By Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

In line with the Congress’s theme of advancing the UN’s Agenda 2030 through crime prevention and criminal justice, the Kyoto Declaration does reflect progress in the way organized crime is understood as a blocker and disruptor of sustainable development. However, it does not align that understanding with innovative or holistic approaches, instead cementing a focus on law enforcement and criminal justice, and assigning states the role of lead responders. At the multilateral level, the document also sticks to familiar positions placing the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and its policy fora at the centre of the response rather than prioritizing interagency and cross-UN cooperation.

It outlines a range of threats and reaffirms existing and manifold law enforcement and criminal justice responses. It does not, however, provide a strategic vision of how the international community could respond in a more holistic and whole-of-society way. This is not surprising, as the negotiation and preparatory process was largely closed to civil society.