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JCS Oversees the Holding of the Kyoto Congress, Japan’s First Major International Conference since the Start of the Pandemic

The 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, also known as the Kyoto Congress, was held over six days on March 7-12, 2021 at the Kyoto International Conference Center. This was the first major international conference to take place in Japan since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and it was attended by around 5,600 people from 152 countries including high-level government delegations and United Nations staff. The Kyoto Congress was held in a hybrid format, combining in-person and online events. JCS oversaw all aspects of the running of the Congress from venue management to operation, simultaneous interpretation, transportation, side events and exhibitions.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who attended and otherwise assisted the Kyoto Congress.

Entrance decorated in a Japanese springtime motif
Entrance decorated in a Japanese springtime motif
SDGs poster in the Conference Center

Congress touted in a Japan Tourism Agency press release

Highest priority goes to infection control and prevention, assuring safety and security

Those attending the Congress from overseas were required to take a PCR test before departure and to abide by strict limitations on movement during their stay in Kyoto. Each venue had a limit on the number of people who could enter at any given time, and a record was taken of whenever an attendee took a seat, enabling the monitoring of the number of people in the venue and the duration and time of each person’s stay.

To further ensure the safety and security of participants and staff, thermal imaging equipment was installed at the venue entrance to detect any persons with high temperatures. Social distancing rules in line with the UN standard of two meters were also strictly adhered to. In addition, all participants wore high-spec FFP2 masks to minimize the risk of infection from person-to-person contact.

A clinic was also set up inside the Conference Center and was staffed at all times by a doctor and nurse so as to provide PCR testing and to serve as a one-stop hub for medical services for all attendees.

Clinic for PCR testing
Clinic for PCR testing
Seating layout prioritizing safety
Panel with tips for minimizing infection risk

Virtual events for those attending online

Some 2,200 people registered for online participation from around the world. Those unable to attend the Kyoto Congress in person were able to use an “online portal” with audiovisual access to the plenary and workshops. The “Japan’s Ancillary Meetings” page of the portal showed the side event program, information on speakers, video of the presentations and slide decks.

The organizers implemented a customizable “platform” with both live streaming and on-demand content for those in different time zones, so participants could follow the program in whatever way best suited their needs. JCS used this same set-up to create an online “virtual exhibition” space. Participants were able to move freely among five “Exhibition Halls” and various online exhibition booths, as well as view video and documents from exhibitors and even engage in dialogue with them via chat.

The Kyoto Congress also featured the “chat lounge,” a new type of hybrid event format in which participants could interact freely with each other and foster innovation through serendipitous encounters.

The Kyoto Congress in person

Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga delivers opening remarks
Former Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga delivers opening remarks
A kabuki dance lights up the opening session
On-stage remarks at the plenary
On-stage remarks at the plenary
Country delegations strictly followed infection prevention protocols
A participant enjoys some Japanese culture at the Exhibition Hall
A participant enjoys some Japanese culture at the Exhibition Hall
Immersive excursion around Kyoto

About the Congress

The United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is the biggest international conference held by the United Nations. Since the first Congress in 1955, it has taken place every five years in locations all over the world. Japan last hosted the Congress in 1970, making this the first Congress held in Japan for 50 years. The objective of the Congress is to encourage the international community to work together for a safer world. Experts discuss global issues related to crime prevention and criminal justice, share their insights and knowledge, and promote international cooperation.

Attendance/Dates Approx. 5,600 people / 7-12 March 2021 (6 days)
Venue Kyoto International Conference Center

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