ANKARA

The Kyoto Declaration on global cooperation against crime was unanimously adopted Sunday by the participating delegates at the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Japan.

Held in an innovative hybrid format combining in-person and virtual attendance, the UN Congress welcomed a total of 5,600 participants, including 152 member countries, 37 intergovernmental organizations and 114 non-governmental organizations in Kyoto, Japan.

The declaration, which was accepted as a roadmap for the advancement of crime prevention and criminal justice for the next five years, was unanimously adopted by the participating delegates at the opening of the congress.

“Crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law have a key role in renewing the social contract between states and their populations,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, addressing the congress via video link from New York.

This year’s congress aims to respond to the need to strengthen crime prevention and criminal justice in the current crisis, including comprehensive crime prevention strategies to underpin social and economic development, Guterres added.

“We will not achieve the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development if we do not take action on the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice,” Volkan Bozkir, a former Turkish diplomat now serving as UN General Assembly president, said via the video conference.

“We cannot allow crime to derail us further. We need to improve governance, strengthen the rule of law, and promote effective and accountable institutions of criminal justice,” Bozkir added.

Focusing on crime prevention and criminal justice, the congress — the world’s largest gathering of governments, international and regional organizations, civil society, experts and scholars — has been held every five years since 1955. Last year’s congress was postponed due to COVID-19.

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