Vienna, 27 May 2023 – After five days of discussions aimed at strengthening crime prevention, criminal justice responses and cooperation, the 32nd session of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, (CCPCJ) chaired by H.E. Mary MUGWANJA, came to a close yesterday.
Over 1,800 participants from 136 Member States, 18 intergovernmental organizations, 69 non-governmental organizations and several United Nations (UN) entities came together both online and in-person for this year’s CCPCJ, which convenes every year and is the principal policymaking body of the UN in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
In her closing remarks to the session, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada WALY noted that “we should not allow difficult times to shake our belief in justice and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The obstacles may seem daunting, and the setbacks may be severe, but in this Commission and in other multilateral bodies we still see empathy, innovation, and small victories that can add up to big impact.”
The work of the Commission in its thirty-second session
The thirty-second session of the CCPCJ featured a thematic discussion on the topic of “Enhancing the functioning of the criminal justice system to ensure access to justice and to realize a safe and secure society”. The discussion delved into the challenges and promising practices on a range of related issues, such as enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the criminal justice system as well as its preventive role and inclusivity. Participants also underscored the need for the criminal justice system to be victim-centered.
The thematic discussion was complemented by a workshop organized by the Institutes of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI) on the same topic, informing participants of the lessons learned by the criminal justice practitioners and policy makers around the world.
The session adopted five resolutions covering action against trafficking in persons; reducing reoffending; equal access to justice for all; counter-terrorism, and contributions of the CCPCJ to the 2030 Agenda.
In addition, Member States adopted a resolution on the follow up to the Fourteenth Crime Congress and the preparations for the Fifteenth Crime Congress. The resolution includes information on the procedural arrangements for the Fifteenth Congress, to be held in 2026, as well as on its overall theme, agenda items and workshop topics.
CCPCJ side events and exhibitions
Close to 110 side events were held on topics including trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants; victim-centered policies; mainstreaming a gender perspective in crime prevention and criminal justice; all forms of violence against children; youth crime prevention; crimes that affect the environment; equal access to justice; cybercrime; alternatives to incarceration and reducing reoffending. The side events were held alongside 14 exhibitions, showcasing multi-pronged efforts on enhancing crime prevention and criminal justice efforts.
The Chair of the Commission held two special events to further encourage international action in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. The first special event on 22 May on “Achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: The contribution by CCPCJ”, attended by President of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Csaba KŐRÖSI, called upon Governments to strengthen their efforts for the achievement of SDG 16 and identify synergies for the way forward.
The second event was organized on 23 May 2023 with a focus on “Addressing challenges in the treatment of offenders: The practical application of existing United Nations standards and norms and towards the development of the United Nations standards and norms on reducing reoffending”. The event facilitated an exchange of best practices on the treatment of offenders. Participants also reflected on possible areas for consideration during the development of the Model Strategies on Reducing Reoffending, which would be the latest addition to the UN Standards and Norms in the thematic area.