What is the Congress?

United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice have been held every five years since 1955. The Congresses brings together high-level representatives of Governments, representatives of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, criminal justice professionals and scholars of international repute to discuss common problems, share experiences and seek viable solutions to problems related to crime prevention and criminal justice.

The Fourteenth Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held in Kyoto, Japan from the 7th to the 12th of March 2021. The venue of this Congress will be the Kyoto International Conference Center which has high speed internet access, concessions stands, information desks and the most up-to-date conference center equipment and facilities available. It is arguably one of the most beautiful conference facilities in the world. The staff is experienced in hosting international conferences.

Who will attend?

Most of the 193 Member States of the United Nations are expected to send their top justice officials to the Fourteenth Congress. In addition, distinguished criminal justice practitioners, together with experts from Institutes affiliated with the United Nations, along with their non-governmental (NGO) counterparts, academics and individual experts from the private sector will participate in specialized workshops and ancillary meetings. All aspects of crime prevention and criminal justice will be discussed, and participants will present both official governmental positions and current research results.

Criteria, terms and conditions for hosting ancillary, professional or specialized meetings:

a) Compatibility:

All meetings must be compatible with the character, purposes and principles of the United Nations, in both content and presentation. Themes of the meetings should have a direct relationship or relevance to the goals or activities of, or promote issues of concern to the United Nations, especially the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Meetings of a cultural nature may also be held if there is a clear relationship to such goals as peace, tolerance, and sustainable development.

b) Security and Registration:

Because of the expected caliber of participants, that may include Heads of State or Government, Government ministers, heads of criminal justice agencies, as well as some of the world’s most respected experts, security considerations require that all participants be accredited through the normal United Nations process and they must be registered. That process will be facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The process for hosting a professional, specialized or ancillary meeting is the same, therefore only Ancillary Meetings are described below. The difference in the types of meetings are:

  • Ancillary Meeting – is a meeting which can be in the form of a class, discussion, lecture, workshop, demonstration or similar presentation. As the name implies, they are subordinate to the official United Nations meetings. All ancillary meetings are open to all delegates and the material presented becomes part of the public domain.
  • Professional Meetings – are usually called by the head of a professional or regional association and can be limited to invited guests and members. In some cases a professional meeting may be organized during the Congress in order to allow individuals of the same profession (e.g. heads of airport tower security) to meet together.
  • Specialized Meetings – can be highly technical and if they cover a specific item where security is a concern (e.g. training of police cybercrime technicians) they can be open only to those specifically invited.

c) Ancillary Meetings:

The meeting rooms will vary in size and layout in an attempt to conform to the desires of the meeting sponsors. Meeting rooms will contain, in most cases, interpretation equipment, PowerPoint projectors, tables for printed material distribution, podium and a speakers table. It is anticipated that due to the large number of international media attending, and the length of the Congress, meeting sponsors should be prepared for media interest in their subject and/or the experts they bring to the Congress. Rooms can be set up in a variety of styles as the diagram below shows:


Ancillary meetings normally are one and one-half hour in length. It is suggested that planners provide adequate time for audience discussion – which means limiting the number of speakers. As individuals or organizations request permission to host a meeting, they will be informed if others are asking to host similar programs.

Each meeting will be provided with rapporteurs who will collect copies of all speaker’s written and visual presentation material. They will also summarize the discussions and prepare short reports of the meetings. The rapporteur reports will be available the day following the presentation and meeting chairs will have one day to review the reports and make modifications as appropriate. All speakers should be notified that whatever material they present must be available to the Ancillary Meeting Secretariat and may be distributed to the delegates either during the Congress or at meetings of the United Nations Crime Commission or placed on appropriate websites. All the material and presentations from the Congress are considered part of the public domain, with the exception of items that are cleared in advance by the Ancillary Meeting Secretariat as privileged or proprietary. Examples of such items would be if the presentation is part of a publication not yet released or sensitive material in terms of security practices not considered appropriate to be in the public domain. Also the few “closed” meetings allowed during the Congress will not have any material released without permission of the meeting sponsor.

d) Selection Criteria:

In general, all subjects which fit within the very broad areas covered by the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program are acceptable. However, no meetings will be allowed that are designed to attack the practices of only one nation or are intended to further an individual political agenda. If there are to be political discussions, those must be left to the official national delegates during official United Nations deliberations. However, if a session is designed to show, based on research or model programs, the specific benefits of a particular practice or the potential harm of a policy or practice (again not of a specific nation and based on research) then that is acceptable. Examples (pro and con) might include research based information on the results of legalizing some drugs, the impact of “stop and frisk” policing policies, the use of restorative justice, etc.

As proposed meetings are received, they will be coded by a variety of factors to help sort them into logical categories to help insure that meetings on the same subject are not scheduled at the same time as are similar subjects related to the official United Nations agenda. Where possible, ancillary and professional meetings will be scheduled in advance of related subjects being discussed during the plenary session or official workshops so as to make the information from the ancillary meeting available to the national delegates. Other sorting criteria will help insure that the same person is not scheduled for multiple sessions being held at the same time or when they might be expected to be in a committee or plenary session. Every effort will be made to accommodate the wishes of the ancillary meeting host and speakers, but with an anticipated 200 individual sessions cooperation and flexibility will be required.

e) Costs:

There is no cost associated with the hosting of an ancillary meeting unless special services are requested. A modest charge may be assessed for the use of interpreters or specialized equipment.

Sponsors of meetings must make their own travel and housing arrangements and cover all costs related to their session.

There are no scholarships or funds available from our office to help delegates attend the Congress.

f) Services:

Ancillary, Professional and Specialized meeting hosts and presenters will be able to utilize the services available for individual experts which includes access to a lounge area and a staffed office with individuals knowledgeable about United Nations and Congress activities and procedures.

g) Visa requirements:

Information on visa requirements for Japan in connection with the Congress is available from the Japanese Embassy or Consulate in your home nation.

Questions or requests for information should be sent to:

Ancillary/Professional Meeting Application Forms:

We realize that many who are considering hosting an ancillary meeting or a professional meeting may be in a planning stage and will not have much of the information asked for on the form. Therefore, fill out as much as you can, concentrating on the subject and a brief description. Once accepted and as the Congress approaches, you will be asked for more detailed information.

Session submissions are now closed.

United Nations A service of the United Nations Programme Network Institutes (PNI) with coordination of The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights The Siracusa International Institute for criminal justice and human rights