I thank the key-note speakers and panellists for their thought provoking informative presentations and I would like to highlight the following few points;
In our view, the nexus between crime prevention, criminal justice, rule of law and human rights and sustainable development is irrefutable.
The Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, proposed a set of targets under goal 16, which relates to crime prevention and criminal justice. This follows a realization that poverty, inequality, social, political and economic exclusion, unemployment, lack of education among others, are major triggers of crime and violence in most societies, which undermine efforts to achieve sustainable development. As a result, the future we want cannot solely focus on economic growth but must create space for human development including criminal justice.
Crime prevention and Criminal justice consistent with the rule of law is one of the cross-cutting issues necessary to achieving the post 2015 development agenda. Without it, discrimination and marginalisation become entrenched in a society, and as a result some of the most vulnerable people will never benefit from the SDGs as noted by Ms. Martin. However it is vital for the post-2015 to take into account all drivers of poverty while promoting and protecting the rule of law and access to justice.
We agree with Mrs. Khan, that well-functioning justice institutions guided by the rule of law are critical to building peace and consolidating development gains. Crimes such as corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, smuggling of arms and human trafficking flourish in the absence of robust criminal justice institutions. Ineffective criminal justice systems cannot protect citizens instead they allow crimes and violence to prevail and hamper social and economic development.
Effort to strengthen criminal justice system is a key for national development planning and to succeed we would need first to strengthen these institutions and enhance national enforcement capacity. Capacity building is indispensable, especially in countries lacking capacity to undertake such reforms themselves.
Much remains to be done, resource constraints continue to be a challenge, assistance to developing countries is essential.
There is also a great need for enhanced international cooperation, especially in tackling trans organized crimes. We must all come together to address the scourge of illicit financial flows, including denying safe havens to multinationals that benefit from the proceeds of these ill-gotten transactions.
We would need strengthened cooperation to tackle other vices, including terrorism and extremism, which are consuming valuable resources that could have been deployed for development cause.
I thank you Madam Chair