Iranian Authorities and UNODC launch a cycle of initiatives On Protection of Witnesses and Victims of Crime
Tehran, 21 June - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Police (Interpol) co-organized the first institutional workshop on "Protection of Witnesses and Victims of Crime" in Tehran. Norwegian, Italian and South African experts on Witness Protection, Iranian high-level officials, and a hundred Police officers, chiefs and heads of different Iranian security departments and offices participated in the event.
The two-day workshop was organized to discuss the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and the Protection of Witnesses and Victims of Crime Programme. During the event, the legal provisions envisaged in national legislation with regards to the conventions were identified and Iranian authorities had the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with UNODC and foreign experts.
The opening session was commenced by H.E. Commander Dr. Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghaddam - Chief of Iranian Police - and by Mr. Kaveh Moradi - UNODC Deputy Representative. The Police Chief Inspector of the National Criminal Investigation Service of Norway, the Head of Italian Witness Protection Service, and a Representative of the Italian Anti-Mafia Public Prosecutor's Office in Naples were also present. General Ahmadi Moghaddam expressed Iranian Police's eagerness to engage in regional and international cooperation in order to better tackle transnational organized crime. He referred to the successful activities carried out in partnership with UNODC in the Islamic Republic of Iran and expressed his desire of a future expansion of collaboration.
UNODC Deputy Representative, Mr. Kaveh Moradi, expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Iranian Authorities in ratifying the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and in introducing a Witnesses and Victims Protection regime in line with United Nations and international standards.
During the workshop, UNODC Iran and Interpol launched and distributed the translation of the "UN Manual on Protection of Witness and Victims of Crimes" in Persian, containing a series of guidelines which could be followed for the implementation of the Protection Programme in the country. At the end, UNODC agreed to continue providing technical assistance to the Islamic Republic of Iran in line with United Nations conventions, international standards and best practices. In particular, the assistance will focus on the implementation of the Protection of Witnesses and Victims of Crime Programme, for which the establishment of a Technical Working Group, including inter alia the participation of foreign experts, was agreed.
The workshop will be followed by other joint activities envisaged by the new UNODC Country Programme for the Islamic Republic of Iran 2011-2014, developed in participation with concerned Iranian ministries and institutions. Sub-Programme 3 of the Country Programme specifically deals with Crime, Justice and Anti-Corruption; it promotes the implementation of international standards and facilitates bilateral, regional and international exchange in those areas. UNODC Country Programme for the I.R. of Iran for the year 2011-2014 has been generously funded by the Government of Norway and the Government of Denmark.