Minister’s Speech

UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Check against Delivery

08.03.21

I congratulate the President on your election and thank you for giving me the floor. It is my pleasure to address the 14th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. I would like to thank our hosts, the Government of Japan, for organising and hosting this Congress.

The Irish delegation associates itself with the statement by the European Union. As a Member State of the EU, Ireland is committed to the rule of law, including our constitutional opposition to the death penalty, and we add our full support to the Congress adopting the Kyoto Declaration.

Ireland has a long tradition of co-operating with, and participating in, international bodies. This year, we have taken a seat at the UN Security Council for the 2021-2022 term. Membership of the UN is a cornerstone of Irish foreign policy, and Ireland’s tenure on the Council will be guided by three principles: Building Peace, Strengthening Conflict Prevention, and Ensuring Accountability. 

Ireland, and the EU, strongly believe that the international community should build on established standards and further develop multilateral solutions.

The theme of this year’s Congress - “advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law” - is of particular relevance to Ireland.

Following the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, our whole approach to policing is being systemically revised, based on a community safety model; with new legislation, a new operational model for our police service and an onus on other agencies to recognise their part in the prevention and deterrence of criminal activity.

Community engagement has been prioritised throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, including the rollout of a specific Operation, beginning in April 2020, to provide enhanced support to victims, and potential victims, of domestic abuse.

It is essential that the needs of victims of crime form the core of national and international policy and Ireland was pleased to be able to ratify the Istanbul Convention in 2019.

I have also recently brought forward legislation to criminalise adults who groom children to commit offences, as well as implementing the recommendations of the Hamilton Report into corruption and economic crime. In addition, I have introduced ‘Coco’s Law’, which targets online harassment by criminalising the sharing online of intimate images without consent

We are shortly introducing a new Youth Justice Strategy. This is coupled with the recent, internationally awarded, Greentown project which will deliver a holistic, community based, approach to crime prevention and is aligned to the EU’s commitment to evidence based crime prevention initiatives.

Thank you for your attention.