Statement by Mr. Terutoshi Yamashita, Director, Asia and Far East Institute for thePrevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) on Agenda item5 (e): Other activities in support of the work of UNODC, at the 24th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 21st May, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairman,
On behalf of UNAFEI, I would like to update the Commission on some of our recent activities and highlight some key issues we intend to pursue as we look ahead toward the next Crime Congress. But first, let me take a moment to reflect on the Thirteenth Congress that convened in Doha last month. The Congress and the resulting Doha Declaration serve as important reminders that the criminal justice policies and practices we deal with on a daily basis directly impact issues tied to the broader UN development agenda—issues such as poverty, health, education, violence against women and children, and so on. Although these issues cannot be solved by criminal justice systems alone, without effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems, efforts to solve our most challenging social issues are doomed to failure. For that reason, the Doha Declaration reaffirms the necessity of international cooperation, technical assistance and capacity building in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
For those unfamiliar with UNAFEI, we are a United Nations regional institute, established in 1962 by agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Japan, with the aim of promoting the sound development of criminal justice systems and mutual cooperation. As a United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network Institute, UNAFEI, relying on the administrative and budgetary support of the government of Japan, has supported the UNODC primarily by providing training courses and seminars for criminal justice personnel.
In selecting the themes of its courses and seminars, UNAFEI matches the needs of the participating countries with the priority areas of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, as identified by the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Commission.
UNAFEI’s alumni form a strong international network, which now consists of more than 5,000 former participants from over 135 countries. Many alumni have been serving in important positions within their governments and have been playing leading roles in the field of criminal justice. This alumni network, taking a people-centered approach, fosters international cooperation in criminal justice around the world.
Our activities are greatly assisted by the cooperation and support of various organizations, such as the UNODC, our fellow Programme Network Institutes, and especially the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation. On behalf of UNAFEI, I would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest appreciation to them all.
The Doha Declaration stresses the need to implement UN standards and norms. In this regard, UNAFEI has been focusing on the implementation of the Bangkok Rules and helped coordinate Workshop 1 at the 13th Congress, along with the Raul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), other PNIs and the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ). Workshop 1 addressed the treatment and rehabilitation of women and children. UNAFEI will do its part to promote and disseminate the Doha Declaration, as well as the official report and panelists’ papers of Workshop 1..
The Doha Declaration announced that the 14th Crime Congress will be hosted by the government of Japan in 2020. As the PNI member in the host country, UNAFEI hopes to play an active role in the preparations for the next Congress, including the coordination and planning of workshops, as UNAFEI has done for past congresses.
This year marks the 25th anniversary since the adoption of the Tokyo Rules on non-custodial measures by the United Nations General Assembly. UNAFEI is very proud of its involvement in formulating the first draft of those rules. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that UNAFEI has continued to focus on the implementation of non-custodial measures and community-based treatment as some of the most important issues in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
In July 2014, UNAFEI hosted the First Asian Volunteer Probation Officers Meeting, which is the first known gathering of volunteer probation officers from the Asian region and beyond. The purpose of the meeting was to share information on best practices for the implementation of volunteer probation officer programmes, and the meeting culminated in the adoption of the Tokyo Declaration, which identified common characteristics among programmes in the participating countries and encouraged further networking and information sharing on the international level. In January, UNAFEI held its 159th International Senior Seminar on the theme of public participation in community corrections, and in February, UNAFEI and the Thai government jointly held a seminar on promoting community-based treatment in the ASEAN region. The seminar motivated the countries in attendance to further develop public participation in community-based treatment.
Another theme to which UNAFEI attaches particular importance is countermeasures against corruption. During the previous fiscal year, UNAFEI organized two anti-corruption training programmes. From October to November 2014, UNAFEI held the 17th UNAFEI UNCAC Training Programme, which focused on Identifying, Tracing, Freezing, Seizing/Confiscating and Recovering Proceeds of Corruption.
In addition, in November 2014, UNAFEI hosted a regional seminar in Kuala Lumpur. This was the 8th annual seminar on “Good Governance for Southeast Asian Countries”. The seminar was conducted as a joint effort by UNAFEI, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA). I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to the government of Malaysia, especially to MACC and MACA, for their tremendous contribution to the success of the seminar.
All of our international training courses and seminars, including these on offender treatment and corruption, are deeply related with the rule of law, and the implementation of UN standards and norms which stressed by the Doha declaration. But these activities only compose a part of our programming on crime prevention and criminal justice. I would like to update the Commission on our current course on cybercrime, as well as our numerous country-specific training programmes and technical assistance.
But I’m afraid I have run out of time. So in closing, let me simply reassure you of UNAFEI’s continued support for the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme.
Thank you very much for your attention.