Remarks - Social Order Component - JUST Project High Level Engagement
June 21, 2022
UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio
Social Justice Project High-Level Stakeholder Engagement Meeting
19 May 2022, Maple Palm Room Canadian High Commission
• Hon. Delroy Chuck – Minister of Justice
• Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte- Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs
• Hon. Mr. Justice Bryan Sykes- Chief Justice of Jamaica
• Her Excellency Emina Tudakovic - High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica
• Mrs. Graceann Stewart-McFarlane, Permanent Secretary (Acting), Ministry of Justice
• Mr. Wayne Robertson- Permanent Secretary (Acting), Ministry of Legal & Constitutional Affairs
• Dr. Wayne Henry JP- Director General, The Planning Institute of Jamaica
• Ms Paula Llewellyn - Director of Public Prosecutions
• Other Distinguished Guests
“A society without access to justice for everyone is a society where injustice can come to anyone” - unknown
It is for this reason that today’s official introduction to this Social Justice project is so apt as it signals the continued and determined efforts to expand access to justice, and to build a fair, equitable and just society for all, paving the way for Jamaica’s development potential to be fully realized.
UNDP is therefore delighted to serve as the implementing partner for this Social Justice project and continue a partnership with Global Affairs Canada and the Government of Jamaica that has spanned over 10 years towards a sustainable development journey in justice sector reform.
This Social Justice Project is fully aligned to UNDP’s new Global Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 and Country Programme Document 2022-2026 which are built on the principle of “leaving no one behind”.
More importantly, it provides the unique opportunity to localize SDGs 5 (Gender Equality), 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and 17 (Partnerships for the goals) through multiple stakeholders including governmental and non-governmental organisations and academia and supports the Government of Jamaica’s quest to achieve National Development Goal 2 of Vision 2030 Jamaica - that the Jamaican society, is safe, cohesive and just.
Progress towards this quest is evident through the key achievement realized under the GAC-funded Social Order Component of the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) Project over the period 2011-2021. As you recall, it was under this project:
• The 1st Witness Care Conference was hosted in Jamaica in 2019;
• The establishment of the 1st CARE Space within local courts;
• Increased and expanded access to justice service by rural and other under-served populations through the mobile justice units;
• Expansion of social context training for lay magistrates and justice sector workers;
• Increase in the development and dissemination of information, education and communication materials to improve knowledge of how to access justice services; and,
• Deepened engagement of civil society in justice reform through production of position papers and improved capacity of the Jamaica Bar Association.
We are also particularly encouraged through feedback received from beneficiaries of the mobile justice units that indicates 98.7% of clients were either very satisfied or satisfied and 100% said they would recommend the service. In the words of one satisfied user, Dion Frazer, I quote: “It was very efficient, I felt that the team spoke to me on my level, the assistance was prompt and affordable.”
We are confident that by building on these and other achievements of the JUST Project, including leveraging our partnership with all stakeholders, the new Social Justice (SO-JUST) Project will attain its ultimate outcome of a more rights-based and gender-sensitive justice system while achieving equitable outcomes for all Jamaicans.
We commend the Government of Jamaica for its sustained efforts in justice sector reform including improvements in local infrastructure, increased utilization of technology in the administration of justice, reduction in case backlog, increasing and enhancing the capacity of justice sector workers and deepening its engagement with civil society.
Excellency Tudakovic, UNDP thanks the Government of Canada for its generous financing package of 12 million Canadian dollars for this Project and for choosing UNDP as its partner of choice for implementing this timely and much needed project.
We look forward to a promising and impactful implementation of the SO-JUST Project over the next seven years.
We envisage that at the end of the implementation period justice reform transformation would have been further enhanced through an expansion of justice services, strengthening of the legislative and regulatory frameworks, improvement in witness care, expansion of technology for case and records management, improved physical infrastructure and strengthening of the human resource capacity within the justice sector.
I am confident that this will make a significant contribution to the achievement of Vision 2030 for Jamaica to become the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business and borrowing from the Chief Justice, retire.
Let me end with this quote from Amanda Nguyen “Access to justice is a necessary prerequisite to true “PEACE”
We are confident that by building on these and other achievements of the JUST Project, including leveraging our partnership with all stakeholders, the new Social Justice (SO-JUST) Project will attain its ultimate outcome of a more rights-based and gender-sensitive justice system while achieving equitable outcomes for all Jamaicans.Denise E Antonio, UNDP Resident Representative