Regional Preparatory Meetings for the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The regional preparatory meetings were held in the first quarter of 2004 in different parts of the world, with the coperation of host Governments, the regional economic and social commissions and the United Nations programme network of institutes. The venues of the meetings were: Africa, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1-3 March 2004; Asia and Pacific, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Bangkok, Thailand, 29-31 March 2004; Latin America and Caribbean, in cooperation with the Government of Costa Rica and the Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), San José, Costa Rica, 19-21 April 2004; and Western Asia, Beirut, Lebanon, in cooperation with the Government of Lebanon, 28-30 April 2004.

Each of the regional preparatory meetings was immediately followed by a two day seminar to provide participants with the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational organized Crime and its three Protocols, as well as the promotion of the ratification of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. (4-5 March 2004, Addis Ababa; 1-2 April, Bangkok; 22-23 April, San José; 1-2 May, Beirut).

The preparatory meetings provided the regional perspectives on the issues to be discussed at the Congress, highlighting special problems and concerns, as well as successful experiences and promising approaches deserving wider application. Evaluations of past practice included inventories of "lessons learned". Some countries which have compiled a "catalogue of past mistakes" have found them to be useful guides, and even more helpful when shared with other countries so as to profit from each other's experience, both positive and negative. Using the Discussion Guide developed for this purpose, the regional meetings defined issues and strategies for further action, as well as provided useful input for the Congress.

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