The United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is the world's largest and most diverse gathering of policy-makers, practitioners, academia, intergovernmental organizations and civil society in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. The Congresses have been held every five years since 1955 in different parts of the world, dealing with a vast array of topics. They have made considerable impact in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice and influenced national and international policies and professional practices. The Congresses provide a forum for (a) the exchange of views between States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and individual experts representing various professions and disciplines; (b) the exchange of experiences in research, law and policy development; and (c) the identification of emerging trends and issues in crime prevention and criminal justice.

The 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was held from 7 to 12 March 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, in line with the UN General Assembly decision A/DEC/74/550 B. The Congress was originally scheduled to take place in Kyoto, Japan, on 20-27 April 2020, but was postponed, due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

The 14th Crime Congress, held under the overall theme “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda”, brought together more than 5,000 participants from all over the world. A record 152 Member States were represented at the Congress along with 114 non-governmental organizations, 37 intergovernmental organizations, 600 individual experts and several UN entities and institutes. Most of the participants joined online, via a special event platform, while a limited number of participants attended in person in the Kyoto International Conference Centre.

At the beginning of the high-level segment, Member States adopted the Kyoto Declaration, under which governments agreed on concrete actions to advance responses addressing crime prevention, strengthening criminal justice and promoting the rule of law and international cooperation, including against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the formal proceedings of the Congress, 13 special events and a large number of ancillary meetings were hosted on the event platform.  

Youth Forum

A Youth Forum was organized in the margins of the Fourteenth Congress, on 27 and 28 February 2021, under the overall theme “Youth Engagement for Our Safe and Secure Society towards Achieving the SDGs”.

Held in a hybrid format in Kyoto, the Youth Forum brought together over 150 young people from over 30 countries, including high school and university students and recent graduates. Over two days, participants engaged in lively discussions on youth engagement in preventing youth crime and reintegrating youth offenders; youth education for fostering a culture of lawfulness; and youth commitment towards a safe information society.

The recommendations of the Youth Forum were presented during the opening of the Kyoto Congress on its first day.