Press Releases

    17 September 2004

    Italy Pledges Five Million Euros for Criminal Justice Reform in Afghanistan

    VIENNA, 17 September  (UN Information Service) -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy has pledged five million Euros in support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Criminal Justice Reform Programme in Afghanistan. The money will be allocated to the project "Prison System Reform in Afghanistan -- Extension to the Provinces". UNODC, which is the leading UN agency working on the rehabilitation of the Afghan penitentiary system, will base its work on the lessons learnt from its pilot project in Kabul, also being funded by Italy.

    This pilot project which is currently under implementation was designed to revise Afghan penitentiary rules and regulations. Its other activities include the rehabilitation and construction of the main detention centres in Kabul. The activities of the new project are related to penitentiary reform in selected provinces and districts, requested by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the Afghan authorities and other stakeholders. As is the case with the pilot project, the new project will be implemented in close consultation with the Afghanistan Judicial Reform Commission, the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan and agencies of the UN family.

    Italy’s pledge will enable a much-needed intervention in the penitentiary sector at the province level, in order to redress the sub-standard facilities, inhumane treatment of prisoners, and the lack of separate facilities for women and juvenile offenders. Moreover, the reform of the penitentiary system will provide support to the work of the police and judiciary, facilitate the re-establishment of the rule of law and promote the respect for fundamental human rights and freedom, therefore contributing to the maintenance of peace and stability in Afghanistan.

    Italy is the lead country assisting in reforming Afghanistan’s Criminal Justice System. UNODC developed this project under the guidance of the former President in the Supreme Court of Italy and Special Coordinator for the Italian Lead for Justice in Afghanistan Giuseppe di Gennaro. With this pledge, Italy’s contribution to UNODC’s Criminal Justice Reform programme in Afghanistan has reached 8.5 million Euros.

    * *** *