Computer Crime Research Center


Eleventh Congress will take place in Bangkok from 18 to 25 April 2005

Date: March 19, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: CCRC staff

The Eleventh Congress will take place in Bangkok from 18 to 25 April 2005. The Crime Congresses are unique world events in that they provide a forum for discussion of priority concerns by policy makers, administrators, academicians and other professionals in the crime prevention and criminal justice field. Those intergovernmental forums have served as a stimulus for work in the field of criminal justice and the interest generated by them over the years has increased considerably. The First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held in 1955, was attended by 61 countries and territories, and over 500 participants, while the Tenth Congress, held in 2000, was attended by 137 governments and approximately 2,000 participants. A similar, if not higher, attendance is expected at the Eleventh Congress.

The substantive agenda items of the Eleventh Crime Congress are: effective measures to combat transnational organized crime; international cooperation against terrorism and links between terrorism and other criminal activities in the context of the work of UNODC; corruption: threats and trends in the twenty-first century; economic and financial crimes: challenges to sustainable development; and making standards work: 50 years of standard-setting in crime prevention and criminal justice.

Six technical workshops will be held on the following subjects: enhancing international law enforcement cooperation, including extradition measures; enhancing criminal justice reform, including restorative justice; strategies and best practices for crime prevention, in particular in relation to urban crime and youth at risk; measures to combat terrorism, with reference to the relevant international conventions and protocols; measures to combat economic crime, including money-laundering; and measures to combat computer-related crime.

The United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the preparatory body for the Congress, has been tasked by the General Assembly to prepare the text of a draft declaration for submission to the Eleventh Congress, taking into account the recommendations of the regional preparatory meetings, held last year.

The General Assembly also decided that a high-level segment should be held during the last three days of the Congress, from 23 to 25 April, and reiterated its invitation to Member States to be represented at the Eleventh Congress at the highest possible level, for example by heads of State or government or government ministers and attorneys general, and to actively participate in the high-level segment.

Consistent with the recommendations repeatedly made by the General Assembly, the UNODC and the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations have agreed to offer States the opportunity to undertake treaty actions during the high-level segment of the Eleventh Congress in Bangkok ( deposit instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession ) with regard to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols, as well as the four multilateral instruments against terrorism.

On the occasion of this Mini Treaty Event, States will also be able to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which has, so far, received 118 signatures and 15 ratifications. To date, there are 147 signatories and 99 parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, 117 signatories and 79 parties to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children; 112 signatories and 67 parties to the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air; and 52 signatories and 33 parties to the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition.

Wisit Wisitsora-At is Director General of the Office of Justice Affairs in Thailand's Ministry of Justice and national liaison officer for the UN Crime Prevention Congress.

The government of Thailand is hosting the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice - why was your country interested in hosting this event?

I think crime prevention is a very, very important issue and we are hoping that by hosting this very valuable event we too can learn from others how to prevent crime, especially transnational measures.

The main theme of this congress is: "Synergies and responses: strategic alliances in crime prevention and criminal justice" - how can Thailand contribute to this goal?

We are dealing with a lot of crime issues and we have experience in tackling many issues in the country. We want to show what Thailand has practised in terms of the new methodology in crime prevention. Also, something that we can contribute to the Congress is that we apply restorative justice quite efficiently in the country, and this is of course one thing we can share with others.

Can you tell us a few words about Thailand 's cooperation with other countries in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice? Could you provide a current example of such cooperation?

Thailand has signed quite a number of conventions. We are now looking at being a part of the Corruption Convention and the Organized Crime Convention. In the region itself Thailand has pushed forward the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Convention in many issues. Apart from that we have signed many bi-lateral agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, extradition and other issues. So we are looking at ways to cooperate with other countries. And of course, we are trying to work closely with our neighbouring countries.

How can an Asian country, such as Thailand, successfully cooperate in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice with - for example - a European or African country - given that crime issues may vary considerably from continent to continent?

Well crime has no boundaries and in fact it is becoming increasingly related between continents. Thailand is looking at this issue very closely and we work closely with many other countries in other continents. For example, on the anti-money laundering issue we are now a member of the EGMONT Group and we are working closely with them. So cooperation is expanding throughout the continents.

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