Welcome to the online course
"Introduction to UN Crime Programme meetings"
This is a preview of a joint online course by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI) and University of Helsinki
DESCRIPTION
HEUNI is the European regional institute in the United Nations Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Programme Network. HEUNI functions under the auspices of the Finnish Ministry of Justice as an independent research and policy-making institute. HEUNI's vision is to identify evidence-based criminal justice and crime prevention practices in Europe, and share these within Europe and beyond, in order to advance more effective, rational and humane criminal justice systems. www.heuni.fi

Learning outcomes: Much of the work of the United Nations takes place in official meeting. Have you ever wondered what happens in these meetings? This course gives you a basic understanding of one of the UN programmes, the UN Crime Programme. The course gives insider tips on how a person attending the UN Crime Programme meetings can make effective use of these meetings. The course focuses on the UN Crime Programme, but is also useful for other UN contexts, as well as a general overview of the skills needed for diplomatic discourse. The course is based on the personal experience of the former Director of HEUNI, Dr Matti Joutsen, who over the past 40 years has played an instrumental role in shaping the UN Crime Programme.

Target audience: The course is intended for anyone interested in the UN Crime Programme or UN organizations in general. Particularly to those students specializing in international relations or law, or junior practitioners familiarizing themselves with the negotiation tactics at the UN.

Contents and structure: The course is composed of 6 parts, each one presenting a topic through texts, videos, graphics, quizzes, links and additional readings. The course will take approx. 3-15 hours depending on the time students allot to self-studying.

Part 1 Introduction
Part 2 Who is Who
Part 3 Participating in UN Crime Programme Meeting: Submitting papers, adopting resolutions and asking for the floor
Part 4 Sensitive issues in negotiations
Part 5 "Ten rules to follow" is a tongue-in-cheek analysis of different negotiating tactics


INTRODUCTION
Introduction
United Nations System
The UN & UNODC systems in schemes
Introduction
The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ)
The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) was established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) resolution 1992/1,upon request of General Assembly (GA) resolution 46/152, as one of its functional commissions. The Commission acts as the principal policymaking body of the United Nations in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. ECOSOC provided for the CCPCJ's mandates and priorities in resolution 1992/22, which include improving international action to combat national and transnational crime and the efficiency and fairness of criminal justice administration systems. The CCPCJ also offers Member States a forum for exchanging expertise, experience and information in order to develop national and international strategies, and to identify priorities for combating crime.

In 2006, the GA adopted resolution 61/252, which further expanded the mandates of the CCPCJ to enable it to function as a governing body of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and to approve the budget of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund, which provides resources for technical assistance in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice worldwide. The CCPCJ is the preparatory body to the United Nations Crime Congresses. Declarations adopted by the congresses are transmitted through the CCPCJ and the ECOSOC to the GA for endorsement. The CCPCJ implements the outcome of the congresses into concrete action through decisions and resolutions, many of which are recommended for adoption by the ECOSOC or, through the ECOSOC, by the GA.

Introduction
United Nations Congresses on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice 1955–2015
Basic facts and trends

ADDITIONAL READING:
"FOUR TRANSITIONS IN THE UNITED NATIONS CRIME PROGRAMME"
by Matti Joutsen

Click here to read the paper (PDF-format)
Over the course of seventy years, the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme (the "UN Crime Programme") has undergone three major transitions. The first was a transition from a forum for intellectual debate among primarily Western European and North American criminologists and practitioners, to a truly global programme (1950s – 1960s). The second was a transition from an expert-driven programme to a government-driven programme (the 1990s). The third was a transition from a soft law programme to a programme based also on hard law treaties (the 2000s).
Each of these transitions has, in different ways, changed and strengthened the UN Crime
Programme, but each has entailed its own costs. This paper briefly describes the transi-
tions, as well as their accompanying costs and benefits. It also suggests that a fourth
transition is underway, one that is framed by the 2030 UN Sustainable Development
Agenda.
Introduction
The UN Crime Programme calendar
Main information presented in texts and video (Aleksandra and Inka being filmed)
The UN Crime Programme calendar revolves around meetings organized primarily in three contexts:

  • the UN Crime Commission,
  • the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC CoSP), and
  • the Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC CoSP).
The two Conferences of States Parties have five-day sessions every second year, during alternating years. The UNTOC CoPS is always organized in Vienna, with the next session to be held in late 2018; the UNCAC CoPS is generally held at invitation outside of Vienna, although the 2017 session (6-10 November 2017) will be held in Vienna.

