"Finding the perfect balance between integrity, transparency, accountability and judicial independence is absolutely essential," said UNODC's Oliver Stolpe at a special event on preventing corruption in the justice sector held on the margins of this week's Seventh Session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
Speaking on this issue, he was joined by others including Tilman Hoppe, a consultant with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH ; Christina Tarna, an anti-Corruption Expert in the Republic of Moldova; and Judge Rafael Menezes, vice-president of the International Association of Judges.
This week, the final regional preparatory meeting for the upcoming Global Judicial Integrity Network was held in Namibia for Anglophone and Lusophone African countries. From 16 to 17 October, Chief Justices and senior judges from 17 countries gathered to add their voices to what will be the world's first-ever global platform dedicated exclusively to upholding judicial integrity and preventing corruption within the justice system once launched in April 2018.
The meeting - jointly hosted by UNODC and the Office of the Judiciary of the Republic of Namibia - follows similar regional events held over the past year in Asia, Europe, Francophone Africa, and Latin America.
As part of UNODC's anti-corruption efforts, a series of meetings and discussions with Chief Justices and senior judicial officers are currently taking place across the world ahead of the 2018 launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network.
To ensure that voices and views from across Africa are taken into account in the development of the Network, a preparatory meeting was held in early-October in Ouagadougou, following similar events in Asia (Bangkok), Europe (Vienna) and Latin America (Panama). The event brought together some 30 high-level attendees, including eight Supreme Court presidents as well as those from the Courts of Cassation and other representatives of judicial institutions from 15 countries across the region.
UNODC and local authorities in Brazil and South Africa teamed up in September to begin training of sports trainers for the implementation of the Line Up Live Up curriculum for youth crime and drug use prevention. Some 43 coaches from sport centres in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, as well as from after-school programmes in Cape Town, South Africa were trained on the Line Up Live Up methodology through a set of interactive sessions.
During the sessions, particular attention was given to processing, which forms a key component of the training as it facilitates learning by allowing youth to link the knowledge and skills that they acquire during the various activities to challenges they face in everyday life.
Situated in the southern Batken province of Kyrgyzstan, the municipality of Kulundu sits on the border with Tajikistan in Central Asia. Home to around 25,000 people, the residents in this remote, rural area mostly earn their living by engaging in agriculture and cross-border trade. With limited employment opportunities, however, young people often face a range of challenges.
Within this context, UNODC is working to use sport as a vehicle to promote valuable life skills among youth. Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, the organization is engaging youth who are at risk of violence, drugs and crime, with Kyrgyzstan one of the pilot countries where awareness raising sports initiatives will be conducted.