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Rule of Law- A key pillar in the UN’s efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace

Jun 14, 2017

Strengthening the Rule of Law for Sustaining Peace and Fostering Development, Annual Meeting 2017 (Photo: UNDP/Freya Morales)

New York, 14 June —The high level plenary of the UNDP Annual Rule of Law Meeting outlined priorities on how best to support the rule of law and human rights within the Sustaining Peace agenda, and reflected on strategic priorities for the future of international rule of law assistance.

“A strong rule of law provides framework for a well-functioning government and is catalytic to all the Sustainable Development Goals,” said H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations in her opening remarks.

“Rule of Law assistance is a key pillar in the UN’s efforts to prevent conflict and sustain peace. Advancing domestic legal frameworks, strengthening justice and law enforcement institutions in accordance with international standards, and improving access to justice and security services with a special focus on the most vulnerable can go far in preventing the outbreak, escalation, or recurrence of conflict,” she further stated.

Distinguished speakers at the event emphasized the need for the international community to come together to work on reconciliation, foster societal healing, tackle impunity of war crimes and resolve the issue of missing persons, and at the same time promote human rights and accountability through joint cooperation and partnership.

Emphasizing on the need to create a strong foundation for sustainable peace, Mr. Tegegnework Gettu, UNDP Administrator a.i. said, “Sustaining peace requires active and coherent actions across UN system. We must respond with a common vision and ensure that our support remains anchored in nationally driven processes.”

“The resolutions on sustaining peace place great emphasis on the need for inclusive efforts and the essential role of women and youth; and on prevention, addressing the root causes of conflict before it happens. The 2030 Agenda seeks to do just that,” said Magdy Martinez Soliman, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

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.

“The Global Focal Point has grown to be an indispensable system-wide delivery platform for rule of law service. UNDP and DPKO have successfully conducted more than 40 joint assessments in 19 conflict-affected countries over the last 5 years,” said Alexandre Zouev, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).

The event also announced the release of the new Rule of Law Annual Report 2016.

The four-day (12-15 June) meeting is attended by ministerial representatives from countries supported by UNDP such as the Central African Republic and Somalia, 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 field of rule of law such as the Overseas Development Institute, DCAF and US Institute for Peace.

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Other Quotes

Adama Dieng, USG and Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide – “Violent conflict and atrocity crimes leave terrible scars on societies. History has shown that for societies to heal there has to be a transitional justice process and a process of reconciliation and reparations, a healing of the memories.”

Metsi Makhetha, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Burkina Faso – “The most immediate and discernable risk pertains to high expectations, that while implementing the national plan for social and economic development, the government be seen at the same time acting on and addressing, with determined resolve, impunity and corruption.”

Contact information

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