Doha, 13 April 2015
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for joining us for this high-level special event on the rule of law, human rights and the post-2015 agenda at the Thirteenth Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, organized by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, in partnership with the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, as well as Italy and Thailand.
This event seeks to build on the successful High Level Thematic Debate on "Integrating Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in the Post-2015 Development Agenda" convened by the President of the General Assembly in February 2015, which has provided useful input into the Congress.
I am grateful that President Kutesa could be with us today and I thank you for your continued leadership on this very important issue.
We have an impressive and diverse group of distinguished participants with considerable expertise and experiences to share, and I am looking forward to our discussion.
As the Secretary-General has emphasized: "There can be no peace without development and no development without peace. Lasting peace and sustainable development cannot be fully realized without respect for human rights and the rule of law.."
The theme of the Thirteenth Congress is integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider UN agenda to address social and economic challenges, and to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels.
As we move towards the September Summit on the post-2015 development agenda, it is essential that we strengthen the international community's efforts to promote the rule of law and human rights, as outcomes and enablers of sustainable development.
At the opening of the Congress yesterday, I highlighted the opportunity before us to contribute to a transformative post-2015 development agenda, including through implementation of the far-reaching commitments to strengthen criminal justice and crime prevention responses that have been set out in the Doha Declaration to be agreed at this Congress.
Together, we can advance justice and uphold human dignity, and confront the criminals who undermine the rule of law and sustainable development.
UNODC is committed to being part of UN system efforts to deliver on this promise.
In order to effectively support States in implementing the post-2015 development agenda and its attendant follow-up and review framework, major efforts are needed to ensure integrated, UN system-wide strategies.
The Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, which brings together the UN system's collective expertise, plays a notable role in this regard.
Going forward, coordination is essential to help promote genuine participation and national ownership; support the development of clear, meaningful targets and indicators that enable States to uphold their commitments; and strengthen international cooperation in the spirit of shared responsibility.
Our meeting today is an opportunity to exchange views and contribute to Member States' discussions on these very important topics.