Five Working Groups have been established under the mandate of the UNTOC COPS: one for each of the three protocols, one on technical assistance and one on international cooperation. In general, they meet annually, but there have been longer intervals.

Three Working Groups are organized annually under the mandate of the UNCAC CoPS: the Working Group on Prevention, the Working Group on Asset Recovery, and the Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Meeting on International Cooperation.

The current list of expert groups and working groups (not all of which are active) is as follows:

  • Open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on gender-related killing of women and girls
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting to develop a draft set of model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group on protection against trafficking in cultural property
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on civilian private security services: their role, oversight and contribution to crime prevention and community safety
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on strengthening access to legal aid in criminal justice systems
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting to develop supplementary rules specific to the treatment of women in detention and in custodial and non-custodial settings
  • Open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on cybercrime (after a four-year interval, the third session was held 10-14 April 2017)

Who is who
Overview of the main actors
Who is who
The UNODC as the secretariat of the crime programme
VIDEO explaining these structures (permanent missions, experts from the capitals)
Who is who
Conference structures and positions
Most of the (formal) work on the UN Crime Programme takes place within
conference structures
: the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and the Conference of the States Parties of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and of the Convention against
Corruption. When meetings are held, the key persons are the members of the "Bureau", in other words the Chairperson, the vice-chairpersons (usually three) and the rapporteur. These positions usually rotate among the five regional groups: Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean (also known as "GRULAC"), and "Western Europe and Others".

It is the Bureau that deals with various practical organizational matters (which can at times become quite politicized). The Bureau may also meet in an "enlarged Bureau" composition, which would also include representatives of the five regional groups as well as of the European Union and the "Group of 77 + China" (which essentially consists of developing countries) .
Who is who
UN Regional Groups
The geopolitical regional groups of member states of the United Nations.

As of May 2014, 192 of the 193 UN member states are divided into five regional groups:

  • the African Group, with 54 member states
  • the Asia-Pacific Group, with 53 member states
  • the Eastern European Group, with 23 member states
  • the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), with 33 member states
  • the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), with 28 member states, plus 1 member state (the United States) as an observer state.
See the full list of countries on the UN Website.

Special cases

Israel

In May 2000 Israel became a WEOG full member, on a temporary basis (subject to renewal), in WEOG's headquarters in the US, thereby enabling it to put forward candidates for election to various UN General Assembly bodies. In 2004 Israel obtained a permanent renewal to its membership.

Kiribati
As of 2010, Kiribati (geographically in Oceania) is not a member of any regional group, despite other Oceania nations belonging to the Asian group. Despite its membership in the United Nations, Kiribati has never delegated a permanent representative to the UN.

Turkey
Turkey, participates fully in both WEOG and Asian Group, but for electoral purposes is considered a member of WEOG only.

United States of America
The United States of America is not a member of any regional group, but attends
meetings of the Western Europe and Other States Group (WEOG) as an observer and is considered to be a member of that group for electoral purposes.

Permanent missions
Given the crowded calendar of the UN Crime Programme, with meetings on the average once a month, the fact that most meetings tend to last only two or three days, and the fact that only representatives of "least developed countries" have their attendance paid to formal UN meetings by the UN Secretariat, fewer and fewer countries are sending substantive experts "from the capitals" to attend the meetings. As a result, much of the work of the UN Crime Programme is conducted by representatives of the permanent missions based in Vienna.

The representatives of the mission tend to stay in Vienna for only for a few years (depending on the country, generally from two to six) before they are rotated to other postings. For this reason, the influence of any one representative will depend on several factors, among the most important of which are his or her personal and negotiating skills; how interested he or she is in the UN Crime Programme; how much he or she has already become familiar with the operation of the United Nations, with international negotiations and with crime prevention and criminal justice issues; and how large the mission in question is. (With small missions, individual representatives need to cover several different issues, and will often not be able to attend other than select meetings on the UN Crime Programme agenda.)


