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Recommendations on the Four Substantive Topics of the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UN), 1995

The Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

Bearing in mind that one of the purposes of the United Nations, as stated in the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, is to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all,

Bearing in mind also the responsibility assumed by the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice under Economic and Social Council resolution 155 C (VII) of 13 August 1948 and General Assembly resolution 415 (V) of 1 December 1950,

Bearing in mind further General Assembly resolution 46/152 of 18 December 1991, on the creation of an effective United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolutions 1992/24 of 30 July 1992, 1993/32 of 27 July 1993 and 1994/19 of 25 July 1994, on preparations for the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,

Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolution 1993/34 of 27 July 1993, on the implementation of General Assembly resolutions 46/152 and 47/91 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1992/22, concerning crime prevention and criminal justice,

Recalling further Economic and Social Council resolution 1993/31 of 27 July 1993, on the strengthening of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme,

Recalling the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights, held at Vienna from 14 to 25 June 1993, and General Assembly resolutions 48/132 of 20 December 1993 and 49/194 of 23 December 1994 in which the value of technical cooperation programmes aimed at strengthening democratic institutions, the rule of law and national human rights infrastructure was repeatedly underlined,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 48/137 of 20 December 1993, in which the Assembly recognized the central role of the administration of justice in the promotion and protection of human rights,

Recalling Commission on Human Rights resolution 1994/64 of 9 March 1994 and General Assembly resolution 49/147 of 23 December 1994, on measures to combat contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, and the relevant paragraphs of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,

Concerned about the economic situation in developing countries and its negative impact on social conditions, a situation that makes crime prevention strategies difficult to implement, as recalled by the Naples Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime, adopted by the World Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime, held at Naples, Italy, from 21 to 23 November 1994, and approved by the General Assembly in resolution 49/159 of 23 December 1994, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/103 of 20 December 1993,

Convinced of the importance of the work of the United Nations in providing a framework for the strengthening of international cooperation,

Convinced that the provision of operational activities, such as advisory services, training programmes and the dissemination and exchange of information, is one of the best means of intensifying international cooperation,

Recognizing the essential role of the United Nations and the important functions of the regional institutes for the prevention of crime and the treatment of offenders, affiliated with the United Nations, in the development of crime prevention and criminal justice strategies consistent with regional political, economic, social and cultural requirements,

Convinced that the United Nations has a significant role to play in enhancing multilateral cooperation aimed at combating crime and that the capacity of the United Nations to provide technical assistance to developing countries should be reinforced,

Welcoming the steps taken by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to render the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme more practical and operative,

Deeply concerned by the fact that the frequent requests by the United Nations policy-making bodies to have the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Secretariat strengthened and upgraded into a division have not yet been implemented,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolutions 1993/29 of 27 July 1993, on the World Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime, and 1993/30 of 27 July 1993, on the control of proceeds of crime,

Aware that crime has become a major problem, with national and international dimensions, hampering political, economic, social and cultural development, which may constitute a threat to the internal security and stability of sovereign States,

Alarmed by the threats posed by transnational organized crime, terrorist crimes and their links, violent activities in urban areas, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, international trafficking in minors, alien smuggling, economic crime, forgery of currency, environmental crime, corruption, crime against cultural property, motor vehicle theft, computer and telecommunications-related crime, money-laundering and the infiltration of legitimate economies by organized criminal groups, and the effects of those activities on society,

Gravely alarmed by the rapid growth of and danger posed by terrorist crimes which in many cases may threaten the security of citizens and the security of their countries, international stability and the rule of law,

Recognizing the pressing need for more intensified international cooperation to combat the deleterious effects of transnational crime, particularly organized crime, including illicit drug trafficking, economic crime, corruption, the illegal transfer of funds, crime against the environment, and crime against cultural property,

Aware of the pressing need for increased international cooperation in order to prevent the transfer of the proceeds of illicit activities across national frontiers by criminal organizations taking advantage of gaps in international cooperation and thereby escaping detection,

Aware that the full enjoyment of human rights can be facilitated through concerted efforts by Member States to prevent and control national and transnational crime, taking into account United Nations law enforcement and human rights standards,

