Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories

UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.

Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.

GFP Global Focal Point Highlights

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rules of law


The rule of law, human rights, and justice are essential to maintaining peace and sustaining development. The combination of these elements is fundamental to the transformative ambition of the 2030 Agenda. In 2021 UNDP upheld the promise of that agenda through its Global Programme for Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights for Sustaining Peace and Fostering Development

Whether through increasing access to justice in Burkina Faso, Colombia and Yemen or our work on community security in Lebanon, Iraq and South Sudan, this past year has shown how integrated efforts to enhance protection, equality and security can bring positive changes to individuals and communities in some of the world’s most challenging settings.
At the same time, 2021 was a year of profound difficulties, with setbacks for many hard-won gains in justice and rule of law. Africa suffered the highest number of coups d’état within the past two decades. Devastating conflicts in Syria and Yemen, along with growing fragilities in other contexts, have further shaken the Arab States region. In Asia, the intensification of violence in Myanmar and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan have led to a deepening humanitarian crisis marked by rising poverty and extreme hunger.

Today, nearly 85 percent of the world’s population now live in a country where rule of law is declining1.


With operations in more than 50 conflict and crisis-affected contexts around the globe in 2021, these projects represented indispensable efforts to uphold the social contract, increase public trust in institutions, and contribute accessible justice and inclusive legal protections for all.

Consistent with our vision for a future-smart UNDP, the Global Programme built on its successful digital justice initiatives. These innovative programs allowed courts to function and people to access remedy even during the lockdowns.

In 2021 the Global Programme was also on the front lines of environmental justice with projects focused on the intersections of rule of law, human rights, governance, nature, climate and energy. In collaboration with global partners UNDP pushed for the recognition of rights to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

Through our Gender Justice Platform with UN Women, we provided support and services to women and girls in 14 conflict-affected countries.

Also in 2021, UNDP and the UN Human Rights Office, in close cooperation with the UN Development Coordination Office, launched a partnership to support UN systemwide strategic engagement with human rights mechanisms to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and over 16 countries have already benefited.

UNDP also undertook a consultative process to recalibrate the Global Programme. Now in its fourth phase (2022-2025), the programme is designed to enhance UNDP’s delivery of cross-cutting strategies on the country and policy level. In the years to come, we will expand our support in crisis settings, strengthen our commitment to knowledge management, and increase our collaboration with local stakeholders, subject matter experts, and UN partners.

Achim Steiner Signature
Achim Steiner
Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)