Connection between rule of law and development focus of UN crime commission

Connection between rule of law and development focus of UN crime commission

The rule of law and development, and the role of governments in criminal justice will be the focus of the annual session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), which opens tomorrow in Vienna.

The rule of law and development, and the role of governments in criminal justice will be the focus of the annual session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), which opens tomorrow in Vienna.

The 40-member Commission, which formulates international policies and makes recommendations for crime control, is expected to spotlight the many ways criminal activity can and often does undercut development. The discussions over the next two weeks will focus on international cooperation to strengthen the rule of law, including combating corruption, and reform of criminal justice institutions with an emphasis on technical assistance, including post-conflict reconstruction.

"We need to break the vicious circle between poor governance and slow development. Without the rule of law, countries cannot prosper and under-development persists," said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In conjunction with the Commission's 13th session, UNODC today released two 30-second video shorts - a first for the UN - to raise global awareness about the negative impact of corruption and its social and financial costs.

Statistics reveal that organized crime impedes economic growth: UNODC data shows that a high level of crime correlates with a low level of human development. On the other hand, under-development and institutional weaknesses provide an environment where organized crime and corruption thrive.

The Commission is expected to hold a high-level discussion on terrorism Friday, which will highlight UNODC's efforts to provide technical assistance in combating that scourge through the implementation of the related conventions and protocols.

The panel will also address urban crime, kidnapping and UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice. Moreover, the session will offer an opportunity to reiterate the importance of the existing normative instruments against crime: the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols against human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and firearms, and the Convention against Corruption, the first legally binding international agreement to fight corruption.