Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to welcome you all to “Tehran Meeting on Crime Prevention Policies, Scope of Alternatives to Imprisonment and Effectiveness of Restorative Justice”. Our today’s event is continuation of UNODC support to Iranian authorities in framework of the UNODC Country Partnership Programme in the Islamic Republic of Iran and in line with resolutions of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. UNODC support assists efforts to fulfill the commitments set out in the Doha Declaration agreed at the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
I would like to express sincere appreciations of UNODC Country Office in the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Government of Iran and personally to His Excellency Justice Mohammad Bagher Olfat, Deputy Head of Judiciary on Social and Crime Prevention Affairs and his Directorate for a precious collaboration. I would like to highlight the crucial advisory roles which the offices of (i) International Legal Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and (ii) International Affairs of Judiciary played under the leaderships of His Excellency Ambassador Abbas Bagherpour and His Excellency Mr. Alireza Saedi.
Let me praise the generous funding resource which has been provided at the disposal of UNODC Office in Iran by the Embassy of Government of Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tehran. Thank you!
It is believed, the UNODC Country Partnership Programme holds realistic and active partnership with national counterparts. This is with aims to promote application of crime prevention policies, strengthen domestic operations towards increasing fair criminal justice system and improve international cooperation with United Nations and states.
Respectively, I would like to acknowledge fruitful experience which has been accomplished with the Social and Crime Prevention Directorate of Judiciary and refer to supportive attendance of (i) His Excellency Justice Zabiollah Khodaeeian, Deputy Head of Judiciary on Legal Affairs and (ii) His Excellency Justice Mehdi Amiri Isfahani, Deputy Prosecutor General on Political and Security Affairs. These are significant indications of accuracy of plans of UNODC Office in Iran while addressing national requirements and high level of political will to expand productive cooperation with this Office.
At this moment, I would like to highlight some key points that give UNODC a solid basis for provision of its assistance to our dear Iranian partners. As mandated by the UN Economic and Social Council’s resolution 2016/17, UNODC had convened an “Expert Group Meeting on Restorative Justice in Criminal Matters”, in Ottawa/Canada, on 22-24 November 2017. The EGM was planned with objectives of (i) reviewing use and application of basic principles on use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matters and (ii) new developments and innovative approaches in the same area. The EGM culminated with a set of observations and conclusions aimed at increasing use of restorative justice programmes. Its report has been presented for consideration by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its 27th session in May 2018. A key observation was that “there was now a more nuanced understanding of some of key concepts of basic principles”, and that “further guidance would be beneficial in the interpretation and application of those key concepts”.
At the 27th Session of Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Member States adopted Resolution 27/6 entitled “Restorative justice” and once again requested UNODC to undertake a series of activities aimed at widening the use of restorative justice in criminal matters. Among others, a request was made to UNODC to develop educational materials and practical guidance, including updating its Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes, and to offer training and other capacity-building opportunities.
The Sub-Programme 2 on Crime, Corruption and Criminal Justice of UNODC Country Partnership Programme 2015-2019 is founded on (i) United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes, (ii) United Nations Convention against Corruption and (iii) UNODC instruments on crime prevention and criminal justice. It is supported by His Excellency Ayatollah Amoli Larijani, Head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Aiming to maximize outcomes of plans and productive deliveries, the document has devoted a specific segment to the subjects of crime prevention and criminal justice. All plans would be penciled in line with UNODC global policies and it would seek potentials to supply its national counterparts with fresh international expertise.
The working sessions of Meeting would enjoy expertise of national speaking authorities and senior collaborators from Kingdom of the Netherlands and Switzerland. The agenda items have been selected in close consultation with planning bodies and would address each subject in sequence of policy and practical operation.
I would like to express thankfulness of UNODC Country Office in the Islamic Republic of Iran to provincial prosecutors, judges, chief attorneys and judicial representations on social affairs who traveled from their nationwide jurisdictions to HQs’ in Capital Tehran. This has occurred based on results of fruitful coordination among organizing parties and high quality of working calendar.
This Meeting is a unique opportunity to advance collective talks and action on promoting crime prevention policies and alternatives to imprisonment as well as to improve criminal justice system and advocate restorative justice.
At the end, I would like to commend the chairmanship of co-chair, His Excellency Justice Olfat, in advance, which would steer the Meeting towards achieving its objectives.
I wish all of us a productive discussions and continued partnership.