Ghada Waly

Director-General/Executive Director

CCPCJ Special Event “A multifaceted approach to turning the Kyoto Declaration into action on the ground”

  16 May 2022 

Ambassador Hikihara,


Ladies and gentlemen,

Momentum starts with commitment, and with this in mind I would like to begin by thanking the Chair of this CCPCJ session, Ambassador Hikihara, and the Government of Japan for their steadfast efforts in keeping the global momentum going to implement the Kyoto Declaration.

The Kyoto Declaration on Advancing Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law was adopted at the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in March 2021, which was one of the first major hybrid conferences held during the pandemic.

The Kyoto Crime Congress brought together a record 5,600 participants, and its Declaration was a collective call to action, to strengthen international cooperation, develop multi-stakeholder partnerships, and enhance technical assistance to respond to the increasingly transnational, organized and complex nature of crime.

This event on the margins of the Crime Commission session is an opportunity to showcase the progress achieved so far, and to look ahead to the next steps needed to keep making progress towards SDG 16 and all of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the Kyoto Declaration, governments recognize the importance of integrated solutions to promote equal access to justice; mainstream gender and empower youth; safeguard children and victims’ rights; improve prison conditions; confront the economic dimensions of crime and end corruption; prevent terrorism; and tackle diverse forms of crime, from cybercrime, human trafficking, and migrant smuggling to crimes that affect the environment and the trafficking of drugs, firearms, and cultural property.

The Kyoto Declaration also called upon this Commission to follow up on policy commitments, which it has done through a workplan addressing four pillars of action, namely advancing crime prevention, advancing the criminal justice system, promoting the rule of law, and promoting international cooperation and technical assistance to prevent and address all forms of crime.

I am proud to say that with UNODC’s support, this has led to an active and engaged dialogue, with experts taking part from Member States, UN entities, international and regional partners, as well as academia and civil society.

The thematic discussions held in February on crimes that affect the environment, mandated by GA resolution 76/185 and supported by France, explored urgent threats to people and planet – a timely debate as the world prepares for the UNFCCC COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

The CCPCJ session brought together experts to share good practices and lessons learned in preventing and combating posed by wildlife and forest crime, crimes in the fisheries sector, illegal mining, and waste trafficking.

The thematic discussions have helped to raise awareness of the need for crime prevention and criminal justice responses to tackle the triple threat of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, and I welcome the efforts of this session to continue this important debate.

I also welcome the expert meeting held in April to develop UN standards and norms to prevent reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration.

UNODC is also proud to support regional initiatives to promote offender treatment and rehabilitation, as well as mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. This includes the Criminal Justice Forum for Asia and the Pacific, which was launched in February to provide a platform enabling practical law enforcement cooperation and information sharing.

Most importantly, taking forward crime prevention commitments made in Kyoto requires the meaningful engagement and participation of all stakeholders, especially young people.

UNODC has been working with Japan and other Member State partners to empower youth as active agents of positive change in their communities, through regional workshops and the Global Youth Forum for a Culture of Lawfulness last October.

In order to educate stakeholders and raise broader awareness of the Kyoto Declaration, and its contribution to achieving the SDGs, our Office has also developed an e-learning tool, which can be accessed through the UNODC website.

The e-learning course also outlines UNODC’s technical assistance offering in support of the Declaration, ranging from comprehensively addressing the treatment of offenders, in line with the UN Common Position on Incarceration and the Nelson Mandela Rules, to building capacities to achieve SDG 16 targets to tackle violence against children, arms and illicit financial flows, corruption, crime, and terrorism.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The Crime Congresses have long played an essential role in developing and agreeing holistic justice solutions to strengthen the rule of law and help build resilient, inclusive societies that leave no one behind.

Our joint action is more crucial than ever in the face of multiplying crises and conflicts, in every region of the world.

I would like to thank the Government of Japan once again for the sustained commitment to ensuring effective follow-up to the Kyoto Declaration. UNODC remains committed in supporting these efforts, including in preparation for the next round of thematic discussions on the second pillar, criminal justice, to be held in November.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our civil society partners, in particular the Alliance of NGOs on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, who I am glad to see are with us today.

Thank you, and I look forward to your interventions.