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Annual meeting of the Group of Friends for Corrections in Peace Operations

Statement by Ambassador Mona Juul at the opening of the Annual meeting of the Group of Friends for Corrections in Peace Operations, 15 October 2019.

| Group of Friends

Excellencies, colleagues,

Welcome to the Norwegian Mission and our still rather new office spaces.

It is an honour to open this annual meeting of the Group of Friends of Corrections in Peace Operations.

A modern, efficient, and humane correctional service is arguably more important than ever.

We have learned through research and, sadly, past experience that prison can serve as a breeding ground for extremism and radicalization in the absence of careful stewardship.

A contemporary approach to corrections- one which emphasises prevention and rehabilitation- presents a challenge to correctional facilities across the world.

In Norway, we have also faced these challenges, grappling both with domestic terrorism and returning foreign terrorist fighters.

However, prisons are not concerned only with violent extremism.

The majority of inmates serve time for a wide range of other crimes. Regardless of their particular sentence, rehabilitation and reintegration into society should be the aim of correctional services.

Indeed, the Norwegian approach seeks to prepare inmates for daily life beyond prison walls.

As we say in Norway, we want the released convict to become our neighbour.

Therefore, human rights are an essential component of a prison wardens’ training. And a human rights perspective should be integrated across the breadth of prison operations.

The UN Justice and Correction Service has a critical job to do in this regard. Working to introduce and implement international human rights law and standards- especially within Peace Operations- but also in non-mission settings.

I am glad to see such a diverse group of Member States and Corrections Contributing Countries here today.

Unfortunately, my schedule doesn’t allow me to stay through the meeting. Particularly for the remarks of ASG Volker Turk, who we are honoured to host today.

But I am confident you are in good hands here, with our friends from Burkina Faso.

It is my pleasure to now give the floor to the Permanent Representative of Burkina Faso, H.E. Ambassador Yemdaogo Eric Tiare.