UNODC Executive Director
Remarks at the launch of the Thematic Programme on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform
November 9, 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to be with you today to present UNODC's new thematic programme on crime prevention and criminal justice reform.
These issues are at the heart of our work to foster a safer world with less crime.
We are living in an interconnected, globalized era.
Transnational organized crime, respects no borders and represents a growing challenge to the rule of law, good governance and development in many countries.
UNODC promotes comprehensive and holistic approaches to preventing crime and strengthening criminal justice systems in order to bolster the rule of law for all and to stop the spread of crime.
To address organized crime, corruption and terrorism, we need criminal justice systems in which police, prosecution, courts, and prisons function effectively, and in full respect of the rule of law and human rights.
Since crime prevention is more efficient and cost effective than crime reaction, UNODC supports States in developing policies and strategies to ensure a balanced approach.
This Thematic Programme is part of UNODC's approach to provide clear guidance on our priorities; in particular the Conventions and the UN standards in crime prevention and criminal justice.
It presents the global framework for UNODC's action in successful crime prevention and criminal justice reform for the period 2012-2015.
In doing so, it offers an overview of the needs in terms of human and financial resources to respond to Member States' requests.
The key focus areas for the Thematic Programme are: crime prevention; police reform; strengthening prosecution services, the judiciary and courts; access to legal aid; justice for children and the protection of victims and witnesses, among others.
In the last couple of years, UNODC has seen a considerable increase of technical assistance in these and other areas, with expenditure growing from around 25 million dollars in 2010 to almost 35 million in 2011.
For 2012, the projected budget is likely to increase with most of the money being spent in West and Central Asia and Africa and the Middle East.
This is an indication of the increased demand for assistance we receive from Member States; a trend that is likely to continue in the future.
UNODC's technical assistance in these areas ranges from assessments of criminal justice systems to area-specific interventions such as providing professional skills training to young people at risk.
We also support humane prison systems as well as alternatives to imprisonment, and we work to empower victims through access to justice as well as assistance and protection services.
Cooperation is crucial for maintaining our momentum in the fight against crime and in efforts to improve the delivery of justice and the promotion of the rule of law worldwide.
Another key element in our overall strategy was the Review Mechanism for UNTOC, which for budgetary reasons, was not adopted at the recent Sixth Session of the Conference of Parties.
The Review Mechanism in our view would have been essential for reviewing how Member States meet their obligations under UNTOC, and how effectively the Convention is being implemented.
I hope Member States will, at some date in the not too distant future, see the true value of the mechanism as a tool to more effectively fight organized crime and ensure its adoption.
With this in mind, I encourage you to support UNODC efforts in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice reform in the coming years.