BALTIC, SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE LAW ENFORCEMENT
VIENNA, 18 October (UN Information Service) -- Five law enforcement experts from the Baltic countries and South Eastern Europe have been attending a training course on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Standards in Law Enforcement in Vienna this week, from 14 to 18 October 2002. The pilot course included lectures by criminal justice experts from the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP), the Ministry of Interior of Austria, the Austrian Police Academy and the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Participants from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania examined the United Nations criminal justice and human rights mechanisms; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; policing and peacekeeping; the correlation of human rights to law enforcement; appropriate actions against terrorism; and trafficking in drugs and people. Visits to Vienna Central Prison, the Austrian Security Academy and the Gendarmerie Station provided participants with practical examples of the application of UN standards and norms in criminal justice and an opportunity to share experiences with their Austrian counterparts. The course was co-organized by the Government of Austria, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) of ODCCP.
Addressing participants, Thomas Stelzer, the Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations (Vienna), said it was useful to invite the participants to Vienna to offer them the opportunity to study UN standards and norms and to share their newly acquired expertise upon return to their countries. Austria supports the activities of CICP in crime prevention and criminal justice and is currently funding several technical cooperation projects. In June 2002, at the Austrian-sponsored Vienna Symposium on Combating International Terrorism, co-organised with CICP, the Austrian Foreign Minister, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, announced that Austria would contribute one million dollars to ODCCP to strengthen its capacities against international terrorism.
The Regional Delegate of the ICRC, Purev Erdenebayar, said the course was an example of the co-operation with the UN in the field of training of law enforcement personnel. The delegate noted that in countries facing internal civil disturbances, it is the police and/or security forces that are first deployed to intervene. Without the safeguards of international human rights and humanitarian law it can escalate into armed conflict. The ICRC has launched national projects to assist authorities to implement international human rights and humanitarian law in policing and security issues in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Centre for International Crime Prevention is mandated to promote the UN standards and norms in criminal justice and to assist Member States in their application through technical assistance and advisory services. On the recommendation of the Commission of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its 11th session, held in Vienna in April 2002, the Economic and Social Council adopted a resolution encouraging the Centre "to continue, subject to the availability of existing funds, to provide technical assistance and advisory services to Member States upon request in support of criminal justice reform, including in the framework of peacekeeping and post-conflict reconstruction, drawing on the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice".
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