27 November 2015 - A multi-million-dollar funding agreement between Qatar and UNODC was signed in Vienna. The agreement, totalling more than $49 million and slated to run over four years, is to deliver projects related to justice, prisoners, youth and justice education.
Speaking at the signing event, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said, "This agreement is unprecedented in the history of UNODC and I commend Qatar's support for the 13th Crime Congress and the leadership and commitment it has shown during and after the event."
Viewed as a lasting legacy to the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Doha in April of this year, the agreement is intended to help countries achieve a positive and sustainable impact on criminal justice and the rule of law in all regions of the world.
"This generous funding will be used to continue to advance the Doha Declaration and to ensure that UNODC builds projects and programmes that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals" he said.
In his statement, the Legal Adviser to the Minister of Interior and Prime Minister of Qatar, and Head of 13th Crime Congress Organizing Committee, Abdullah Yousuf M. Al-Mal said, "Today's funding agreement represents a firm demonstration of Qatar's commitment to fully implementing the Doha Declaration, and in doing so, helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
"I look forward over the next four years to working closely with UNODC and to ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of the many projects we have agreed upon. Projects that will help people and communities throughout the world," said Mr. Al-Mal.
The proposed activities under the agreement make extensive use of UNODC's broad experience and in-depth expertise in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice. It also leverages the organization's global network of criminal justice professionals.
Projects under the agreement include strengthening judicial integrity and the prevention of corruption; "a second chance in life: fostering the rehabilitation and social integration of prisoners", and preventing youth crime through sports and a major initiative called "Education for Justice".
The Head of UNODC's Division for Treaty Affairs, John Brandolino, described the signing as a comprehensive commitment to the rule of law and justice. "Implementation of the Doha Declaration will be an important enabler for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, especially Goal 16," he said. "Thanks to Qatar's generous contribution, UNODC will be able to support the international community's achievement of these objectives."
The Doha Declaration, endorsed at the 13th Crime Congress, articulates a global commitment to crime prevention and criminal justice. It calls for fair criminal justice systems, upholding human rights, preventing corruption and enhancing transparency and promoting child and youth concerns within the criminal justice system, among others.
Cooperation was viewed as the cornerstone of the Doha Declaration. Member States were called upon to continue to use the UN Conventions against corruption and against transnational organized crime, and its protocols on firearms, human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, to further these efforts.
The Chief of UNODC's Corruption and Economic Crime Branch, Dimitri Vlassis, who is one of the key architects in building the relationship between UNODC and Qatar, said, "With this contribution, the Doha Declaration becomes the point of departure and not the point of arrival, as the Government of Qatar and UNODC intended from the beginning of the preparations for the 13th Crime Congress. The bar is now set high for everyone: UNODC, the international community and hosts of future Congresses."
Also present at the signing ceremony held in the Vienna International Centre were the Permanent Representative of Qatar to the UN in Vienna, Ali Al-Mansouri, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Interior of Qatar.