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Founded in February 2019, the UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence is a regional hub providing a range of technical support to Asia-Pacific Member States to enhance regional capacity in the approaches to collecting criminal justice data.


Established in 1997, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was created to address the interlinked issues of illicit trafficking in - and abuse of - drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and the corruption in the context of sustainable development and Human Security.

UNODC main function is to promote the ratification and implementation of international treaties, legislative and institutional reforms and to carry out technical cooperation projects to monitor, prevent and counteract the production, illicit trafficking and abuse of drugs as well as organised crime.


KOSTAT is the Republic of Korea statistical body responsible for leading the development of national statistics and has experience working with the OECD, a multitude of UN agencies and has conducted Official Development Assistance with various Member States. At the centre of KOSTAT work is four strategies:

Leading National Statistics:

  1. · Organises and leads national bodies in data collection, ensuring methodological standards for efficiently produced high quality statistics.

Enhancing Public interaction:

  1. · Creates data hubs and open platforms for public access to national statistics to improve public transparency and engagement.

Policy Support:

  1. · Tests data against national policies and develops statistics customized for policy making, reflecting statistical reality and builds local government capability.

Cooperation and Collaboration:

  1. · Builds networks with national and international partners to share expertise and research

Staff Bios

Coordinator Kes Kyungsoon Choi – Coordinator

Kes Kyungsoon Choi is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) National Programme Officer and Coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific (CoE), Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Ms. Choi’s management of the regional centre focuses on supporting states in the development of better mechanisms for measuring crime and criminal justice statistics.

Prior to her appointment to UNODC, Ms. Choi was Deputy-Director at Statistics Korea (KOSTAT). Ms. Choi’s KOSTAT work experience consisted of conducting and analyzing various national statistics, developing national task forces to assist with methodological development, data analysis and other duties. In 2014, Ms. Choi joined the Statistical Standards Division, which coordinates government agencies to standardize best methodological practice in the production of national data, including enhancing crime statistics through the integration of the International Classification of Crimes for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) developed by UNODC and endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission and the UN Crime Commission in 2015. It is within this context that Ms. Choi has been pivotal in the founding of the Centre of Excellence.

Ms. Choi has also worked with the International Cooperation Division at KOSTAT to implement World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Building Projects. Accordingly, Ms. Choi has also provided technical support and facilitated trainings with statisticians of countries including Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Ms. Choi is a graduate of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, majoring in English Language and Literature and DePaul University, Chicago, United States of America, majoring in Applied Mathematics.

Researcher Matthew Harris-Williams - Researcher

Matthew Harris-Williams is the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Researcher at the Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Mr. Harris-Williams’ substantive role focuses on assisting states with capacity building, including technical knowledge on the implementation of the ICCS, developing trainings support for SDG indicator data collection and improving response rates to the UN-Crime Trends Survey. In addition, Mr. Harris-Williams provides administrative and advocacy support to the CoE to develop the CoE’s visibility.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Harris-Williams has undertaken roles including interning in the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific and capacity building consultancy positions with NGOs focusing on peace-building in Southeast Asia and North Africa.

Mr. Harris-Williams is a graduate of King’s College London, London, United Kingdom, majoring in War Studies and the University of St. Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom, majoring in Terrorism and Political Violence.


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Statistics Korea
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Ministry of Justice
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Supreme Prosecutors' Office
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Korean National Police Agency
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Police Science Institute
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Korean Institute of Criminology
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Thailand Institute of Justice