At Crime Commission, Doha Declaration Global Programme highlights tangible ways in which SDGs are being achieved

22 May 2017 - On the side-lines of this week's Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) a series of events were held to highlight the Doha Declaration Global Programme and provide attendees with a look at the areas undertaken by UNODC since the initiation of this ambitious work last year. On the first day of the Commission, a side event on the implementation of the Global Programme was held, illustrating progress made in the four areas of sports against youth crime; prisoner rehabilitation; judicial integrity; and the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. This followed the opening of a youth football exhibition earlier in the day in the UN plaza showcasing UNODC's life skills training which is presently being piloted in Brazil ahead of a global rollout.

Addressing the side event, UNODC's Director for Treaty Affairs, John Brandolino, explained the wider importance of the Global Programme: "Through our work across the different themes - education for justice, judicial integrity, promoting a culture of lawfulness through sports and prisoner rehabilitation - we are contributing directly towards achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 4 (education), Goal 5 (countering violence against women and girls); Goal 16 (promoting peace and justice); and Goal 17 (enhancing partnerships for sustainable development)." Also speaking at the event was the Ambassador of Qatar to the United Nations and International Organizations in Vienna, H.E. Ali Bin Jassim Al -Thani, whose country provides funding to the Global Programme and hosted the 2015 United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice which called for greater efforts to be made in promoting a culture of lawfulness across society. "Building on the success of the Crime Congress …. the Global Programme ultimately aims to translate the Doha Declaration into tangible results and increase its awareness among the general public; help countries to achieve a positive and sustainable impact of criminal justice and rule of law related reforms in all regions of the world; and to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." He also highlighted the unique nature of the Global Programme, pointing out, "It is the first time in the 60-year history of the Crime Congress that any of its political declarations have served as a basis for the development of an operational programme."

H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Kikuchi, Japan's Assistant Vice-Minister of Justice also addressed the event and underlined the importance of building a culture of lawfulness in leading through to the 2020 Congress in Japan. "The significance of the Doha Declaration is that it successfully integrated criminal justice and rule of law into the wider UN agenda. If people do not trust the law and law enforcement, they may resort to criminal organizations to resolve their disputes…or they may bribe their own Government officials." Echoing the statement of Qatar, Mr. Kikuchi also highlighted that the Global Programme "is groundbreaking in that it directly links the political declaration of the Crime Congress with tangible results of achieving the SDGs, in particular Goal 16."

Since its inception in mid-2016, the Global Programme has achieved a number of results. A small snapshot of these include:

- Under the judicial integrity component, where the establishment of a Global Judicial Integrity Network is on track to launch in early-2018. With judges from more than 130 jurisdictions consulted with and reached so far, the Network is designed to respond to the most pressing needs of judiciaries around the globe when it comes to judicial integrity;

- With the prisoner rehabilitation component, where a series of tools for prison managers and practitioners aimed at to reduce recidivism through improved programmes for prisoners are nearing finalization. Work has also been ongoing to establish a global brand of prison products, while capacity building activities have been initiated benefitting more than 100 prison practitioners from over 30 countries;

- Using sports to tackle youth crime , UNODC have been moving ahead with life skills training programmes which are currently being piloted in Brazil with South Africa and Kyrgyzstan following later in 2017 before an onward global scale-up. Progress has also been made to promote the benefits of sports in crime prevention to a wider audience. Tournaments, the engagement of youth ambassadors, and establishing partnerships with key actors, such as sports associations and NGOs engaged in the area of sports and crime prevention, have been ongoing; and

- As part of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, work has been ongoing to enhance the availability and delivery of rule of law-related educational content. Expert Group Meetings at the primary, secondary and tertiary educational levels were crucial in identifying the needs of educators as well as children and youth in terms of resources, learning materials, networking opportunities, and other forms of support. The positive impact of the meetings has already started to show with several participants having launched new courses or enhanced the focus of existing ones to better cover UNODC topics.

Overall, as of today, there are 15 countries that are already receiving technical assistance under the Global Programme or are about to do so in the coming months. Moreover, more than 700 stakeholders, primarily judges, prison practitioners, academics, teachers, sports coaches and representatives of relevant NGOs, across more than 50 countries have benefited from international or regional activities, such as trainings, workshops and other peer-learning events. A further approximately 2,000 stakeholders benefited from the Global Programme participating in, and contributing to, the events of other organizations.

Additional information:

Doha Declaration Global Programme