New York -- (UNNC)
May 10 2004 -- 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
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
"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,
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
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.