24 May 2019 - It has been a busy and eventful week for UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. While the work of its different components was discussed and presented in-depth on various panels held on the occasion of the 28th United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the impact of the Global Programme as a whole was the subject of a main side event giving a glance into its achievements to a packed room.
Major-General Dr. Adbullah Al Mal, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, started by giving some historical perspective to the Doha Declaration and the ensuing Global Programme, reminding the audience that it was the first time in the 60-year history of the United Nations Crime Congress that a political declaration had served as a basis for the development of an operational programme, and that "it is the largest programme supported by any one Member State, totalling over $49 million." Dr. Al Mal concluded with a view into the future: "The Government of Qatar is looking forward to presenting the important outcomes at the Crime Congress in April 2020 in Kyoto. The achievements come in a timely manner to showcase the most recent results that contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals."
The recognition of the Global Programme among Member States globally was a testament to its importance, remarked Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC: "The Programme implementation is now at a point where key stakeholders are on board, major high-level visibility events are happening, and requests for involvement by Member States reach us with increased frequency."
The Programme's events and projects have reached over 440,000 people from 190+ countries, with direct capacity-building provided to more than 20,000 people, and direct technical assistance given to 35 countries. Importantly, the Global Programme continues to contribute to several Sustainable Development Goals through its various activities, tools and resources.
Interesting perspectives were given from countries which are recipients of the Global Programme. In the State of Palestine, the Alternate Representative at the Permanent Observer Mission, Safa Shabat, described aspects of two projects being implemented by two Global Programme components: Youth Crime Prevention through Sports and Prisoner Rehabilitation (the latter being the subject of a separate special side event this week). For his part, the Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Ambassador Ramiro Recinos Trejo, presented details about the successful awareness campaign on the dangers children may face on the Internet, supported by the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. Named 'Las Caras del Cibercrimen' (the faces of cybercrime), the campaign has been rolled out in 130 schools and has reached 15,000 students in the country. Ambassador Trejo also mentioned the prisoner rehabilitation work being undertaken in his country with the support of the Global Programme, in which the rehabilitation of prisoners is being helped through education: "The one who knows, teaches the one who doesn't know, and we named this project 'A Second Chance for Life'."
For Marco Teixeira, Senior Programme Officer, the Programme's achievements also depend on the strength of its partnerships and collaborations with various organizations (such as UNESCO, UNRWA, WFP and OSCE), judicial colleges and associations (such as IAJ, IAWJ and the Judicial College of England and Wales), educational institutions (such as Oxford University), and corporations (such as Symantec, Facebook and Google for innovative and educational hackathons).
In its fourth year of operations, and with an extension taking it until December 2020, the impact of the Global Programme can be understood in the number of beneficiaries per component. With dozens of tools and games, Education for Justice has built capacity with over 300,000 students and 2,500 educators around the world; Judicial Integrity has established 41 pilot sites for its Judicial Ethics Training Tools, and has formed and certified over 80 trainers; Youth Crime Prevention through Sports has been active in 300 sports centres, training 600 coaches who themselves trained nearly 5,000 youth; and Prisoner Rehabilitation has initiated projects in 23 facilities in 11 countries, helping over 35,000 prisoners.
"The Doha Declaration has at its centre the understanding that the rule of law and sustainable development are interrelated and mutually reinforcing," concluded Mr. Teixeira, "and it is through the active and widespread promotion of a culture of lawfulness, via an array of means and a comprehensive approach, that the Global Programme hopes to continue to make an impact and to help Member States uphold the rule of law."