Vienna (Austria), 22 May 2023 – The thirty-second session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) opened on 22 May 2023, bringing Member States together to discuss a myriad of issues related to crime prevention and criminal justice, including along this year’s theme of “Enhancing the functioning of the criminal justice system to ensure access to justice and to realize a safe and secure society”.
As the main policymaking body of the United Nations addressing crime prevention and criminal justice issues, the Commission plays a critical role in advancing collective efforts against national and transnational crime, while strengthening fair and effective criminal justice institutions.
Ensuring a well-functioning criminal justice system is at the core of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) designed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The CCPCJ is in a unique position to support the achievement of SDG 16 (Peace, justice, and strong institutions) through promoting action in a broad range of areas, such as reducing violence, ending abuse, countering trafficking in persons and wildlife, addressing illicit financial and arms flows, and preventing and countering corruption.
The Commission aims to promoting the rule of law and ensuring equal access to justice for all.
“SDGs cannot be achieved if the rule of law does not prevail," the President of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Csaba KŐRÖSI noted in his opening remarks. He emphasized that “CCPCJ plays a critical role in the implementation of the SDGs, and, ultimately, in building a world which is not only liveable, but also freer and fairer”.
Ghada WALY, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reiterated that “countries and societies are best placed to pursue their development aspirations when the rule of law prevails, when access to justice is available to all, and when people are protected from violence and exploitation”.
CCPCJ Chair H.E. Mary MUGWANJA held a special event on “Achieving SDG16: the contribution by CCPCJ” on the first day of the 32nd session, to call upon Governments to strengthen their efforts for the achievement of SDG 16, and to identify synergies for the way forward. She emphasized that “Goal 16 is an important cross-cutting enabler for all goals on the 2030 Agenda. In the 2021 Kyoto Declaration, Member States declared to undertake to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through efforts in crime prevention and criminal justice, with the firm recognition that sustainable development and the rule of law are interlinked and mutually reinforcing”.
Alongside the President of the General Assembly and Executive Director of the UNODC, the event’s panel featured H.E. Ambassador Takeshi HIKIHARA, Permanent Representative of Japan, H.E. Ambassador Hamad ALKAABI, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Ambassador Philibert JOHNSON, Permanent Representative of Ghana, H.E. Miguel Camilo RUIZ BLANCO, Permanent Representative of Colombia, and Angela ME, Chief of the Research and Analysis Branch, UNODC.