Yury Fedotov

Director General/Executive Director

 

Remarks at the opening of the 23rd session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

12 May 2014

Mr Chairman,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the 23rd session of the Commission.

We have a busy and challenging week ahead of us.

This is the last session of the Commission before the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which will be held under the auspices of the General Assembly in Qatar next April.

For more than half a century, the Crime Congresses have helped to shape the agenda and standards of the UN on crime prevention and control.

The 13th Congress will focus on integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider UN agenda, to address social and economic challenges, and to promote the rule of law.

The Congress will also precede the September 2015 UN summit on the post-2015 development agenda, where world leaders will decide on how best to build on the progress achieved towards the Millennium Development Goals.

The CCPCJ, along with the CND, has long been at the forefront of efforts to highlight the links between security, justice and rule of law and sustainable development.

At this session of our Commission, which is also acting as the preparatory body for the Congress, we have new draft resolutions on the rule of law and post-2015 development.

I want to emphasize that with the upcoming Crime Congress, we have a vital opportunity to help address the most urgent development challenges of our time.

Just last month, I had the privilege of moderating a panel at the General Assembly thematic debate on ensuring stable and peaceful societies.

It was clear from our discussions that promoting justice and the rule of law, while combatting the threats that undermine them, are absolutely essential if we want to achieve sustainable development outcomes.

In his opening remarks at the event, the Secretary General noted the results of the UN's My World survey on the post-2015 development agenda.

The survey of more than one million people showed that all population groups, in all regions, ranked "protection against crime and violence" as a high priority.

The Secretary General said, and I quote:

"Let us therefore work together to develop a post-2015 development agenda that will address the underlying causes of violence and conflict, wherever they occur".

UNODC, with its integrated, regional, partnership approach to preventing and combating crime  is seen as central to the UN's efforts to address this global challenge.

This is also evidenced by the growing demand for UNODC services and our rapidly expanding mandates.

Excellencies,

This is the responsibility that lies before us at this CCPCJ session.

Many challenges we face in protecting people from crime and violence are addressed by the draft resolutions. These include:

  • the smuggling of migrants;
  • human trafficking, including for the purpose of organ removal;
  • trafficking in cultural property, as well as in timber and forest products;
  • crimes committed against journalists;
  • and violence against children.

Other resolutions seek to strengthen social policies to prevent crime, as well as international cooperation in criminal matters.

As ever, UNODC looks forward to the guidance Member States will provide in the agreed resolutions.

The CCPCJ also plays a key role in international standard-setting in crime prevention and criminal justice. 

This work includes the UN Model Strategies and Practical Measures on eliminating violence against children, as well as the UN Guidelines for responses to trafficking in cultural property and related offences.

These are before the Commission for further adoption by the GA.

The Commission will also consider the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, with a view to their finalization next year at the Crime Congress.

Furthermore, this session of the CCPCJ will address the need for sustained attention and support to strengthen the legal regime against terrorism and deliver technical assistance.

We also have a rich programme of side events, many of which highlight UNODC's work in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice.

We will present a new study on the effects of new technologies on the abuse and exploitation of children, as well as a handbook on early access to legal aid.

Other side events focus on:

  • illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods and fraudulent medicines
  • addressing human trafficking and migrant smuggling
  • addressing human rights and HIV in prisons
  • implementing the Bangkok Rules on women offenders and prisoners
  • tackling violence against women
  • and combating illicit financial flows.

Examples of strengthening regional cooperation and investigations will also be presented.

A particular priority is the global fight against wildlife and forest crime. Wildlife crime undermines development and stability, and destroys ecosystems and legitimate livelihoods.

Given the increasing importance of wildlife and forest crime, and the pressing requests from Member States, UNODC intends to launch a vigorous and dedicated research and analysis effort on this issue.

Our aim is to help generate the systematic assessments that the international community needs to inform responses to this growing, global threat.

I am confident that this research will complement UNODC's work through its Global Programme in delivering technical assistance to improve the preventive and criminal justice response to wildlife and forest crime.

As always, we will work in close cooperation with all our partners, including the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, in this endeavour.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Underpinning all of these efforts, whether to combat wildlife crime or stop trafficking and money laundering, is international  cooperation in criminal matters.

This is the subject of this year's thematic discussion, and is also addressed in a number of draft resolutions.

The discussion will explore ways of strengthening international cooperation, including through more extensive use of multilateral instruments such as the UNTOC and the UNCAC, as well as bilateral treaties, reciprocal arrangements and direct contacts between designated central authorities.

In a globalized world characterized by an unprecedented level of connectivity, the increasingly transnational nature of crime has emerged as one of the key challenges countries face.

Modes of international cooperation in criminal matters must continuously evolve, to be faster, flexible and more responsive, to cope with new threats.

I hope that your debate will help support countries in these efforts.

I wish you a fruitful session. Thank you.