THE 28TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PROSECUTORS
Dear fellow prosecutors,
It is with great pleasure that I write to you on June 6, the day that marks the anniversary of the International Association of Prosecutors. It was 28 years ago that members from 11 countries gathered in the United Nations Offices in Vienna and crystallised the idea of creating an international organisation that would bring together prosecutors from all around the world to combine efforts towards a common purpose.
In the understanding that prosecutors play a crucial role in the administration of justice and in ensuring compliance with the principles established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the IAP founders sought to enhance cooperation bonds, elevate prosecutorial standards and protect the independence of prosecutors and prosecution offices.
A tremendous amount of work has already been done to that effect.To this day, over 350.000 prosecutors and 183 organisations from 177 countries are part of the IAP, forging constructive cooperation relations and even stronger friendships across borders.
From specialist networks to the development of the Prosecutors International Cooperation Platform (PICP), through training courses and both Regional and Annual conferences, the IAP has proven that cooperation is the way towards nurturing prosecutors with the appropriate and most necessary tools to combat crime. Furthermore, the IAP has become a key player in raising the bar for prosecutorial effectiveness and safeguarding the independence of Public Prosecution Services.
However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Unfortunately, we live in convulsed times in which the role of prosecutors, while increasingly necessary and challenging, has become more and more dangerous to carry out. Prosecutors are being threatened and sometimes even murdered for simply exercising their duties.
These past few days I was shocked and saddened by threats received by the Attorney General of Ecuador and the assassination of yet another prosecutor later that day. Prosecutors investigating organied crime and corruption are particularly vulnerable to this problem, not only in Latin America, but all over the world. This, far from bringing us down, is what must drive us towards renewing our commitment and efforts in upholding the principles and standards that inspire and guide us in overcoming every obstacle.
Let’s embrace the challenge, and continue working together. I hope to see you all in London next September.
Juan B. Mahiques
Please also view our History Booklet that was published to commemorate our 25th Anniversary, The-IAP-History-Booklet (iap-association.org)