Qatar has contributed immensely towards promoting the rule of law and strengthening judicial integrity not only through financial support but also by sharing its experiences, an official of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has told Gulf Times.
“The (judicial) practitioners from Qatar are sharing their experiences and their vision with other parts of the world,” said Marco Teixeira, senior programme manager of UNODC’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration.
He and the UNODC’s public information officer, Kevin Town, were in Doha recently for the ninth Meeting of the Follow-up Committee on the Implementation of the Doha Declaration (global programme) of the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (Doha 2015).
Teixeira also met with several Qatari officials to discuss the second Global Judicial Integrity Network conference. Scheduled to be held in Doha in November, the high-level event is expected to gather some 500 judicial practitioners from various parts of the world.
The UN official noted that Qatar’s contribution is specifically noted in the judicial integrity element, where it has a strong link.
“The Supreme Judiciary Council is strongly supporting the initiatives in the next meeting in November to show Qatar’s commitment towards the world,” he added.
Teixeira pointed out that the country, since the beginning of preparations for the 13th Crime Congress in April 2015, “was very active and visionary”.
He reiterated that Qatar transformed a political concept (Doha Declaration) from the crime congress into an operational programme, producing tangible outputs that benefited a large number of people.
“This is the first element that we are grateful for the support of Qatar,” said Teixeira, citing the programme’s diverse activities and the integrated approach used, among others, in achieving its aims and objectives.
“Crime prevention through sports, judicial integrity, education for justice (E4J), prisoner rehabilitation and this integrated and holistic approach really benefits, because it allows us to have activities in different settings with different stakeholders,” he added. “These have a huge impact in terms of the crime prevention overall strategy.”
According to UNODC, the E4J initiative seeks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
UNODC is also using sports to provide positive experiences and support healthy development in young people, while its Judicial Integrity initiative aims to assist judiciaries in strengthening judicial integrity and preventing corruption in the justice sector, in line with Article 11 of the UN Convention against Corruption.
Noting that rehabilitation programmes in prisons are key to protecting society from crime and reducing recidivism, the UNODC prepares prisoners for their release and successful reintegration into society through prison-based programmes and post-release support.