Consultative Rule of Law Retreat held at Greentree
The retreat was opened by the Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro.
The Deputy Secretary-General, Asha-Rose Migiro, with the support of the Rule of Law Unit in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) and in cooperation with the Open Society Justice Initiative, convened a consultative retreat on rule of law at the Greentree Estate, Long Island, on 17 – 18 January 2012. The retreat was part of the preparations for the high-level meeting on the rule of law, mandated by the General Assembly to take place on 24 September 2012, during the High-Level Segment of its 67th session.
Over forty high-level participants attended the retreat. The Deputy Secretary-General welcomed the eminent personalities and called for a discussion focused on addressing the challenges hampering progress in strengthening the rule of law. The retreat was divided into two parts. Part I engaged the participants in identifying priority rule of law areas for Member States and the Organization for the next five years. The priorities explored extended to both rule of law at the national level and at the international level, the nexus between the two levels, and where effective United Nations support to Member States could strengthen the rule of law.
Nine priority areas were discussed: strengthening compliance with international law; strengthening international and regional dispute resolution mechanisms; strengthening rule of law institutions; strengthening social and economic justice; women and the rule of law; children and the rule of law; closing gaps in accountability for serious international crimes; transnational threats; and effective support to Member States in strengthening the rule of law.
Part II of the retreat focused on potential tools which Member States could endorse to advance progress in the priority areas to address. Possible goals or commitments for Member States and the UN in the area of rule of law were discussed. Also, the possibility of an inclusive multi-stakeholder consultative forum on rule of law was considered which would bring together a broad range of actors from the UN, other multilateral and regional organisations, Member States and civil society, to discuss priority areas and policy, and to enhance the coordination of rule of law assistance.
The moderators and keynote speakers at the retreat included: Ms. Louise Arbour, President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Crisis Group, formerly the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Cherif Bassiouni, Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor of Law and President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute at De Paul University College of Law; Ms. Sarah Cliffe, Assistant Secretary-General; Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Permanent Representative of Mexico; Mr. James Goldston, Executive Director of the Open Society Justice Initiative; Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Director of the Center for International Conflict Resolution, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Ms. Hina Jilani, Director of the AGHS Legal Aid Clinic; Mr. Bruce Jones, Director of the Center on International Cooperation at NYU; Ms. Susana Malcorra, Under Secretary-General of the Department of Field Support; Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, Chairman of Europe, Middle East and Africa at FTI Consulting and former Deputy Secretary-General of the UN; Mr. Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning, EOSG; Mr. Edric Selous, Director of the Rule of Law Unit, EOSG; Mr. Christopher Stone, Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor, the Practice of Criminal Justice at Harvard Kennedy School; and Ambassador Christian Wenaweser, Permanent Representative of Liechtenstein.