On 12 March 2020, the Norwegian Government implemented the strictest and most invasive measures ever introduced in Norway in peacetime in the hopes of stopping or slowing down the spread of COVID-19 infections. The courts quickly had to address how best to handle their role in society in a prudent manner. It was quickly realized that something had to be done to find alternatives to physical court sessions. For most court cases, alternative ways for processing the cases were considered: either in writing, as remote sessions or as a combination of both.
Sport can be a powerful tool to engage communities and prevent crime, violence and potentially drug use among youth. In the context of the 64 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, international experts gathered virtually during a side event to discuss what the evidence says about the role of sport in supporting youth to prevent drug use and address related risk and protective factors.
Sport, and physical activity more broadly, can also be effective in promoting wellbeing and health, including mental health and reducing the risk of depression, as well as improve the cognitive functions and academic outcomes of young people and adolescents.
In the context of its Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC continues to support and engage Palestinian youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the Line Up Live Up sport-based curriculum, which was piloted for the first time in Palestine in 2018, the Office continues engaging young people through the development of awareness-raising material using a participatory video approach. A selected group of young teachers, Line Up Live Up trainers, and mass communication students received 20 virtual sessions of training on developing their own audio-visual material, along with messaging on violence, crime and drug use and on the role of sport in building youth and community resilience.
The global pandemic has greatly affected education around the world, posing new challenges and exposing disparities even further. For Education for Justice (E4J), this was a year of redoubling efforts to ensure consistency in support to academics and educators on teaching rule of law and related topics. These creative and systematic efforts, building up on an already diverse portfolio of educational material and forming bridges between different stakeholders to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have earned E4J the Secretary General's 2020 Innovation Award.
The responsibility of preparing the next generation to become tomorrow's fulfilled citizens, policymakers and leaders is one that UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative takes very seriously. This month, it has been recognized by Secretary-General António Guterres and awarded his 2020 Secretary-General Award in the category 'Innovation.'
"Every year, it is my honour to recognize inspiring and exemplary work of Secretariat staff members who have contributed above and beyond the call of duty or advanced projects with great impact and innovative potential," said Mr. Guterres. "In the 'Innovation' category, we honour the Education for Justice initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for directly engaging children, youth, teachers and academics."