Crime Commission opens in Vienna

crime commission17 April 2009 - The eighteenth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice began yesterday at UNODC headquarters in Vienna. Over the course of the next six days, Member States will discuss critical international issues on global crime trends and responses. Attention will be given to what UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa has described as "a global crime wave".

Among other issues, economic fraud and identity-related crime will be discussed. According to Mr. Costa, "The economic crisis is providing an extraordinary opportunity for mafia penetration of the international financial system. Urgent action is needed."  Mr. Costa also stressed the need for the international community to crack down on abuse of the Internet for economic fraud and cyber-terrorism. Other important thematic discussions will address penal reform and the reduction of prison overcrowding, including the provision of legal aid in criminal justice systems.

Members States will be encouraged to make more effective use of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which entered into force in 2003, as well as its three Protocols against trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.

The Commission will take place from 16 to 24 April. To learn more about the Commission's agenda and side events during the session, please visit us online.

Background information

The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is the central body within the United Nations system providing policy guidance on crime prevention and criminal justice. The Commission formulates international policies and recommendations on criminal justice issues, including trafficking in persons, transnational crime and aspects of terrorism prevention. It monitors the use and application of relevant United Nations standards and norms and guides policy development in response to new issues. The Commission offers Member States a forum to exchange expertise, experiences and information on matters of crime prevention and criminal justice, to develop national and international strategies and to identify priorities for combating crime.