Concerned at the fact that criminal prosecution and the gathering of evidence are made difficult when witnesses to the commission of a crime are absent from the State in which the crime was committed,

Aware of the growing threat to society that crime against the environment represents, in particular with regard to the mismanagement and illicit dumping of hazardous waste,

Alarmed by the growth of urban criminality and the threat that it poses to urban and national development, in particular in the context of fragile economies and rapid social change,

Aware that the mass media, by focusing on violence in, inter alia, films and reports, often may have negative consequences, but also aware that the mass media can play a very positive role in crime prevention and criminal justice by explaining, inter alia, complex factors that condition the various manifestations of delinquency,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolutions 1992/23 of 30 July 1992, on organized crime, and 1993/27 of 27 July 1993, on proposed guidelines for the prevention of urban crime,

According central importance to matters of crime prevention and criminal justice,

Expressing the desire to pursue collectively intensive multilateral cooperation under the auspices of the United Nations,


I. International cooperation and practical technical assistance for strengthening the rule of law: promoting the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme

1. Takes note of the important processes of democratization, strengthening the rule of law and increasing transparency in States, and recommends that the international community should support such efforts as part of its contribution to sustainable development;

2. Urges Member States to intensify their efforts to strengthen the rule of law by means of international cooperation and practical technical assistance;

3. Reaffirms the importance of the Compendium of United Nations Standards and Norms in Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in strengthening the rule of law at the national and regional levels;

4. Invites Member States to improve policy development, increase the use of bilateral or multilateral cooperation agreements and, where necessary, conduct more extensive research on transnational organized crime, terrorist crimes and their links, violent activities in urban areas, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, international trafficking in minors, alien smuggling, economic crime, forgery of currency, environmental crime, corruption, crime against cultural property, motor vehicle theft, computer and telecommunications-related crime, money-laundering and the infiltration of legitimate economies by organized criminal groups, and the effects of those activities on society;

5. Calls on Member States to intensify their efforts aimed at more consolidated cooperation and coordination in crime prevention and criminal justice, in order to establish integrated regional policies, programmes, plans and mechanisms, having due regard to common social and religious traditions and values, taking into account United Nations norms and standards in crime prevention and criminal justice;

6. Calls on Member States to intensify subregional and regional cooperation in crime prevention and criminal justice within the framework of regional arrangements, infrastructure and mechanisms;

7. Invites Member States actively to support the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme in organizing and carrying out operational activities by means of extrabudgetary contributions;

8. Encourages Member States to organize study tours and the exchange of criminal justice officials, with a view to promoting mutual understanding and to developing joint strategies to overcome common problems;

9. Calls on Member States to contribute to the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund, with a view to sustaining existing and providing for future technical assistance projects in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice;

10. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to call on the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and other international, regional and national funding agencies to support technical cooperation activities devoted to strengthening the rule of law and cooperation with the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in order to ensure proper coordination;

11. Notes, especially in view of the increasing number of requests from Member States for technical assistance, General Assembly resolutions 46/152 of 18 December 1991, 47/91 of 16 December 1992 and 48/103 of 20 December 1993 and Economic and Social Council resolutions 1992/22 of 30 July 1992 and 1993/34 of 27 July 1993 in which the Secretary-General is requested to provide the resources required to implement the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme and to upgrade the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Secretariat to a division headed by a director;

12. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to encourage the Secretary-General, as a way of strengthening the rule of law, to recommend, upon request, the inclusion of the re-establishment and reform of criminal justice systems in peace-keeping operations;

13. Takes note with appreciation of the project for the provision of practical assistance to Cambodia in the re-establishment of its criminal justice system, and of other operational activities in various States, proposed and undertaken by the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Secretariat, with a view to improving criminal justice systems and strengthening the rule of law;

14. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to further strengthen operational activities in developing countries and countries in transition, by providing, drawing upon extrabudgetary contributions, advisory services and training programmes and by carrying out field studies at the national level;

15. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to call on all relevant international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to continue cooperating with the United Nations in developing manuals and training curricula and in organizing courses in the various areas of crime prevention and criminal justice.


