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


African countries have made progress towards achieving peace and prosperity as outlined in the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. However, major challenges remain in the implementation of the regional commitments, including in the domains of rule of law, security and human rights. In 2021, the continent witnessed democratic recessions with a rise in human rights violations, shrinking civic space and an increase in disinformation and hate speech. The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated flaring inequalities and gender-based violence. During the same period, Africa witnessed the highest number of coups d’état in two decades. Unconstitutional changes of governments (UCGs) in Chad, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Sudan and attempted further UCGs in Niger, Ethiopia, and Guinea-Bissau, leading the Secretary-General to declare that “military coups are back”.1

These situations jeopardized the respect of human rights, rule of law and development, including the countries’ capacities to achieve SDGs and the AU’s Agenda 2063. Many countries continued to experience armed conflicts and humanitarian crises: in the Sahel and Lake Chad Regions, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Sudan. African countries are increasingly suffering from the adverse impact of climate change that affects social and economic rights, causes displacement and further exacerbates conflicts in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and parts of Southern Africa. The closing of civic space was evident in the increase in the number of detained journalists, internet shut-downs, dispersal of peaceful protests, intimidation, arbitrary arrests and judicial prosecution of protestors, political opponents and human rights defenders.

Recognizing the importance of rule of law, security and human rights for sustainable development, UNDP through its network of Country Offices and the Regional Service Centre for Africa has implemented flagship programmes under the rubric of its Governance and Peacebuilding Framework. It also developed several knowledge products on rule of law and human rights, including a chapter in the “Reimagining Governance and Peacebuilding in Africa” report. It provided policy support to expand security and justice delivery for the most vulnerable groups, including women, girls and persons with disabilities. For example, in CAR and The Gambia, UNDP supported the countries’ efforts on transitional justice to increase accountability for past crimes and proposed avenues for reparation and reconciliation. In Sierra Leone, UNDP offered technical assistance for the establishment of a National Action Plan on business and human rights. In Senegal, UNDP supported the establishment of human rights treaty monitoring unit within the National Advisory Council on Human Rights in collaboration with the Directorate of Human Rights and the Senegalese Human Rights Committee.

UNDP strengthened partnerships with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), civil society and human rights defenders. A joint UNDP, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN Women project was launched to better understand the challenges faced by women and youth human rights defenders in West Africa, including in Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. In 2021, Mozambique, