Opening Remarks at the Twenty-Second Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Yury Fedotov

Director General/Executive Director


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the Twenty-Second Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

This year is the 10 th Anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

It provides us with an opportune moment to review our progress in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice.

The next five days are crucial as we build on previous sessions to adopt the resolutions necessary to counter crime in the 21st Century.

Draft resolutions and decisions range from femicide to combating human trafficking and from  fraudulent medicines to counter-terrorism.

One draft resolution is related to promoting the rule of law, as well as crime prevention and criminal justice in the post-2015 development agenda.

Based on our work, we know that weak and fragile states, especially those damaged by conflict, are more vulnerable to drugs and crime.

And we know that crime undermines sustainable development, hinders access to education and employment, and drives away foreign and domestic investors.

Therefore, a consensus is emerging for the rule of law to be integrated into the post-2015 agenda.

UNODC is prepared to support this process through our work to deliver justice in a fair and humane manner, in line with human rights, and following the UN standards on crime prevention and criminal justice developed over many years by this Commission.

This session of the Commission is also preparing for the 13 th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, scheduled to be held in Qatar in 2015.

Both the Crime Congress and the review of the Millennium Development Goals will be held in the same year.

We must take advantage of this to ensure that our work in the area of the rule of law and justice is properly aligned to sustainable social and economic development.

UNODC continues to confront emerging crimes, as well as existing crimes that are diversifying throughout the world.

These include the growth of fraudulent medicines, illegal trade in declining numbers of wildlife, terrorism, and trafficking in human beings, small arms and cultural artefacts, among many others.

Cybercrime remains a difficult and challenging issue. We are committed to cooperating closely with Member States, and other organizations, by offering technical assistance to prevent and counter this widespread crime.

Piracy is another example of the multifaceted nature of crime.

In 2012, we witnessed a decline in the number of successful piracy attacks in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

There are many reasons for this decline  including more effective  naval operations, greater vigilance and weather conditions.

However, one additional reason is the activities of UNODC’s Counter-Piracy Programme.

Almost 1200 pirates have been brought to justice globally. Around one quarter of this number have been put behind bars in the region through UNODC’s work.

Given this success, we are now seeking to broaden our counter piracy expertise geographically into a Maritime Crime Programme.

Further details of this initiative will be given under Item 6 of the Commission’s Agenda.

UNODC’s overall response to the interconnected nature of drugs and crime has been the expansion of our integrated Regional Programmes.

Regional Programmes offer a holistic delivery system for crime prevention and criminal justice activities to be mainstreamed into areas such as development, security and governance.

On the issue of terrorism, a side-event on the victims of terrorism, showcases UNODC’s work with Member States on ensuring that victims have a voice within the criminal justice system.

Our work in human trafficking, small arms trafficking, and migrant smuggling, as well as other areas, is also making significant progress.

Interrupting the flow of crime proceeds is a necessity. We cannot allow the criminals and their networks to prosper from their crimes or to fund other illicit activities.

Fundamental to success is the full use of UNTOC and its protocols.

We are close to universality. Eight new countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention since the last Crime Commission, bringing the total number of States Parties to 175.

I urge every country to ratify and to fully implement this Convention and its protocols.

International cooperation can only be enhanced through the delivery of joint responses based on similar criminal legal approaches.

But, we cannot stop here.

At every level of UNODC’s work, both in headquarters and in the field, we take every opportunity to enhance our performance on behalf of Member States.

This is a necessity, and it is why I have placed such importance on the promotion of a culture of evaluation within UNODC, as well as the development of change management processes, accountability and transparency.

Given present financial constraints, our close  cooperation with other UN entities is also another means of ensuring the proper transfer of skills and knowledge, as well as the optimum use of scarce resources.

I trust that Member States will continue to show their own support for UNODC’s activities in these areas by awarding us the necessary funding.

Thank you.


Original Article