UNODC convenes experts to advise on best ways to improve crime statistics in Asia and the Pacific

UNODC convenes experts to advise on best ways to improve crime statistics in Asia and the Pacific Bangkok (Thailand), 13 February 2020 - The first meeting of the "Regional Advisory Group" (RAG) of the UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific (CoE) was held in Bangkok from 4 to 6 February 2020 to discuss regional needs and support to be offered by the CoE.

The inaugural meeting of the advisory body helped the CoE to shape its vision for providing effective institutional and technical assistance to countries in the Asia and Pacific region in the field of crime statistics. The meeting brought together 19 national, regional and international criminal justice practitioners and statisticians.

The Regional Advisory Group discussed the priority thematic areas where the CoE should provide statistical assistance: trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, corruption, gender-based violence, criminal justice processes (including prisons) and indicators for Sustainable Development Goal 16. The functional areas where the CoE could provide targeted assistance include data gathering, data transparency, international standardisation, inter-agency cooperation, political prioritisation of crime and criminal justice statistics. To achieve its goals, the CoE was advised to promote inter-agency and inter-state cooperation, utilising national expertise to share experience, innovation and best practice through effective partnerships.

Partnerships continue to be the foundation of support in the areas of crime and criminal justice statistics, whether internal, between states or between regional and international agencies. At the heart of the CoE is partnerships with other UN entities, including UN Women, UNSIAP (Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific), ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) and the CoE sister centre the UNODC-INEGI Centre of Excellence for Statistical Information on Governance, Security, Victimization and Justice in Mexico, supporting the Latin America and the Caribbean region. These relationships will be enhanced by the development of a pool of experts on the subject matter.

Kyungsoon Choi, Coordinator of the CoE stated that "the Asia-Pacific is an incredibly diverse region in terms of language and culture, and we recognise the need for a tailored approach to assisting Member States. Nevertheless, the first step is to realize the importance of reliable crime and criminal justice statistics. This must start by ensuring political support; there is no "quick fix". The CoE is the core of a regional community to provide assistance and contribute to the 2030 Agenda." Ms. Choi envisages the CoE as a regional resource hub where all the knowledge, experience and data on crime and criminal justice are gathered and shared.

Angela Me, Chief, Research and Trend Analysis Branch UNODC said "It was fantastic to see the participants enthusiastically engaging with each other to guide the CoE into an effective hub where countries in the region can find innovative solutions to improve their crime and criminal justice statistics. The focus on the political aspects of regional engagement was quite rightly at the top of the agenda. The global UNODC research programme recognises the need for the CoE and we will support as closely as possible."

Further Information

UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence

UNODC-INEGI Center of Excellence