31st session of the CCPCJ – Addressing global challenges through international cooperation on crime prevention and justice

© UNODC

Vienna (Austria), 20 May 2022 – Today brought the thirty-first session of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) to a close, following five days of discussions that helped to shape multi-stakeholder crime prevention and criminal justice responses and strengthen cooperation.

In her opening remarks to the session, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly highlighted the Commission’s work as the world continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and absorbs the repercussions of conflict around the world on the international criminal justice system.

“This thirty-first session of the CCPCJ, once again taking place in a complex global context, can send a message that Member States will not abandon international efforts to deter crime and support its victims,” she said.

H.E. Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara, who chaired the session, commented: “We have confirmed our steady implementation of the Kyoto Declaration and our common will to further strengthen cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice. Multilateralism works here.”

The work of the commission in its thirty-first session

On 7 March 2021, the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice adopted by consensus the Kyoto Declaration. Member States recommitted to a multilateral approach in preventing and combating crimes, and promoting the rule of law. UNODC was reaffirmed as the leading United Nations entity supporting Member States in this regard.

As such, 2022’s thirty-first session of the CCPCJ included a thematic discussion on a topic that affects criminal justice responses at local, regional, international and global levels. The discussion placed special focus on the use of digital evidence in criminal justice and countering cybercrime, including the abuse and exploitation of minors in illegal activities via the internet.  

The session adopted three resolutions covering illicit trafficking in wildlife, reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration, and protecting children from sexual exploitation and abuse. In addition, a resolution following up on the Kyoto Declaration and preparing for the Fifteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was also adopted.

CCPCJ side events

In the margins of the thirty-first session of the CCPCJ, over 80 side events were held online on topics including, but not limited to: implementation of the Kyoto Declaration; crimes that affect the environment; access to justice for women; human trafficking and migrant smuggling; and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Moreover, the institutes of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Network (PNI) organized an interactive workshop where participants exchanged good practices and innovative approaches on improving criminal justice responses to internet-related crimes against children. Six presentations showcased research that explores different ways in which online child sexual abuse is being addressed.

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Around 1290 participants from 130 Member States, 11 intergovernmental organizations, 55 non-governmental organizations and several UN entities came together both online and in-person for this year’s CCPCJ, which convenes every year and is the UN’s foremost policymaking body on crime prevention and criminal justice issues. It plays a key role in advancing international efforts against national and transnational crime, while recommending measures to strengthen fair and effective criminal justice institutions.