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PESHAWAR: The EU-funded ‘Deliver Justice Project’ has been able to make remarkable achievements in the Rule of Law space in the past year, despite multiple COVID-related challenges.

Programme accomplishments were acknowledged in the first Provincial Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the joint UN programme being implemented in KP and Balochistan, held at the Planning and Development Department (P&DD) in Peshawar Thursday.

The ‘Deliver Justice Project’ aims to support reform processes to ensure delivery of people-cantered justice, enhance access to justice for all, particularly women and marginalized groups; and improve service delivery of the security sector in line with constitutional safeguards and international standards.

The project, supported by the EU, is jointly implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shahab Ali Shah chaired the meeting and thanked the European Union for its continued support for strengthening the rule of law and build capacity of relevant institutions.

He said, “I am also thankful to the UNDP and UN Women for their efforts during the past year and look forward to another year of sustainable efforts on ground that impact the lives of the common person in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”

In his welcome remarks, the EU Head of Cooperation Ovidiu Mic underlined that strengthening the delivery of justice and security was a priority for the EU, as it created the conducive environment needed for sustainable economic and social development.

He added, “We look forward to working in partnership with the Government of KP and the UN agencies, on further advancing access to justice for the people, particularly women and girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”.

UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby thanked the EU and partners for their continued support for making the programme successful. “Under the programme, UNDP is building the capacity of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and supporting KP Police’s automation initiatives.

We are also working with the Peshawar High Court to develop linkages between criminal and justice coordination committees, and the KP Prisons Directorate to identify training needs for curriculum development. Through all these initiatives, we will be able to strengthen law enforcement, judiciary, reclamations and probation and the prisons department in the future.”

During the meeting, it was highlighted that among other achievements in 2021, the programme successfully laid the foundation for the establishment of a Rule of Law Delivery Unit at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Department, assisted operationalizing the Police Training School Khyber and is helping the Directorate of Public Relations KP Police to develop a Public Relations and Communications Strategy.

In addition to that, the programme trained reclamation and probation officers and held a consultative workshop to seek recommendations to revise the Dispute Resolution Council rules for enhanced justice for all.

During 2022, the programme will further work towards strengthening the rule of law by joining hands with law enforcement agencies. Particularly, trainings will be provided for two thousand police personnel from the NMDs. The programme will strengthen judicial capacity by training judicial and non-judicial staff and prosecutors.

In addition to that, a detailed gender responsive infrastructure analysis will be conducted of selected premises under the justice sector institutions which will identify gaps and needs and guide capacity building interventions in the future.

With the help of the Prison Academy, seven district prisons in the NMDs, five central prisons and Directorate of Public Relations offices at CPO Peshawar will also be refurbished.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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