The Fifth meeting of the Follow-up Committee on the execution of the agreement concerning the implementation of the Doha Declaration was held recently at the Ministry of Interior (MOI) headquarters in the presence of representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Qatari representatives from the committee for the implementation of the Doha Declaration.
The Qatari side was chaired by Major General Dr Abdullah Yousuf Al Mal, advisor to the MOI. The delegation of the UNODC was led by John Brandolino, UN Office Division Director for Treaty Affairs.
The meeting reviewed the three pillars of the Doha Declaration 2015 including Judicial Integrity, Rehabilitation for Prisoners and Youth Crime Prevention through Sports-based programmes, and Education for Justice, in addition to the progress made, as well as options and efforts done to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The meeting also agreed to encourage member states to implement and make more effective the use of relevant international conventions and protocols against terrorism, and reviewed the stages of implementation of the World Programme for the Doha Declaration.
The Follow up Committee of Doha Declaration was set up to follow up on the Doha Agreement Implementation Programme, which was signed on 27 November 2015. The Agreement provides for the State of Qatar to fund projects and initiatives recommended by the Doha Declaration of the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha in April 2015 for the next four years until the 14th Congress on Crime Prevention to be held in Japan in 2020.
Contributions of Qatar in the Doha Declaration of the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
Qatar has assumed great importance in the implementation of the conclusions of the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, hosted by Doha in April 2015 that resulted in the Doha Declaration. A special committee was established to follow up the execution of the Declaration and to make it a reality under the UNODC, supported and funded by Qatar. The Doha Declaration calls for ‘integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider United Nations agenda, endorsed by the General Assembly’, around the concept that the rule of law and sustainable development are inter-dependent and mutually reinforcing.
World Programme of the Doha Declaration: Qatar has adopted the World Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration to promote a culture of respect for the law and contribute to a positive and sustainable impact in crime prevention and criminal justice. The four-year programme promotes peaceful, inclusive method to sustainable development through a human-centred approach that provides justice for all and builds effective and accountable institutions at all levels.
Capacity Building: Since the implementation of the Global Programme in February 2017, the capacity-building activities through conferences, workshops and training courses have benefited some 2,000 people, majority of whom are judges, prison practitioners, academics, teachers, sports trainers, and representatives of relevant NGOs, children and youth in more than 110 countries. Some 2,600 people from 75 countries also benefited from the contributions of other organisations, while 17 countries around the world received much-needed technical assistance.
Four Key Elements of the Global Programme
I. Establishment of credible and transparent institutions
The programme strives to promote judicial integrity and prevent corruption in the judicial system. In this regard, three countries received technical assistance in the formulation of codes of conduct; 19 countries received training in the application of the Bangalore Principles; and 25,000 judicial and professionals in the justice field in more than 100 countries participated in events organised by international and regional judicial and judicial forums. A regional preparatory meeting was organised by the UNODC in August 2017 to launch the network, which includes the European Community and senior judges from twenty jurisdictions as well as various judicial institutions. Communication with judicial organs and forums is ongoing to launch the network at the Vienna International Centre in April 2018.
II. Establishing fair, humane and effective criminal justice systems
Four countries received technical assistance in the development of action plans for the establishment of rehabilitation programmes in prisons aimed at enhancing opportunities for the reintegration of prisoners into society. Furthermore, 50 prison practitioners from 14 countries benefited from various forms of capacity-building activities, particularly with regard to international standards and good practices in prisoner rehabilitation.
III. Crime prevention among youth:
The programme focuses on the importance of crime prevention among youth through sports programmes and life skills training, raising awareness on the use of sports for prevention. Technical assistance is provided by initiating training in crime prevention through sports programmes in Brazil. Thirty-four trainers received training during events in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, twenty of them gave training to 400 youth and 43 trainers in Brazil and South Africa to carry out a life-skills training programme called Line Up Live Up. In addition, a small grants programme was launched to support non-governmental organisations working to prevent youth criminality through sports in Brazil and preparations have been made for training activities in South Africa and Kyrgyzstan during the second half of 2017. In addition, youth centres that focus on the strength derived from sport, as well as awareness-raising efforts through international campaigns, youth dialogues and others have been established.
IV. Education for justice
This component is based on supporting the integration of crime prevention and the rule of law at all levels of education. The meetings of expert groups, conferences, workshops and training programmes have benefited more than 500 teachers in primary and secondary schools, university professors and pedagogical specialists, students from higher schools and universities from at least 70 countries. It has also benefited from the contribution of the Education for Justice Initiative to the activities of other organisations with 1,600 individuals, and provided technical assistance in five countries that have supported the development of the teaching of rule of law content.
Special education materials, curricula and games were developed for three levels of education, work and maintenance, as well as awareness-raising on this initiative through participation in the Council of Europe Conference on the Future of Citizenship and Human Rights
Education. Themes were presented to representatives of 19 non-governmental organisations from 13 countries at a seminar organised in Geneva by the NGO Group on Human Rights Education. This programme also contributed to strengthening the capacity of academic and other institutions to provide ethics courses.
An expert group meeting, hosted by the European Association of Public Law is scheduled to be held during 29-30 November 2017 in Greece to validate the integrity and ethics of the Education for Justice Initiative.