Regional coordination mechanisms
As has been noted, now that various UN meetings are held on almost a monthly basis, fewer and fewer member states – especially those located long airplane flights away – are prepared to invest in sending "experts from the capitals" to attend two- or three day meetings. (As a result, the burden is shifting to the representatives of the missions, who do have negotiating skills and are familiar with the general UN context, but on substantive issues on crime and criminal justice must often rely on written positions sent from the capitals – written positions which may become outdated as the negotiations in Vienna proceed.)

There appears to have been a recent resurgence in the attendance of "experts from the capitals" at some UN Crime Programme meetings. Among the factors may have been the increased organization of technical meetings, as well as of "side events" sessions at UN Crime Commission. A second factor may have been growing awareness among some states of the need to combine expertise from the capitals with the negotiating skills of the permanent representatives.


Experts "from the capitals"
As has been noted, now that various UN meetings are held on almost a monthly basis, fewer and fewer member states – especially those located long airplane flights away – are prepared to invest in sending "experts from the capitals" to attend two- or three day meetings. (As a result, the burden is shifting to the representatives of the missions, who do have negotiating skills and are familiar with the general UN context, but on substantive issues on crime and criminal justice must often rely on written positions sent from the capitals – written positions which may become outdated as the negotiations in Vienna proceed.)

There appears to have been a recent resurgence in the attendance of "experts from the capitals" at some UN Crime Programme meetings. Among the factors may have been the increased organization of technical meetings, as well as of "side events" sessions at UN Crime Commission. A second factor may have been growing awareness among some states of the need to combine expertise from the capitals with the negotiating skills of the permanent representatives.
The UN Crime Programme Network of Institutes (PNI)
The United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes (PNI) has grown over the years to consist of seventeen institutes, the International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council (ISPAC) and (formally speaking) the UNODC.

The network institutes provide a variety of services, including exchange of information, research, training and public education.

The PNI institutes come in many "forms", and vary to a considerable extent in the degree to which they seek to actively influence the work of the UN in Vienna.

Learn more at the HEUNI website
UN Broshure on PNI
Intergovernmental organizations
Among intergovernmental organizations, it is in particular the EU that has been active in Vienna, together with its Fundamental Rights Agency. The Council of Europe does make interventions now and then.
Non-governmental organizations
The Crime Commission and the two Conferences of States Parties operate in accordance with the standard Rules of Procedure, according to which there are four categories of participants: member states (/states parties), intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and UN bodies "and others". (Essentially the same Rules of Procedure apply to the quinquennial UN Crime Congresses. However, the UN Crime Congresses are exceptional – also compared to many other parts of the UN system – in that also individual "experts" may attend the Crime Congresses.)

In respect of bodies under the mandate of the two Conferences of States Parties, however, there has been a long-standing and acrimonious debate over whether or not non-governmental organizations may attend. The present status is that they may not, although the matter is supposed to be kept under review. For UNCAC bodies, a one-day briefing is held for NGOs during the June session of the Implementation Review Group.

For UNTOC bodies, the matter is currently being heavily debated in connection with the discussion on the review of implementation of the convention. Some States Parties support a model similar to that used for the review of the implementation of UNCAC, which would mean that NGOs could only attend a briefing. Others support wider NGO participation, on the grounds that several of the UNTOC protocols make specific reference to NGOs.

Even where NGOs may attend meetings, and may speak if there are no member states wanting to take the floor, there is generally little time left for NGO interventions. This has not stopped many of the NGOs, including through the NGO Alliance, being very much evidence outside the meeting rooms, for example distributing their publications and organizing quite substantive side events (ancillary meetings).

Click here to visit the website of the NGO Alliance.


Extra material:

Participating in UN Crime Programme meetings
The purpose of this part is to describe the usual flow of meetings within the framework of the UN Crime Programme, and suggest ways in which participants can maximize their influence. The key factors are: influencing the agenda and the discussion, submitting papers, making oral statements, working on draft resolutions, and adopting the report.


PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
Introduction: the focus on resolutions
Meetings within the framework of the UN Crime Programme have the general purpose of promoting the prevention of crime and criminal justice. They are, however, very different from the academic conferences that researchers are used to, where people present and discuss papers. They are also very different from policy discussions that policy-makers and practitioners are used to, where different options are presented and weighed, one policy is ultimately adopted, and then the work begins on getting it implemented (and, ideally, getting the impact of implementation assessed).
Note
There are some exceptions to the focus of UN meetings on the formulation of draft resolutions. The UNODC has sought to increase the number of panels, round-tables and workshops, at which experts from the capitals are invited to present their experiences with certain policies, and the participants are encouraged to comment on these, and perhaps supplement the discussion with their own experiences with "good practice". In addition, the UNODC does organize quite technical meetings where the discussion can be reassuringly straightforward, with open discussion among experts. These, however, remain the exception.
Most formal UN meetings revolve around the presentation, discussion and adoption of draft resolutions, and – perhaps to a surprising degree – the adoption of the report of the meeting. In the United Nations, resolutions are important for several different types of reasons:

  • on the substantive level, resolutions embody the sense of the member states of the United Nations: what are the priority issues in crime prevention and criminal justice, and what should be done by the international community in general;

  • also on a substantive level, resolutions may express the will of member states to call upon member states, or to invite other actors (such as intergovernmental organizations) to take specific action;

  • on a political level, resolutions may be used to promote a certain political agenda: condemning certain developments, action taken or incidents, welcoming other developments, stressing the importance of certain values, and so on;

  • on a practical level, resolutions often request that the Secretariat take specific actions, such as prepare a report, organize a meeting or provide certain assistance to member states on request;

  • on a linguistic level, and as documents reflecting the outcome of UN negotiations, the phrasing and terminology used in resolutions becomes "agreed language", which may well be referred to in future negotiations.


PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
Influencing the agenda and the discussion
GRAPHIC VIDEO/INFOGRAPHIC describing the process in a nutshell
VIDEO with Dr. Matti Joutsen sharing his experience in participation in negotiations and how to make the right statements in the United Nations
PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
Submitting papers
Text + additional reading of example papers
PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
Oral statements
Text + video example of an oral statement
Extra information on how to prepare speech and deal with simultaneous interpreting
PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
How draft resolutions are prepared
Timeline of a prepartion of a draft resolution
1
Step 1
Brief description
2
Step 2
Brief description.
3
Step 3
Brief description
ADDITIONAL READING:
Draft resolution "Working towards a reform of the criminal justice system: fighting femicides"
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
ADDITIONAL READING:
"WHEN EXPERTS AND DIPLOMATS AGREE: NEGOTIATING PEER REVIEW OF THE UN CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION"
by Matti Joutsen and Adam Graycar


Click here to read the paper (PDF-format)

The UN Convention Against Corruption is the only truly global convention in corruption control. Separate and rather difficult negotiations were conducted on a mechanism for the implementation of the treaty. These negotiations broke ground by providing, for the first time, peer review of a United Nations treaty. This article, which is based on the authors' close observations and interviews with key participants, seeks to show how the dynamics between technical experts and diplomats led to a resolution that would not have occurred if either the technical experts or the diplomats had acted alone.
PARTICIPATING IN UN CRIME PROGRAMME MEETINGS
Adoption of the report
Text description + an example of a real report
Sensitive issues in negotiations

"Ten rules to follow"
A tongue-in-cheek analysis of different negotiating tactics
As with so many negotiations, success at UN Crime Programme meetings depends on preparation of one's own position, anticipation of contrary positions, and an ability to influence the course of the negotiations. Negotiators come in many shapes and sizes, representing member states both large and small, and there are no hard-and-fast rules as to who will "win out" at the end. At times, the outcome may even depend on chance statements, suggestions or events. Nonetheless, in the experience of the author, the more influential and successful negotiators in Vienna tend to fit a distinct (and rather loose) profile. The author suggests, and not merely facetiously, that those interested in negotiating in Vienna might wish to learn the following rules:

  1. Be polite.
  2. Avoid pomposity.
  3. Take a crash course in haggling.
  4. Be prepared.
  5. Learn English.
  6. Learn and use certain stock phrases and "agreed language".
  7. Learn the importance of form over substance.
  8. Drink lots of melange and forget about your social life.
  9. Either bring colleagues or learn how to be in two places at the same time.
  10. Develop a sense of humour.
VIDEO with Dr. Matti Joutsen covering issues
№№ 1-5, 8-10
Handouts for №№ 6-7: "agreed language" and "four categories of words"
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