Report of the 14th Crime Congress, Kyoto, Japan

The 14th Crime Congress, originally planned for April 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and held from 7-12 March 2021 in Kyoto, Japan, in a shortened format. The Congress, taking place every five years, is a recommendation body and lines out the working plan for strategies on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice for the next five years.

Member States will take those commitments forward at the 30th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna in May. The Congress is a unique forum to exchange valuable experience in research, law and policy development among countries, organizations, and experts.

It took place at an outstanding venue, in Kyoto International Conference Centre, where the fourth Congress took place 50 years ago. The agenda of the complex matter—crime—was embedded in an environment in harmony with nature, cultural heritage and tradition combined with modern architecture and technology. It might be symbolic and would have been an excellent place for networking and go home with enthusiasm, new ideas and new friends to build back better in strengthening the crime prevention and criminal justice agenda.

The Congress was attended by 5,000 people, only a limited number of ministers of justice and/or their deputies could participate in person. A record of 152 Member States were represented at the Congress along with 400 delegates of 114 non-governmental organizations, 37 intergovernmental organizations, 600 individual experts and several UN entities and institutes.

The Draft Kyoto declaration is entitled on advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Despite prior procedures, the outcome document of the Congress, the so called “Political Declaration” was already adopted at the start of the Congress on Sunday under which governments agreed concrete actions to advance responses addressing crime prevention, criminal justice, rule of law and international cooperation.

While welcome messages from the President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir and UN Secretary-General António Guterres were delivered online, Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Prosecutor-General Makoto Hayashi as well the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Waly addressed the audience in person. The Congress was convened by two females, the Minister of Justice of Japan, Yoko Kamikawa as President of the Congress and the UNODC Executive Director Ms. Ghada Waly, assisted by the Secretariat of CCPCJ, Ms Jo Deydenne.

Full report