In contexts aﬀected by crisis and conﬂict, establishing and maintaining the rule of law is essential for sustainable peace, and for preventing outbreaks as well as the recurrence of conﬂicts. Where there are democracy deﬁcits or inequalities, UNDP encourages governments to champion human rights based on their international obligations, but also based on shared values and understanding that sustainable peace and resilient economies can only be achieved through fostering the rule of law and access to justice. To this end, UNDP engages with political leaders and national partners, providing expert advice, technical assistance and ﬁnancial support to ensure comprehensive nationally owned programming. UNDP’s support is dependent on the will of political leaders and stakeholders, and therefore political engagement enables us to pursue the objectives of increased accountability, public participation, and adherence to the rule of law.
Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law.
A joint arrangement for delivery of rule of law in fragile settings.
The Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law continues to reinforce the One UN approach at the global and national levels to address violent conflict, protect human rights and restore justice and security for conflict-affected people. At Headquarters, this arrangement is co-chaired by UNDP and DPO, with the support of a small inter-agency Core Team. At the country level, the senior United Nations official in-country – the Special Representative or Executive Representative of the Secretary-General; or, in non-mission settings, the Resident Coordinator – is responsible and accountable for guiding and overseeing United Nations rule of law strategies. UNDP plays a lead role leveraging positive commitment and action from national stakeholders to strengthen rule of law capacity and good governance.
UN Security Council Resolution 2253(2020) “[…] underlines the importance of the close coordination between UN peace and political missions and the United Nations Country Team, and notes the role of the Global Focal Point for Rule of Law in the context of security sector reform in enhancing the United Nations integrated responses and joint approaches at the country level, and encouraging relevant United Nations entities mandated for security sector reform activities to work through the existing coordination mechanisms, as appropriate.”
In 2020 the GFP, together with UNDP’s Global Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights, supported joint efforts to assist national authorities in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the implementation of preventive measures. Through this partnership, catalytic seed funding (in total $1.8 million) was provided to UN Country Teams and Missions in the following countries: Afghanistan, Angola, Barbados and the OECS, Bolivia, CAR, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, The Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Mali, Peru, Somalia, South Sudan, and Sudan. In several instances, the GFP support also extended to improving detainees’ living conditions and addressing broader health and hygiene issues. And joint advocacy efforts by GFP partners on the ground led to the early release of low-risk prisoners (e.g. in Somalia and Mali).
New rule of law programmes in the CAR, DRC, Mali, Sudan, and South Sudan received catalytic GFP funding. This included support to the transition in Sudan, and seed funding that enabled the establishment of a joint project (UNDP, UNMISS, OHCHR and the Team of Experts) to address conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) in South Sudan.
Through the UNDP and UN Women gender justice partnership, a policy brief on gender responsive rule of law engagement and its contribution to the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda is underway in close cooperation with all GFP partners. The expected issuance is July 2021 at the launch of the Global Compact for Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action. Another initiative underway in 2021 is the knowledge product on joint rule of law programming designed to help practitioners and implementers with practical guidance.