Guterres calls for inclusive justice

United Nations, Mar 7 (IANS): UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an inclusive justice system that is intolerant of discrimination and works for all.

High levels of inequality are associated with economic instability, corruption, financial crises, increased crime and poor physical and mental health. Crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law have a key role in renewing the social contract between states and their populations, he said on Saturday during the opening of the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Kyoto, Japan.

Respect for the rule of law underpins human rights and enables sustainable social, political, and economic development, Xinhua news agency quoted the UN chief as saying.

Restoring confidence in institutions and strengthening the rule of law and access to justice is necessary to prevent corruption, deter illicit financial flows, and protect vulnerable people from organised crime, violence, human trafficking, online exploitation and radicalization to terrorism, the Secretary-General told the meeting virtually.

The disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis is presenting criminals with new opportunities to exploit the marginalised and at risk, he said, and recovery from the pandemic presents an opportunity to address the grave injustices and inequalities that have plagued societies for generations.

The Kyoto Declaration for adoption by this Crime Congress recognises that crime has become increasingly transnational, organised and complex, and lawless behaviour in cyberspace has created a new domain for the propagation of crime, Guterres noted.

The rule of law of the future must be built for and with technology to facilitate people's access to justice and to address these emerging trends, including the proliferation of misinformation and hate speech, he said.

"The agenda of the 14th Crime Congress targets the responses we need to strengthen crime prevention and criminal justice in the current (Covid-19) crisis.

"These include comprehensive crime prevention strategies to underpin social and economic development, integrated responses to shore up criminal justice systems, and revitalized international cooperation and technical assistance to prevent and address all forms of crime," the Secretary-General added.



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