandemics.


UN will use technology and medical capacity to improve peacekeeping

Beginning on 7 December, ministers from around the world will meet in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to close UN Peacekeeping capability gaps through concrete pledges with a focus on technology, medical capacity building, reducing the UN’s environmental footprint and increasing the number and role of women peacekeepers, UN officials said at a press conference on Monday.

The Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial will be hosted for the first time in Asia and will serve as a platform for Member States to strengthen their support to UN Peacekeeping.


IOM scales up aid at EU-Belarus border, as migrant hypothermia deaths tick up  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners, are scaling up aid along the border between the European Union and Belarus, amid worsening winter weather, which is leading to rising deaths due to hypothermia among asylum seekers stranded there. 

It is estimated that there are up to 2,000 migrants and refugees at the border with Poland, predominantly Kurds from Iraq, but also Syrians, Iranians, Afghans, Yemenis, Cameroonians and others. There are large numbers of women and children among them. 



INTERPOL General Assembly elects new President

ISTANBUL, Turkey – The INTERPOL General Assembly has elected Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi of the United Arab Emirates as the Organization’s new President.

Mr Al Raisi was elected following three rounds of voting. Under Article 16 of INTERPOL’s Constitution, ‘a two-thirds majority shall be required for the election of the President; should this majority not be obtained after the second ballot, a simple majority shall suffice.’


INTERPOL General Assembly resolution calls for increased safeguards against online child sexual exploitation

ISTANBUL, Turkey – INTERPOL’s General Assembly has adopted a resolution addressing the challenges faced by law enforcement investigating cases of online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Through the resolution, member countries expressed their concern at the increased use of end-to-end encryption (E2EE) to conceal illicit online crimes against children such as grooming, live streaming of sexual abuse and the distribution of child sexual abuse material.

E2EE is a privacy safeguard which ensures that the images, videos, written text and live communications are visible only to the sender and recipient. The use of E2EE prevents service providers from detecting child sexual abuse and from complying with lawful requests by law enforcement seeking to investigate cases, arrest offenders and remove child victims from harm.


More than 1,000 arrests and USD 27 million intercepted in massive financial crime crackdown

INTERPOL-coordinated operation saw 22 jurisdictions around the world cooperate to swiftly intercept the illicit proceeds of online fraud.

LYON, France: An operation coordinated by INTERPOL codenamed HAECHI-II saw police arrest more than 1,000 individuals and intercept a total of nearly USD 27 million of illicit funds, underlining the global threat of cyber-enabled financial crime.

Taking place over four months from June to September 2021, Operation HAECHI-II brought together specialized police units from 20 countries, as well as from Hong Kong and Macao, to target specific types of online fraud, such as romance scams, investment fraud and money laundering associated with illegal online gambling.


Global arrests and seizures: INTERPOL-WCO operation strikes wildlife and timber trafficking networks

LYON, France – A worldwide enforcement operation against wildlife and timber crime coordinated by INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization (WCO) has disrupted crime networks and seen hundreds of arrests worldwide.

Codenamed Thunder 2021, the month-long (1-31 October) operation involved customs, police, financial intelligence units and wildlife and forestry enforcement agencies in 118 countries: the largest number of participating countries since the annual operation started in 2017.  




Europol: 12 online fraudsters arrested in global operation against couterfeiters 

Operation In Our Sites also led to the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and half a million euro in cash.

From 1 May 2021 until 14 November 2021, Operation In Our Sites took place leading to the arrest of 12 suspects, the seizure of €2.6 million worth of counterfeit goods and cash to the value of €460 468. The joint international operation involved law enforcement authorities from 30 countries and was supported by Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3), Eurojust and INTERPOL. IPC3 is co-funded by EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) to combat intellectual property crime. The operation specifically targeted websites that offer counterfeit goods and are involved in online piracy.


Human traffickers grounded in 29-country sweep of European airports and roads

Action days yield further arrests for money laundering, modern slavery, and other crimes

Between 8 and 12 November, Europol supported large-scale international action against trafficking in human beings. 29 countries, led by Austria and Romania, took part in the action days, which were coordinated by Europol and Frontex. The activities saw more than 14 000 law enforcement officers target trafficking routes on roads and at airports. This resulted in 212 arrests and the identification of a further 89 trafficking suspects.

The action days aimed to combat human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced criminality and forced begging. Europol coordinated the five action days from its 24-hour Operational Centre, which provided the participant countries with informational crosschecking, secure communication channels, and a range of analytical capabilities throughout the operation. The action days took place under the umbrella of the EMPACT security mechanism / framework.


Global Europol taskforce identifies 18 child victims of sexual abuse

A total of 18 children have been tentatively identified and two offenders apprehended as a result of the 10th edition of Europol’s Victim Identification Taskforce (VIDTF). Nine of these young victims have already been rescued by the competent authorities, with investigations ongoing to safeguard the others.

The VIDTF is a Europol initiative which this year gathered specialists from 26 countries and partner agencies to identify victims and offenders depicted in child sexual abuse material. 


Energy efficiency funds fraudsters deactivated in Italy 

The criminal network allegedly laundered more than €14 million through bank accounts in several European countries

The Italian Financial Corps (Guardia di Finanza), the German Duisburg Police (Polizei Duisburg) and the Swiss Police of the Canton of Lucerne (Kantonspolizei Luzern), supported by Europol and Eurojust, dismantled a criminal network involved in fraud with public funds. The fraud was perpetrated through the use of so-called ‘white’ energy efficiency certificates, with criminals then laundering the illicit proceeds.