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Advancing the criminal justice system at centre of the second thematic discussions on the implementation of the Kyoto Declaration

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Safeguarding victims’ rights, protecting witnesses and reporting persons, and improving criminal investigation processes

Vienna (Austria), 7 December 2022 – The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), the United Nations’ (UN) principal policymaking body on crime prevention and criminal justice, held its second Thematic Discussions on the implementation of the Kyoto Declaration from 5 to 7 December 2022, in Vienna and online.  

The discussions focused on Pillar II of the Kyoto Declaration on “Advancing the criminal justice system”, covering the following topics: 

  • Safeguarding victims’ rights, protecting witnesses and reporting persons, and improving criminal investigation processes; 
  • Improving prison conditions and reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration; and 
  • Mainstreaming a gender perspective into criminal justice systems, and addressing the vulnerabilities of children and youth in contact with the criminal justice system. 

In the Kyoto Declaration, adopted by consensus during the fourteenth UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in March 2021, States have expressed their endeavour to take actions to prevent and address all forms of crime. These actions include advancing crime prevention and the criminal justice system, promoting the rule of law, as well as international cooperation and technical assistance. States have called upon the CCPCJ to adopt appropriate policy and operational measures to follow up on the declaration. In tandem, the UN General Assembly has requested the CCPCJ to hold thematic discussions. 

The second thematic discussions were chaired by Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara of Japan, who also chaired the CCPCJ at its thirty-first session. Hikihara applauded the level of engagement and the quality of the discussions, and encouraged stakeholders to continue to engage with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the global partnership in advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. 

Addressing the meeting Lachezara Stoeva, President of the UN Economic and Social Council, underscored that “criminal justice systems around the world continue to face challenges in fulfilling their mandates and in ensuring equal access to justice, especially for those further left behind”. 

Other speakers participating in the discussions included the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Ghada Waly, the Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women Ambassador Mathu Joyini of South Africa, the Chair of the Commission for Social Development Ambassador Alya Al-Thani of Qatar, and Heeyeon Cho, delegate from the Youth Forum for a Culture of Lawfulness, which was organized by Japan in December 2022.

Further information

The thematic discussions reached a global audience, with over 700 registered participants from 110 countries and organizations. The three days featured interventions and presentations by experts from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and members of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network. 

Collaboration among UN entities in addressing the topics of the discussion was showcased through the interventions made by the Department of Peace Operations, UN Development Programme, International Organization for Migration, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, World Health Organization, UN Children’s Fund, UN Office for Project Services, UN Women, UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture and on Trafficking in Persons, and the Sub-Committee on the Prevention of Torture.  

To consult the presentations and the statements of speakers, please click here


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