Strengthening the Rule of Law vital to sustain peace and foster development

Jun 29, 2016

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark addressing Annual Meeting on Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-Affected Situations (Photo: Freya Morales/UNDP)

New York — “Advancing the rule of law and sustaining peace is most likely to be achieved when national, international and UN partners work closely together,” stated Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator delivering her key note remarks at the opening of the Rule of Law Annual event in New York today. “Placing people at the center of justice and security reforms and working towards the goals of national partners are crucial for successfully establishing the rule of law and access to justice,” she further added.

The event brought together peacebuilding and development experts in the rule of law and conflict prevention areas to enable collaboration and outline priorities for strengthening rule of law in complex contexts and support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Access to Justice and strong accountable institutions are becoming more and more of a requirement as outlined in the SDGs,” stated UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson reflecting on the Agenda for Action – Working Together to Support Rule of Law and Human Rights.

The event also marked the official launch of the 2015 Annual Report on Strengthening the Rule of Law in Crisis-Affected and Fragile Situations. Presenting the report, UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of Policy and Programme Support Magdy Martínez-Solimán stated, “UNDP’s Global Programme on Rule of Law is implemented in situations of ongoing crisis and in places where the legacy of conflict lingers. We have teamed up with national partners in over 40 different countries to restore the delivery of justice and security services to communities affected by conflict and fragility.”

Since 2012, UNDP has been responsible for providing rule of law assistance across the UN system, when the “Global Focal Point (GFP)” structure was established. The GFP structure, a joint undertaking between the UN’s Department for Peacekeeping Operations and UNDP that encompasses the police, justice and corrections sectors, allows a quicker and more effective response to rule of law needs in post-conflict and other crisis situations.

President of the UN General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft stated, “It takes dedication of every person in the society to establish justice and peace. The Global Focal Point is a simple system based on a culture in UN of working together with shared objectives. Change will only happen if we continue to invest in strengthening the rule of law”. 

UN Assistant Secretary General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions for Department of Peacekeeping Operations Mr. Dmitry Titov stated, “The Global Focal Point structure enables all partners to maximize impacts. It pools resources and expertise and delivers as one in preventing violent extremism, which is a real challenge and we will be still confronting it on a major scale for some time to come.”

The UN Member States present on the occasion commended the efforts of the Global Focal Point structure. While committing their continued support, the Member States expressed the need to enhance joint efforts as Rule of Law is crucial to tackling corruption, human trafficking and setting the pre-conditions for economic growth. The Member States expressed the need to explore the root causes of conflict and the need to respect national and local contexts while rendering legal aid.

The three-day meeting is being attended by ministerial representatives from countries supported by UNDP such as Mali and Guatemala; the Chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission; representatives of Permanent Missions; development and foreign ministries; technical specialists; Global Focal Point partners and UN entities (DPKO, OHCHR, UNODC and UN Women); think tanks; and established experts in the rule of law field  such as the Clingendael Institute, Folke Bernadotte Academy, and US Institute for Peace.

Lessons learned from the GFP and UNDP’s rule of law assistance delivered thus far have served as cornerstones for the development of Phase III (2016-2019) of the Global Programme. UNDP serves as the UN system’s main provider of rule of law development assistance, with a portfolio covering more than 100 countries worldwide.

Contact

Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, email: sangita.khadka@undp.org; Tel: +1 212 906 5043

 

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