Prevention Working Party

Note: As of January 2012, this working party has integrated its work into the Committee of the Whole and is no longer working as a separate Committee.

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The Alliance and PreventionThe UN has acknowledged the importance of crime prevention and criminal justice since its early years. The recent increase in scope, intensity and sophistication of crime in a globalizing world threatens peace and security worldwide. Terrorism, corruption, drugs and human trafficking are global problems alien to no state.

Every year, over US$ 1 trillion is paid in bribes around the world, enriching the corrupt and robbing generations of a future. Crime in any form, and corruption in particular, is a phenomenon that causes poverty, obstructs development and drives away investment, debilitating the judicial and political systems that should be working for the public good, and weakening the rule of law leaving the voice of the people unheard. Citizens’ trust in government officials and national institutions dwindles and crime and the violence erupting from frustration and injustices increase.

The recent United Nations Convention against Corruption provides an additional global legal framework for the work of prevention. Additionally, 2005 World Summit resolutions 1624 and 1625 are international instruments that provide a framework for international support for action especially in the areas of prevention.

Both the Convention against Corruption and these Security Council resolutions acknowledge and invite the contributions of civil society and the private sector to join governments in the work of prevention and in taking a stand against corruption and “everything that fuels terrorism.

Non governmental organizations make a difference in a number of areas of prevention: by raising public awareness; lobbying for the introduction of new and more effective reforms; exposing the wrongdoings of financial and political leaders; and bringing their own expertise and grassroots contributions in the area of prevention; assisting in post-conflict situations.

Prevention a needed yet “problematic” area of work

The United Nations call to resolve the root causes of conflict, violence, crime and corruption is not new. But action against the “roots of evil” are more challenging and seemingly intangible. Yet the need to do so weighs mightily on all tasked to manage and constrain the consequences of our collective failure to do so.

Aware of the challenges yet convinced of the need to begin to collaborate as NGOs on prevention, the Alliance’s “Working Party on Prevention” will:

•  Identify key preventive principles and practices for civil society, the United Nations and its Member States and so strengthen the preventive dimensions of the work currently pursued as the UN addresses the crises of crime, corruption and terrorism.

•  Explore the possible contributions that can be made to this preventive work by civil society and in particular, the NGOs associated with the Alliance, utilizing the framework and mandates of the Convention on Corruption and S/RES/1624 and 1625 amongst other UN resolutions and treaties;

•  Utilize in our work, the UN’s Global Programme against Corruption (GPAC) definition of corruption as the “abuse of power for private gain;”

•  Provide the UNODC and ECOSOC with recommendations as to how they might optimize the contributions of NGOs in the area of prevention and, where appropriate, integrate these with the existing work of Member States.

•  Draw upon the resources of the Alliance and its members to formulate and/or promote efforts that fill “missing gaps” in the work of prevention and so would serve to strengthen states’ capacities to prevent corruption, crime and terrorism.

This shall be accomplished by:
•  Reviewing and identifying areas of preventive work that:
i.    are currently weak
ii.   can be addressed by civil society and non-state actors so as to complement existing international and State level efforts to combat corruption while promoting accountability, transparency and the rule of law
iii. the Alliance has expertise available
iv.  could support the work of the emerging Peace Building Commission
•  Coordinating Alliance activities on matters related to prevention, including presentations on prevention at United Nations Crime Congresses and other appropriate venues;

•  Providing expertise available to U.N. member states wanting to develop and/or better support preventive efforts in their nations; and

•  Promoting a focus on prevention in U.N. peace-building responses to the aftermath of civil war or ethnic violence.

French Prime Minister’s statement during the Security Council meeting at the Summit Level for the adoption of S/RES/1625.

ibid. “… everything that fuels terrorism—the inequalities the persistence of violence, injustices and conflicts, the lack of understanding among cultures (since force alone) does not answer people’s frustrations, it does not address the roots of evil…”

These are suggested for now. We can further discuss this.



Posted on

June 22, 2010