From April 20 to 27, 2020, the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held at the Kyoto International Conference Center. The Congress is one of the largest conference of the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, and it is held every five years. Japan hosted the Congress in 1970. At the time, it was the first Congress to be held outside of Europe, and the participants extensively discussed “Crime and Development” as the main theme.
Nearly half a century has passed since then. Society has become more globalized, and we are facing threats of crimes that are much more complex and diverse. Meanwhile, in 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs), and there is a growing consensus that a safe and secure society where the rule of law prevails is the bedrock for sustainable development of the international community.
Against this background, the main theme of the Kyoto Congress in 2020 is “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law; towards the achievement of the 2030 agenda”. Prior to the Kyoto Congress, there will be a Youth Forum for young people from around the world to discuss themes relevant to the agenda of the Congress.
For a long time, Japan has undertaken efforts to develop and sustain a safe and secure society. In recent years, we have placed particular emphasis on support and protection of crime victims and measures to prevent re-offending based on public private partnership.
In 2020, Japan will be in the spotlight as the host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is a great opportunity for Japan to promote its work and to send a message world-wide to underline the importance of fostering a culture of lawfulness. It is also a great opportunity for participants from around the world to experience our safe and secure society supported by the people in Japan.
As the Minister of Justice, I will spare no effort to bring the Kyoto Congress to a successful conclusion. It is my sincere hope that more people will become aware and interested in crime prevention and criminal justice—the foundation for a safe and secure society in which no one will be left behind.