For many educators around the world, some of the most satisfying moments in their work occur just after having taught or explained a fact, concept or idea to a child, and being rewarded with a look of amazement and understanding, especially in a setting designed exclusively to enhance children's knowledge.
One such place is the Tin Marín Children's Museum, one of San Salvador's best-known institutions which every year welcomes over 200,000 children. Walking through its bright and colourful rooms, children visit exhibitions on subjects as varied as geography, health, commerce or safety, to mention but a few. Supporting them in this learning experience, qualified volunteer guides accompany these children on their journey through knowledge, mixing learning with entertainment, and creating unforgettable experiences.
In the year since its launch in New York, UNODC's Model United Nations Resource Guide (created by E4J, the Education for Justice initiative) has gone around the globe and proven to be a powerful resource for thousands of students. Three of the largest MUN conferences in the world have not only incorporated several UNODC mandate areas into their MUNs, but have additionally simulated one of its most important governing bodies during their events, namely CCPCJ, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
In the capital of Qatar, where the Doha Declaration was adopted and for which the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration was created, over 1,600 students participated last month in a Model UN whose theme was, for the first time, Sustainable Development Goal 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.
As a judge, I think of window cleaning whenever the issue of transparency arises; it gives me perspective. Granted, the mere sound of the word sometimes provokes fear or nervousness. Perhaps we feel that our own privacy would be so invaded that we could no longer enjoy it. Or perhaps being transparent demands a vulnerability which we would be terrified to show. But as judges, we ask society to trust that we will make sound judgments. Judgments which many can neither read nor understand, and which are given by persons whose existence they discover only when the appointment makes the news. Once appointed, we so often fail to appreciate society's fear of an institution which, for far too long, has tried to foster respect through strange rituals and aloofness; an institution whose members stand firmly on their 'independence,' sometimes unwilling to accept that each and every one of us has dependencies, for no man is an island.
It has been less than a year since its launch, but the Global Judicial Integrity Network has been in full active mode, consolidating its platform and multiplying initiatives to advance the notion and the application of judicial integrity around the globe. Fruitful deliberations on the Network's past, present and future were held in Doha this past week, with members of the Network's Advisory Board assessing the achievements made thus far, and agreeing on forthcoming efforts to continue promoting its vital work. Hosting the meeting, Dr. Hassan bin Lahdan Alhassan Almohanadi, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judiciary Council of the State of Qatar, recognized the Board as including some of the world's key legal minds, brought together to tackle issues such as judicial conduct and anti-corruption.
Achieving equality for women judges, in terms of representation at all levels of the judiciary and on policy-making judicial councils, should be our goal- not only because it is right for women, but also because it is right for the achievement of a more just rule of law. Women judges are strengthening the judiciary and helping to gain the public's trust.
The entry of women judges into spaces from which they had historically been excluded has been a positive step in the direction of judiciaries being perceived as being more transparent, inclusive, and representative of the people whose lives they affect. By their mere presence, women judges enhance the legitimacy of courts, sending a powerful signal that they are open and accessible to those who seek recourse to justice.