Yury Fedotov

Director General/Executive Director


Remarks at the opening of the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

14 May 2018


Ladies and gentlemen,

I welcome you to the 27th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

This Commission has operated at the forefront of global efforts to enhance crime prevention and criminal justice responses, and contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

This session is an opportunity to further advance collective action and tackle shared challenges posed by crime, corruption and terrorism.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will be addressing the Commission this afternoon. It is a welcome chance to hear in person his vision and priorities as they relate to the work of the Crime Commission and UNODC. 

The thematic discussion of this session is focusing on one of the most urgent priorities facing the international community today, namely cybercrime.

From online exploitation and abuse to ransomware and trafficking on darknet markets, cybercrime imperils health and safety, violates human rights and impedes sustainable development.

Use of the internet by terrorists to incite, recruit and plan for attacks represents clear threats to peace and stability.

Therefore, international cooperation and technical assistance to improve law enforcement capacities in all countries to prevent and counter cybercrime are vitally necessary.

I am proud to say that the Commission and UNODC have pursued effective and pragmatic partnerships to strengthen practical efforts in these areas, to train police, prosecutors and judges, educate communities and protect people, most of all children.

Crimes can be prevented, and they can be disrupted. UNODC is applying its long experience and expertise in addressing all forms of transnational organized crime to this fight.

We all have a stake in stopping cybercrime, which also enables so many other crimes, from human trafficking and migrant smuggling to trafficking in drugs, illicit firearms and wildlife, and money laundering.

We are working in more than 50 countries, providing training to improve investigative skills, trace cryptocurrencies as part of financial investigations, and detect online abuse materials.

This support is helping to identify digital evidence in online drug trafficking, confront the use of the darknet for criminal and terrorist purposes, and improve data collection so we can further sharpen responses.

Here in Vienna, the meetings of the Commission's Intergovernmental Expert Group to strengthen collective responses to cybercrime are helping to build links between governments, the UN, other international as well as regional organizations, civil society and business.

For this positive result we must be grateful for the constructive, comprehensive and inclusive approach that is a hallmark of the Commission, very much in keeping with the Vienna spirit of consensus and dialogue.

With this in mind, I would also like to commend the work of the Chair and active Member States to further strengthen the role of the Commission in advancing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This will also assist efforts to fulfill the commitments set out in the Doha Declaration agreed at the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, as well as contribute to the substantive preparations for the 14th Crime Congress in Japan in 2020.

UNODC remains fully engaged in supporting you in Vienna and on the ground through our country, regional and global programmes.

Our work is founded on a solid framework provided by the Conventions against transnational organized crime and corruption, the drug conventions and the international counter-terrorism instruments.

It is further reinforced by a comprehensive set of standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice developed by this Commission. They address urgent problems such as violence against women and children. They promote access to justice and guide the effective and humane functioning of criminal justice systems, from police to penitentiaries.

The results we can achieve together based on this foundation are clear.

Later this month, we are marking the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention against Corruption with the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General at a high-level event in New York.

UNODC will present our first global study on the crime of migrant smuggling in June, which can support efforts towards the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

We will continue strengthening global responses to the threats of terrorism and violent extremism through coordinated support to the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its planned biennial review in June.

In July, we will mark the centenary of a great leader and hero, Nelson Mandela, whose legacy we continue to honour with efforts to promote the Nelson Mandela Rules on prison management and treatment of prisoners.

We recently held the first meeting of the heads of agencies in the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, ICAT.

UNODC will continue building on the strong commitment shown by all our partners to work together to address this terrible crime.

We will take this forward at the ninth session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in October, where we will address action under the human trafficking and migrant smuggling protocols, and through the launch of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons later this year.

UNODC remains committed to doing all we can to advance gender equality and gender mainstreaming in all our work .

Ladies and gentlemen,

You have before you the revised version of UNODC's consolidated budget for 2018-2019, prepared based on the requests made by Member States at the reconvened sessions, and also presented at the March session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

I once again urge Member States to provide the necessary resources so that our Office can effectively support you in addressing the priorities you identify.

Excellencies, dear colleagues,

I wish you productive discussions. Thank you.