II. Action against transnational and organized crime, and the role of criminal law in the protection of the environment: national experiences and international cooperation

1. Urges Member States to consider the establishment and reinforcement of cooperation in the form of, inter alia, practicable arrangements for the effective prevention and control of transnational and organized crime, including the proceeds of such crime, with emphasis on extradition and mutual assistance, in order to avoid impunity of offences committed fully or partially in different countries;

2. Urges Member States to establish the principle of the broadest possible cooperation among States, with regard to the institution of extradition, taking into account the rights of the accused and also the interests of the victims;

3. Urges Member States that have not yet done so to update their domestic legislation, taking into account developments and trends identified by the United Nations Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders and United Nations standards and norms in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice;

4. Calls on Member States to promote further cooperation between their national crime prevention and criminal justice sectors in order to undertake international action against transnational organized crime, terrorist crimes and their links, violent activities in urban areas, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, international trafficking in minors, alien smuggling, economic crime, forgery of currency, environmental crime, corruption, crime against cultural property, motor vehicle theft, computer and telecommunications-related crime, money-laundering and the infiltration of legitimate economies by organized criminal groups, and the effects of those activities on society, and also to improve the exchange of information, in particular at the regional level;

5. Calls on Member States to facilitate transnational criminal investigations by extending legal assistance to each other, with a view to promoting effective international cooperation;

6. Calls on Member States to study ways of promoting prompt mutual assistance in criminal procedures, and adopting penalties related to the possession of the proceeds of economic crime;

7. Recommends that Member States should consider establishing multidisciplinary units specialized in the investigation of economic or financial crime and help to identify the major commercial networks influenced by the

transnational criminal organizations in order to make the prevention and monitoring of such crime more effective;

8. Urges Member States to cooperate in identifying specific measures against corruption, bribery and the abuse of power;

9. Also urges Member States to cooperate in identifying and combating new forms of transnational organized crime, terrorist crimes and their links, and to provide further assistance at the international, regional and bilateral levels in order to prevent and combat such crime effectively, including the conclusion of relevant mutual-assistance agreements;

10. Calls on Member States to strengthen their cooperation in exchanging information on national experiences and practices regarding transnational organized crime, terrorist crimes and their links and to supply, on a regular basis, data and other information on such experiences and practices to the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Secretariat;

11. Calls on Member States to enact legal provisions, where necessary, including the establishment of enforcement and monitoring mechanisms, concerning economic crime, such as corruption, fraud, embezzlement and money-laundering, each of which often constitutes a link in a larger chain of offences that have a tremendous negative impact on the economic situation of regions;

12. Requests Member States to consider developing appropriate legislation concerning the registration of unregistered imported motor vehicles and other appropriate measures, in order to promote international cooperation in combating theft and illegal traffic of motor vehicles;

13. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to consider effective measures on the prevention and suppression of illegal traffic in motor vehicles;

14. Calls on Member States:

(a) To consider enacting environmental protection legislation reflecting the importance of a healthy environment, in order to preserve and protect the environment;

(b) To consider enacting penal provisions on the protection of the environment and to consider the protection of endangered species and cultural property under similar provisions;

(c) To consider the creation of special bodies in the protection of the environment, such as special prosecutors or specialized investigative bodies, bearing in mind the role such bodies can play in developing skills and raising public awareness;

(d) To consider encouraging the inclusion of the role of criminal law in the protection of the environment as a subject in curricula for the study of criminal law and the training of law enforcement and criminal justice personnel;

15. Requests the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, in its review of priority themes, to place special emphasis on the development of strategies for the effective prevention and control of transnational and organized crime and on the role of criminal law in the protection of the environment;

16. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to consider the feasibility of requesting the Secretary-General to establish an integrated system of periodic gathering and dissemination of information on national legislation in crime prevention and criminal justice and its implementation, and urges Member States to provide the relevant data to encourage progressive alignment regarding, inter alia, international cooperation, extradition and other bilateral and multilateral modalities of mutual assistance in criminal matters;

17. Also invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to continue studying the actual situation of transnational and organized crime and effective measures for its control;

18. Further invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to assist Member States, upon request, in adjusting their national legislation with a view to making the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of transnational crime more effective;

19. Further invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to ensure close coordination between the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Secretariat and other United Nations entities, in particular the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and the Centre for Human Rights, including the sponsorship of joint activities, and to encourage further cooperation with the International Criminal Police Organization and the other international and intergovernmental bodies concerned, through joint programmes and projects;

20. Urges Member States that have not yet ratified or acceded to the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 to do so as soon as possible, since the Convention is the most important multilateral instrument against drug-related transnational organized crime.


