From Burkina Faso to Sweden, from Fiji to Ghana, 72 corrections experts and practitioners from 28 countries came together for the Seventh United Nations International Conference on Corrections in Peacekeeping in Entebbe, Uganda, from 25 to 28 September, 2018.

Uganda hosts UN conference on corrections in peacekeeping (Photo: DPKO)

This year’s event focused on “Strategic Approaches to Corrections Management in Post-Conflict Countries”.

“Strengthening corrections systems is an integral part of sustainable peace and an important building block in the recovery from conflict,” said Mario Obiga Kania, Minister of State of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uganda.

The conference was hosted by the Government of Uganda and organized by the Justice and Corrections Service of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with additional support from the Governments of Sweden and Canada.

The event served as a platform for representatives of national prison services, UN corrections experts, Members States, and partners to discuss how to strengthen support to national prison systems in post-conflict settings and to identify areas of collaboration.

Susan D. Page, Special Adviser for Rule of Law, Global Focal Point Review Implementation, noted the essential contributions of Member States to corrections support in peace operations. She called for enhanced partnerships, including through the Global Focal Point for police, justice and corrections.

Member States reiterated their resolve to contribute high-quality, government-provided corrections personnel to UN peace operations.

Participants stressed the importance of addressing critical gaps in prison systems to reinforce the rule of law, contribute to sustainable political solutions and ensure that prison systems are safe, secure and humane.

They agreed that initiatives to enhance prison security, manage high-risk prisoners, and prevent violent extremism should be at the forefront of efforts to address mass escapes, impunity and crimes that risk destabilizing the peace processes.

Participants also acknowledged the need for accountability in the use of resources to prisons as a means for solidifying public support and funding.

Key factors for supporting prison systems were identified, such as concrete recommendations to address the gender gap in prison management, enhancing the transparency of the nominations of government-provided corrections personnel, and developing quality leadership in prison administration.

The next international conference on corrections in peacekeeping is expected to take place in 2020.