UN leaders and partners welcome this new rule of law web resource
UN Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar and Director of the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Jordan Ryan at the launch event of this website.
“As a global organization mandated to address the most significant challenges facing humanity, it is critical that we harness technology to reach staff and our partners world-wide”. These were the remarks of the UN Chef de Cabinet Mr. Vijay Nambiar, who opened a lunch-time panel to launch this website on 17 November 2009. The United Nations Rule of Law Website and Document Repository is designed to address the fact that, until now, the UN System has lacked common resources and databases on the rule of law that connect the various parts of the UN System and make the Organization’s work and knowledge accessible to Member States, other partners and the public.
The event entitled “Linking up the rule of law community", was organized by the Rule of Law Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General, together with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations and took place at the UN Secretariat in New York.
In his opening remarks, the Chef de Cabinet noted that the UN is part of a large, diverse and vibrant community of stakeholders striving to enhance the rule of law. The work of the UN has expanded rapidly in the rule of law field, with some 40 entities across the system engaged in rule of law activities at the international level, and in over 120 countries and in all regions of the globe. The website is a welcome resource that helps connect the various parts of the system working in rule of law.
During the lunch panel, the Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, Jarmo Viinanen, who chaired the event, expressed thanks to the Rule of Law Coordination Group and Rule of Law Unit for developing the website and document repository.
Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, UN Legal Counsel, said that ensuring the elaboration, implementation of and compliance with international law is crucial to the work of the Organization, and that the rule of law plays a central role in issues such as the responsibility to protect.
Jordan Ryan, Assistant Administrator, Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, UNDP noted that knowledge sharing on rule of law was imperative for engaging those working in the field, “to add to the collective value of individual efforts” in this area.
Dan Rohrmann, Deputy Director of Programmes, UNICEF stated that children are the primary victims of war, gender-based violence and trafficking, and that the development of the Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on Justice for Children, by the Group, has helped to make progress in recognizing children as fully-fledged stakeholders in rule of law programming.
The website & partners in rule of law
A key aspect of the rule of law website is its accessibility and utility for partners working in rule of law. Until now it has been difficult for practitioners outside the UN system to access information on UN best practices, lessons learned and the various tools developed by the UN on rule of law. There was also a clear absence of consolidated information on who is working on rule of law, and what they are doing. By providing an extensive list of and links to partner organizations, those involved in rule of law efforts can more easily connect and continue to build a strong global rule of community.
The new website was welcomed by UN partners in rule of law:
“This comprehensive and easily accessible website brings together, for the first time, the efforts by all key UN actors that work on the rule of law. There can be no rule of law without an end to impunity, accountability and respect for human rights. Human rights defenders, lawyers and researchers will find this a valuable tool that provides easy access to key UN documents and that informs about the breadth of the UN's rule of law work, notably also, in the field.”
Amnesty International Representative at the United Nations
“The IDLO is very happy to see reflected in the design of the website an inclusive approach that recognizes the importance of partnerships, led by, but going beyond the UN system as such, in advancing UN goals and values in the rule of law area. I cannot think of another area of international engagement where the widest possible sharing of experiences and lessons learned is more essential.
This website is not only an important, visible RESULT of the significant progress the UN has made in promoting UN wide coordination in this area. It will also prove to be a most effective AGENT of policy and operational coherence in the future, within the UN system and beyond.”
Former UN ASG for Policy Coordination and Interagency Affairs
Permanent Observer for the International Development Law Organization to the UN
“Building and strengthening the “rule of law” in developing nations, particularly in post-conflict countries, has become a key endeavor of the United Nations, national governments, civil society organizations and other practitioners around the world. As efforts are made to better understand the needs of the most marginalized, this website will serve as medium for practitioners to enhance their coordination efforts and share information.”
Director, International Business, Vera Institute of Justice
Program Director, Altus Global Alliance
“The United Nations' involvement in rule of law activities worldwide often makes practitioners look for lessons learned, tools, and other resources on UN websites. Navigating them has not always been easy, and I am delighted to see that the UN System now has a website that connects the various parts of the UN System and makes the organization’s work and knowledge in the area of rule of law more easily accessible to others.”
Counsel, Justice Reform Practice Group
Legal Vice Presidency, World Bank