III. Criminal justice and police systems: management and improvement of police and other law enforcement agencies, prosecution, courts and corrections; and the role of lawyers

1. Urges Member States to monitor training and development of law enforcement and criminal justice personnel and to promote operational research aimed at designing, on a more scientific basis, plans to curb crime and upgrade the skills of law enforcement and criminal justice personnel;

2. Calls upon Member States to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judiciary and the proper functioning of prosecutorial and legal services, taking into account the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, adopted by the Seventh United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, and the Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors' and the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders;

3. Urges Member States where appropriate to increase the use of non-custodial measures, to reduce both the use of detention and the prison population, taking into account the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules), in order to improve the administration of justice;

4. Urges Member States to ensure the most basic needs and rights of detainees and encourages the mobilization of donor countries and international funding agencies to support developing countries in their efforts to improve prison conditions;

5. Calls on Member States to take effective measures against the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and other diseases among the prison population;

6. Affirms that it is essential for law enforcement and criminal justice personnel to respect human rights and, in so doing, contribute to the effectiveness of criminal justice and law enforcement systems and the acceptance of those systems by the local community;

7. Calls on Member States:

(a) To consider adopting the community policing approach as a method of delivering police services with a view to reducing the social distance between law enforcement officials and the public they serve, and to enhance police visibility and public confidence;

(b) To promote cooperation and forge appropriate partnerships with local communities and the private sector when undertaking crime prevention activities;

8. Recommends that Member States should consider strengthening the role of the office of the public prosecutor, in particular strengthening its autonomy, bearing in mind the Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, and facilitating the international exchange of teaching staff of schools for training in the respective disciplines;

9. Also recommends that Member States should adopt measures to enhance the professional calibre of staff in all sectors concerned with crime prevention and criminal justice, bearing in mind United Nations resolutions, guidelines and standards in that field;

10. Urges Member States to consider reviewing the penitentiary system, including legislation to ensure its smooth operation within the framework of the broader criminal justice system, and therefore recommends:

(a) The enhancement of coordination between the prison system and the broader criminal justice system and closer involvement in research in policy development and the drafting of legislation;

(b) The improvement of schools for the training of prison officers and personnel as an essential priority in the modernization of the system, the organization of regular training programmes, and the exchange of information and personnel between the prison administration and the academic/university community;

(c) Continued and enhanced exchange of information and technical cooperation at the international, regional and national levels, in order to further the training of correctional personnel;

(d) Use of alternatives to imprisonment for offenders, when appropriate;

(e) Preserving the dignity and rights of inmates by reviewing and changing, as necessary, the regulations that govern prison systems;

11. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to promote technical cooperation projects on penal law reform and on the modernization of criminal justice administration, particularly in the fields of data collection and computerization, the training of law enforcement officials, the promotion of non-custodial measures and prisoners' welfare, taking into account United Nations standards and norms such as the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules), the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners and the World Health Organization Guidelines on HIV Infection and AIDS in Prison;

12. Also invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to play an active role in urging developed countries to provide support by supplying and maintaining technical aid for law enforcement agencies in developing countries;

13. Further invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General to expedite the dissemination of the Commentary on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules), which was published pursuant to General Assembly resolution 45/110 of 14 December 1990, and welcomes the support of the Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, the International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation, and the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation in its preparation.


