UNODC Launched High-level Conference on Educating for the Rule of Law

7 October 2019 – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched high-level conference on Educating for the Rule of Law in the presence of some 350 high-ranking specialists in the field of education, justice, and policy-making.

The three-day conference discussed the numerous educational tools developed together with academics around the world, which contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – the overarching mission of UNODC) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

The Conference was opened by Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, who stressed the importance of initiatives like Education for Justice to achieve the SDGs: “The landmark Doha Declaration adopted in 2015 at the UN Crime Congress recognized the fundamental role of education in preventing crime and strengthening the rule of law. Stepping up efforts to promote a culture of lawfulness, in line with the Doha Declaration, is key to delivering by 2030.”

Addressing the conference via video message, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay spoke of the importance of cooperation in this field: “I am delighted that UNESCO has joined efforts with UNODC to encourage innovative partnerships between the education and justice sectors, and am happy to announce that UNESCO has just published, in cooperation with UNODC, two education manuals for the primary and secondary levels to empower young students to work for more just societies.”

Major-General Abdullah Al-Mal, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, told participants that E4J’s effect showed the importance of involving children to achieve global goals for sustainable development: “Since the hosting of the 2015 Crime Congress, Qatar has been highly supportive of the Education for Justice initiative. This gathering marks an important milestone in recognizing the key linkages between SDG4 and SDG16 of the UN’s Global Goals.”

Representing her youthful generation, an 11-year old student who won a debate in Nigeria on “How to Combat Corruption,” Naomi Oloyode, appealed for continued investment in peace and rule of law: “The future of children is in the hands of parents, leaders and policymakers. I plead with you to join hands together to make our world a better, safer and more inclusive space.”

The first session was addressed by Iris Rauskala, Minister of Education, Science and Research, Austria; Hilligje van’t Land, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities (IAU); Víctor Lagos Pizzati, Deputy Minister for Development Cooperation and Economic Relations, El Salvador; and Nafieh Assaf, Assistant Deputy Minister for Education, State of Palestine.

The Education for Justice initiative is one of the components of UNODC’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, a four-year initiative funded by Qatar. It aims at promoting a culture of lawfulness and the rule of law, and at building the capacity of educators to equip students with the ability to address issues which can undermine the rule of law, through the creation and dissemination of educational activities and materials designed for the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

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