United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP
UNDP Colombia provides support to victims to access justice

UNDP is the UN’s global development network – an organisation advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. On the ground in 166 countries, UNDP works to assist national counterparts on their own solutions to global and national development challenges, considering rule of law an indispensable factor for the enhancement of human development and the reduction of conflict, poverty and insecurity.

Rule of Law is a core pillar of UNDP’s work – falling within the Focus Areas of both Democratic Governance and Crisis Prevention & Recovery. UNDP’s work on rule of law, justice and security seeks to enhance physical and legal protection of people and communities, ensuring legal representation, access to justice and empowerment of communities and civil society. Programmes work to develop capacities of justice and law-enforcement institutions, and ensure that security providers are subject to civilian oversight. With an in-country presence spanning developing countries and conflict affected and fragile situations, UNDP assumes a pivotal role in providing rule of law assistance to countries in order to help mitigate the impact of armed conflict, serious criminal violence or political upheaval.

UNDP’s Global Programme on Strengthening the Rule of Law in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations forms the blueprint for UNDP’s engagement on rule of law, justice and security in crisis contexts. It establishes close linkages between protection and the rule of law, and between humanitarian action and development principles.

The Global Programme has continued to strengthen UNDP’s rule of law, justice and security portfolio. Supporting comprehensive programmes in over 20 conflict and post-conflict situations, with a total programming value of over USD 220 million, this has made UNDP one of the largest service providers on rule of law in the UN system. Assistance endeavours to respond to urgent needs for justice and security, and also lay early foundations for recovery and long-term development. Rule of law programmes are delivering tangible results on legal aid, justice and security service provision, security sector governance, and addressing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Consolidated programmes have been developed in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Guinea (Conakry), Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo (UN administered territory), Liberia, Nepal, the occupied Palestinian territory, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan (North and South), and Timor-Leste. Joint programmes with DPKO, UNHCR, UNODC and UN Women continue to deepen impact on the ground where it is most needed.

The Global Programme is a vehicle for UNDP to engage in policy debates around rule of law, justice and security with other key UN actors. UNDP is a core participant in the Rule of Law Resource and Coordination Group (RoLCRG). In 2010, UNDP also reassumed its role as co-chair of the Inter Agency Security Sector Reform Task Force (together with DPKO). In addition, UNDP is co-leading the roll-out of the ‘Team of Experts’ envisioned under Security Council Resolution 1888 for rapid deployment ‘to situations of particular concern with respect to sexual violence in armed conflict,’ in order ‘to assist national authorities … to strengthen the rule of law.’

In complement, UNDP also has a considerable rule of law, justice and security portfolio in development contexts. The Global Programme on Accelerating Access to Justice for Human Development was launched in 2009 to focus on strengthening and expanding UNDP’s on-going engagement and contribution to rule of law and access to justice services, particularly for poor and vulnerable people. UNDP supports rule of law, justice and security programmes – including legal empowerment of the poor – in over 90 countries worldwide, and this Global Programme works to realise UNDP’s strategic objective of “effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice systems promoting the rule of law, including both formal and informal processes, with due consideration to the rights of the poor, women and vulnerable groups”. The focus is on the right of the individual to seek redress through adequate, timely and equitable justice and security services based on a balanced approach that marries bottom-up demand with strategic national capacity building and reform planning at the institutional level. The objective is to increase people’s legal protection, opportunities and choices so that they are empowered to defend themselves and improve their lives and livelihoods. The programme contributes to an enabling environment for the achievement of the MDGs based on the principles of the Millennium Declaration.

 

It has focused on four areas to achieve these ends:

  • Supporting strategic planning for successful justice and security reforms, including through developing guidance on assessing needs and capacities and measuring impact.
  • Legal empowerment, through supporting legal assistance and legal awareness.
  • Strengthening the position of women in plural legal orders.
  • Supporting UNDP country offices and national partners through facilitating of south-south cooperation, highlighting and exchanging regional and global best practices and emerging trends and the provision of technical advisory services.