Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Cage calls for fight against crime

Nicolas Cage has spoken out against organised crime

Nicolas Cage has said that nations must work together in the battle against organised crime.

The Oscar winner, a United Nations goodwill ambassador for global justice, said the threat posed by criminal networks is too big for communities or states to confront on their own so that countries must cooperate with one another.

"Organised crime is a deadly infection that preys on human beings," Nicolas told delegates at a conference aimed at boosting support for a UN convention to curb organised crime. "It sows fear and violence in cities, towns and villages around the world."

Nic warned that regions weakened by conflict, lawlessness and extreme poverty are especially susceptible to traffickers of illegal drugs, weapons and even humans.

"It feeds off instability, and also makes instability worse," he said.

Nic described being a UN goodwill ambassador as his "most challenging and meaningful role" yet and divulged that he even once considered leaving the movie business to devote more time to helping others.

"At some point I wanted to stop being an actor and start taking action," he said.

He was visibly touched when talking about child victims he met in Uganda and Kenya and a 15-year old Somali boy serving a 10-year prison sentence for piracy. These encounters were "heart-wrenching" and "deeply humbled" him, he said.

He also highlighted the role of judges, prosecutors, doctors, religious leaders and others in helping victims of organised crime, saying he now understood "who the world's real heroes are".

Nic won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in Leaving Las Vegas in 1995.

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