G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Declaration on Capacity Building Assistance
G8 JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS MINISTERIAL MEETING
G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Declaration
on Capacity Building Assistance
In today’s world, where transnational organized crime and international terrorism continue to pose serious global threats, the need for international cooperation has grown significantly. Activities of organized crime and terrorist groups are no longer restricted by national boundaries, and all countries, working together, need to ensure the safety of its citizenry and advance the rule of law. While terrorism and transnational organized crime are two distinct phenomena driven by different motivations and logics, they both call for enhanced international cooperation. In this regard, one of the most important areas for international cooperation is providing capacity building assistance to countries which require support to develop justice systems, criminal and related legislation; policies, procedures and institutions to prevent terrorist acts; and enhance law enforcement capacity to combat these threats.
G8 Member States have long attached great importance to capacity building assistance and have engaged, independently and collectively, in a wide variety of such activities. The areas in which assistance has been provided include developing legislation designed to fight organized crime and terrorism, promoting domestic implementation of relevant conventions, protocols and resolutions, in particular the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its additional protocols, the United Nations Conventions Against Corruption (UNCAC), and the universal legal instruments to fight international terrorism, building police and law enforcement capacity, and strengthening mechanisms for international legal cooperation such as extradition and mutual legal assistance. G8 Member States have also built, strengthened and trained a 24/7 Network of points of contact for high tech crime now numbering fifty countries and jurisdictions.
As regards counter-terrorism capacity building, our Leaders in Evian in 2003 agreed on a G8 action plan “Building International Political Will and Capacity to Combat Terrorism,” pursuant to which the Counter-Terrorism Action Group (CTAG) was created. CTAG has met regularly since its inception and, with the participation of non-G8 donors and representatives from relevant United Nations bodies and other organizations, has served as a forum where information and experience are exchanged and assistance focused. The G8 has also recognized the central role of the United Nations in the international fight against terrorism, and has welcomed and supported the capacity building efforts by relevant UN bodies such as the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and its Executive Directorate (CTED) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Likewise, our Leaders in Okinawa in 2000 recognized the compelling need to assist capacity-building efforts in the more vulnerable jurisdictions to strengthen their criminal justice systems, in order to prevent criminal groups from threatening their social, economic and political structures and exploiting them as loopholes in the global framework to fight organized crime.
Capacity building assistance, be it for the fight against transnational organized crime or for counter-terrorism, is aimed at promoting peace and security, governance, human rights, and rule of law. While the efforts required in these two areas are not identical, they should be mutually reinforcing because the fundamental value of law and order is universal.
We believe that, in order to maximize its positive effect, capacity building assistance which aims to improve the delivery of justice and law enforcement capacity, should be characterized by:
- • Respect for the sovereignty and ownership of the recipient country and the right of its people for accountable governance, as well as security;
- • Understanding of the history, culture, legal traditions, and society of the recipient country;
- • Sufficient flexibility and diversity so as to be responsive to the needs of the recipient country, while maintaining full consistency with provisions and aims of relevant international legal instruments;
- • Adoption of a holistic approach, designed to ensure a balance between the justice systems and law enforcement capability;
- • Due consideration to medium and long-term perspective for enduring outcomes;
- • Regular evaluations, when feasible, to identify program strength and weakness in support of strengthening future development efforts; and
- • Regard for the importance of donor coordination to promote the efficient and effective application of limited resources.
In recognition of the critical importance of capacity building assistance in developing justice systems, criminal and related legislation; policies, procedures and institutions to prevent terrorist acts; and enhancing law enforcement, prosecutorial, judicial, criminal defense, and correctional capacity, we hereby commit ourselves to continue our efforts, through appropriate bilateral, regional or multilateral channels, in providing assistance within the scope of our authority and improving the quality of the assistance delivered. We the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs of the G8 Member States also call upon our partners around the world to join us in these important efforts.