UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov highlights the need to strengthen criminal justice to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

VIENNA/BANGKOK, 5 March 2018 (UN Information Service) — Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), urged governments today to promote greater cooperation to comprehensively address justice, governance and sustainable development.

Mr. Fedotov was speaking at the High-Level Conference on Sustainable Development, Crime Prevention and Safe Societies in Bangkok. He opened the conference with Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, who is the UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia.

“We know that when the rule of law and institutions are weak, global efforts to lift people out of poverty and to sustain development are hindered and undermined. But we also know that the rule of law, and fair criminal justice systems, can prevent crime, and enable and promote sustainable development,” said Mr. Fedotov.

“If we want safe societies, sustainable development and better lives for all, we must foster the rule of law and fair criminal justice systems capable of protecting these worthy goals.”

He urged conference participants to use the opportunity to gather support for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peaceful, just and inclusive societies, and highlighted the importance of strengthening institutions, especially criminal justice systems, as a pre-requisite for long-term prosperity.

The Executive Director also thanked Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha for her work as UNODC Goodwill Ambassador for the region, and highlighted the value of her strong advocacy for justice reform and the work of UNODC.

During his one-day visit to Thailand, Mr. Fedotov met with Her Royal Highness as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Prajin Juntong to discuss UNODC support in Southeast Asia, in particular through the Regional Office based in Bangkok.

He also met the Vice Minister of Justice of Japan, Hiromu Kurokawa, on the margins of the conference, which was co-organized by UNODC and the Thailand Institute of Justice.