The United Nations and Restorative Justice: PART ONE

What does the United Nations have to do with Restorative Justice?

First lets talk about what the United Nations IS:

From their website (www.un.org) we learn this about who they are and what their purpose is.

The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. They are best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.

The United Nations has four main purposes.

  • To keep peace throughout the world;
  • To develop friendly relations among nations;
  • To help nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and to encourage respect for each other’s rights and freedoms;
  • To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals.

Which brings us back to the question; What does the United Nations have to do with Restorative Justice?

In 1999, the Economic and Social council requested that the United Nations consider the desirability of formulating United Nations standards in the fields of mediation and restorative justice.

On the 24 of July 2002, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations gathered and came up with something called "Basic principles on the use of restorative justice programmes in criminal matters."

They resolved that the countries who are members of the United Nations should use Restorative Justice programs.

In the next WEb updates we will explore how the UN came to this decision and why it is a significant one.

If you are interested in reading the resolution you can find it on the UN website at: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/docs/2002/resolution%202002-12.pdf