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Rede anlässlich des Treffens der Friends of the Nelson Mandela Rules, 28. Januar 2019


Welcoming and opening remarks to UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov by Ambassador Gerhard Küntzle, Germany


Executive Director,

Exellencies, distinguished colleages,

I have the great pleasure to welcome you, Mr Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, to this meeting of the Group of Friends of the Nelson Mandela Rules which I have the privilege to co-chair together with Ambassador Sekuolo from South Africa.

We are grateful to you, Executive Director for the constant support you have been lending to the implementation and promotion of the minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners.

As my co-chair, the Ambassador of South Africa will introduce in a few minutes the special agenda item which is at the center of this Meeting, allow me to share with you a few remarks on the promotion of the Nelson Mandela Rules and our future work.


Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Nelson Mandela Rules have considerably improved the standards set by the United Nations for the treatment of prisoners. They reflect the minimum requirements to be met by a humane prison system today. Reaching universal consensus on the Rules was a major achievement. It is now of great importance to ensure their application in all Member States of the United Nations. To this end, the rules must be, where necessary, transposed into national law and finally into practice in the prisons.

Therefore, the main purposes of our Group of Friends is to maintain the momentum generated by the adoption of the Rules and to take this process forward, including as the main support vehicle for technical assistance by UNODC under its global programme for addressing prison challenges.

I am pleased to say that Germany has contributed to this process by funding various UNODC technical assistance activities on the Nelson Mandela Rules.

Now UNODC is about to complete a very interesting project on fostering the practical application of the Nelson Mandela Rules under its Global Programme on Addressing Prison Challenges: providing training for prison staff though an E-learning course with situations filmed in prisons in Switzerland, Algeria and Argentina.

These projects deserve our Group’s full support. They touch the core of what we are striving for:  to promote humane prison conditions. The E Learning programme seeks to help to improve the work of the prison staff which is at the frontline of all efforts to improve prison conditions worldwide.

Therefore I suggest that when organizing our next activity in the framework of the CCPCJ in May 2019, we give Mrs. Lebaux and Mr. Meissner an opportunity to make a presentation of this didactic material.

And with that, I would now like to hand over to my distinguished colleague from South Africa.


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