IV. Crime prevention strategies, in particular as related to crime in urban areas and juvenile and violent criminality, including the question of victims: assessment and new perspectives

1. Invites Member States to develop effective strategies and programmes for the prevention and control of urban crime, juvenile delinquency and violent crime, including domestic violence, and for the reduction of the levels of victimization, having due regard to the role of the family, the school, religion and the community and taking into account existing economic and social needs and conditions at the level of the whole of society;

2. Urges Member States, in tackling the problem of urban criminality, to develop projects related to juvenile delinquency and on the prevention and control of crimes committed against children and young persons, with special emphasis on the problem of street children and their exploitation for criminal purposes;

3. Invites Member States to pay special attention to the provision of crime prevention activities aimed at young children, with a view to studying the factors associated with criminality and establishing appropriate prevention mechanisms, including counselling services;

4. Expresses its concern about the plight of victims of crime and urges the full use and application of the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power and intensified action for the protection of and assistance to victims at the national and international levels, including training, action-oriented research and on-going information exchange and other means of cooperation in this field;

5. Recommends that the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice consider the possible impact of migratory flows on urban criminality;

6. Also invites Member States to consider the problems arising from migratory flows, particularly with regard to the integration of migrants within various social and cultural contexts and the risks that they run of being victims of, or becoming involved in, criminal activities, and urges Member States to take such concerns fully into account when drawing up strategies for crime prevention in urban areas;

7. Urges Member States to adopt, as appropriate, short-term and medium-term preventive measures in such fields as urban planning, housing, education and vocational training, as well as recreational and sports facilities, in high-risk areas;

8. Calls upon Member States to make every effort to adopt effective measures to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all their forms;

9. Calls on Member States to promote the adequate regulation of firearms and other high-risk weapons by means of both regulations and law enforcement with a view to diminishing violent criminality;

10. Invites Member States to continue actively to support the organization of workshops and training programmes on the subject of urban criminality, paying specific attention to the interrelationship between urban criminality and social development;

11. Welcomes with satisfaction the proposed guidelines for cooperation and technical assistance in the field of urban crime, annexed to Economic and Social Council resolution 1994/20, and invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, at its fourth session, to finalize and adopt them;

12. Urges Member States to develop educational, social and other programmes based on mutual respect and tolerance in order to lower the level of violence in society, with special emphasis on the importance of conflict-prevention and conflict-management mechanisms, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and other resolution mechanisms, and on the primordial importance of education, at all levels and for all sectors of society;

13. Also urges Member States to give attention to public awareness and to promote the role of information in crime prevention, and invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to consider requesting the Secretary-General, in collaboration with specialized research centres and experts, to prepare a manual for public awareness campaigns, to be used to guide States in formulating national public awareness programmes;

14. Recommends that Member States examine the cost-effectiveness of crime prevention measures and custodial and non-custodial sanctions;

15. Further urges Member States to adopt policies on the prevention of juvenile delinquency and to enact, where necessary, appropriate legislation on juvenile justice, taking into account the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty, which are effective instruments for addressing juvenile delinquency and promoting juvenile justice;

16. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to call on the regional commissions of the Economic and Social Council, the institutes comprising the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme network and other relevant entities to cooperate closely with each other in planning and implementing joint activities in the area of juvenile justice;

17. Recommends that Member States should establish where necessary local, regional and national bodies for crime prevention and criminal justice, with the active participation of the community, recognizing that the problem of urban violence and crime in all its forms and manifestations gravely impinges on community life;

18. Calls on Member States to consider allocating necessary resources or reallocating existing resources to facilitate the development, if necessary, of local, regional and national bodies to implement crime prevention measures;

19. Recommends that the fundamental rights of children and young persons in relation to crime prevention and criminal justice should be reaffirmed;

20. Invites the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to request the Secretary-General, within existing resources:

(a) To continue studying the effects of criminality in urban areas, the factors contributing to it and measures for its effective prevention, taking into consideration recent developments in inter alia sociology, child and adolescent psychology, health, criminology and technology, including environmentally sound planning, city planning and housing design;

(b) To organize seminars and training programmes to search for ways and means to prevent crime in urban and other areas;

(c) To promote technical cooperation projects on the improvement of juvenile justice systems, taking into account the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules), the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines), and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty.

 

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