6th Informal Meeting
10 Jun 2021, 17:00 - 18:30 (GMT+2)
Informal Meeting of the Alliance for Vienna-based Representatives of International NGOs – 6/2021
June 10th, 2021 17:00 – 18:10 (via Webex)
Participants: Anna Alvazzi del Frate (Chair), Phil Reichel, Jay Albanese, Cecilia ODywer, Gerson Nozea, Ingeborg Geyer (Treasurer), Ian Tennant, Nuno Maria Roque Jorge, Jeanne Searson, Linda Witong, Evelyn Dürmayer, Michael Platzer, Linda MacDonald, Ramil Iskandarli, Marlene Parenzan, Irmgard Mäntler, Gary Hill, Tobias Krachler (Secretary)
The Chair summarized the events around the 30th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice which took place in May. She noted that for many months preparations for major events, including the 14th Crime Congress, had been the focus of discussion at informal meetings. Concerns about civil society participation and engagement with the virtual format had been addressed by the Secretariat only partially. Indeed, it proved possible to make a statement at the CCPCJ for all NGOs who applied. Coordination of NGO statements had been organized by the Alliance in conjunction with the UNODC CSU. On the positive side, the Alliance was pleased that the Chair of the Commission, H.E. Ambassador Cortese of Italy, took the time for an informal dialogue with civil society organizations and volunteered answers to the questions raised by CSOs. With the mandate of the Kyoto Declaration, it is time to unpack and discuss what has to come next. The Commission postponed the thematic discussion to the reconvened session in December. This could be an opportunity for NGOs to stress their (thematic) contribution on that occasion.
The Chair introduced several initiatives proposed by Board Members in the coming months, including one event aimed at highlighting best practices in crime prevention and supporting CSOs to help them better exchange information and experiences; briefings for Alliance members on the upcoming High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals and the Biennial Meeting of States on Small Arms and Light Weapons; and safe cities for women. She gave the floor to different members of the Board to further explain these initiatives.
The Alliance carried out a survey among members in preparation of the Kyoto Congress. The primary use of the collected information, generously provided by respondents, was in preparation of the Joint Civil Society statement at the 14th Crime Congress. Secondly, it served to gather an overview of the topics that are relevant to the members of the Alliance. Based on those findings, the Board of the Alliance is proposing a series of events with the overarching goal of sharing experiences, positive and negative, in reaching various goals. A second goal is to strengthen the umbrella role of the Alliance and improving the cooperation amongst the members. Therefore, a certain number of topics have been chosen, prime among them were research for the topic of future commissions. Criminologists without Borders (CWB), represented by Jay Albanese who is also serving as a Vice Chair on the Alliance Board, is already engaged in a similar effort, providing information to member states, the UNODC, and other entities to show what research is available. CWB has been approached by the Board to organize the first event aimed at to present their experience in this respect. The events will have a very interactive format, with short presentations and ample time for questions and discussion. This event will be organized towards the end of August.
Ingeborg Geyer, Treasurer
The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) will be held in NY from 6th July to 15th July. This year’s theme will be sustainable and resilient recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and goal 16 will be under review. It promotes the economic, social and environmental dimension of sustainable development, building and effective and inclusive path for the 2030 agenda. Participation for CSOs will be only virtually. The Board of the Alliance is organizing a briefing for members to be held on 30 June. During the briefing speakers will explain relevance of HLPF to the mandate of the Alliance and present the HLPF political declaration (see zero draft on the website of the Alliance).
Linda Witong, Member of the Board
Presented the Safe cities for women initiative together with Inge Geyer. It is a longer-term initiative to provide safer cities to women and children. The Alliance has been invited to join a group of NGOs who are currently conceptualizing the format of this event, which will come to fruition in 2022.
Ian Tennant, Vice Chair
There will be training sessions organized by the UNODC and the Global Initiative on the UNTOC review mechanism. An online only session will be from 18th to 20th of July that can be done independently. Another two-day session will be held online but with live participation.
Tour de table
Several participants commented on the proposed initiatives and reacted positively to them.
The next Informal Meeting will be on July 13th, from 15:00 to 16:30 CET .