UNDP at the ASEAN-G7 Justice Ministers’ Meeting in Tokyo

Plenary session on “Strengthening mutual cooperation between ASEAN and the G7 in the field of law and justice”

July 20, 2023

Special event on Ensuring Access to Justice with a People-Centered Approach with UNDP, Thailand Institute of Justice and the Japan Legal Support Center

In July, the Ministry of Justice of Japan hosted the first-ever ASEAN and G7 Ministers of Justice meeting to mark the 50th year of ASEAN – Japan friendship cooperation.

Ministers of Justice and Attorney Generals gathered in Tokyo to shape a common vision of the Rule of Law and Human Rights. UNDP is proudly supporting countries in the ASEAN region to achieve this vision.

With just 12% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets currently on track, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner outlined three key directions of change: from investing in people-centred justice to integrating human rights into the private sector's operations to environmental justice.

During the Special Event on ensuring access to justice, UNDP and the Thailand Institute of Justice shared experiences of Thailand's Justice by Design, which focused on user-centred design. The initiative, part of the Judicial Integrity Network in ASEAN project, showed how listening directly to people helps justice systems respond to citizens' acute needs.

Aparna Basnyat, UNDP Policy Advisor on Governance, Access to Justice and Human Rights, presented the UNDP approach towards people-centered justice for more peaceful, just and inclusive societies. At a time when only 1% of bilateral aid is earmarked for Official Development Assistance towards justice, closing the justice gap will require more sustained investments. 

Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Director of UNDP's Crisis Bureau, delivered the closing remarks that ended the panel discussion by congratulating ASEAN Justice Ministers and Japan on the adoption of the Japan-ASEAN work plan and highlighting the UNDP commitment to supporting ASEAN countries to place people's needs at the centre of access to justice at the ASEAN meeting.