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Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Salvador, Brazil, 12-19 April 2010

UNAFEI has always selected high priority issues of the United Nations in the fields of crime prevention and criminal justice as themes for its training courses and seminars, and has made efforts to promote and disseminate the related UN treaties and standards and norms in the Asian and Far East region, and to familiarize its participants with same.

The Twelfth United Nations Congress was held in April 2010 with an over-all theme of "Comprehensive strategies for global challenges: crime prevention and criminal justice systems and their development in a changing world", and more than 3,000 Government and NGO representatives from approximately 100 countries, including Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General, participated. Most of the agenda items discussed at the Twelfth Congress, as well as the themes of the five official workshops, had been covered at recent UNAFEI training courses and seminars.

Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, UNAFEI organized a workshop on "Measures against Overcrowding in Correctional Facilities", one of the five official workshops, thereby contributing to the discussions at the Congress.

Based on discussions and deliberations held at the conference, the Congress adopted the Salvador Declaration, which reflects the political will of the participating states, to be submitted to the Commission as a policy recommendation. Click herePDFExternal link for a report of the 12th Congress.

Every one of the 55 items in the Declaration can be seen as an endorsement of past training courses and the activities of UNAFEI.

(1) The following items clearly reflect the outcomes of the Overcrowding Workshop organized by UNAFEI.

"51. We stress the need to reinforce alternatives to imprisonment, which may include community service, restorative justice and electronic monitoring and support rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, including those to correct offending behaviour, and educational and vocational programmes for prisoners."

"52. We recommend that Member States endeavour to reduce pretrial detention, where appropriate, and promote increased access to justice and legal defence mechanisms."

(2) The following items strongly endorse various UNAFEI activities in the past, and we consider them as an encouragement to further contribute to the crime prevention and criminal justice policies of the United Nations.

"(Preamble) We, the States Members of the United Nations, stressing the need to strengthen international, regional and subregional cooperation to effectively prevent, prosecute and punish crime, in particular by enhancing the national capacity of States through the provision of technical assistance, declare as follows."

"3. We acknowledge the value and impact of the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice and endeavour to use those standards and norms as guiding principles in designing and implementing our national crime prevention and criminal justice policies, laws, procedures and programmes."

"4. Bearing in mind the universal character of the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice, we invite the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to consider reviewing and, if necessary, updating and supplementing them. In order to render them effective, we recommend that appropriate efforts be made to promote the widest application of those standards and norms and to raise awareness of them among authorities and entities responsible for their application at the national level."

"8. We consider that international cooperation and technical assistance can play an important role in achieving sustainable and long-lasting results in the prevention, prosecution and punishment of crime, in particular by building, modernizing and strengthening our criminal justice systems and promoting the rule of law. Specific technical assistance programmes should thus be designed to achieve these aims, for all the components of the criminal justice system, in an integrated way and with a long-term perspective, enabling the capacity of requesting States to prevent and suppress the various types of crime affecting their societies, including organized crime. In that regard, the experience and expertise accumulated over the years by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime constitute a valuable asset."

"9. We strongly recommend the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources to develop and implement effective policies, programmes and training dealing with crime prevention, criminal justice and the prevention of terrorism. In this regard, we stress the serious need to provide the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime with a level of resources commensurate with its mandate. We call on Member States and other international donors to support, and coordinate with, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, including its regional and country offices, the institutes of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme network and requesting States in the provision of technical assistance to strengthen their capacity to prevent crime."

"44. We undertake to promote appropriate training of officials entrusted with upholding the rule of law, including correctional facility officers, law enforcement officials and the judiciary, as well as prosecutors and defence lawyers, in the use and application of those standards and norms."

Click here for an outline of the 12th Congress Workshop.PDF

The 12th Congress (Salvador, Brazil)

Panellists of the Congress Workshop

Opening Remarks by Director Sasaki of UNAFEI at the Congress Workshop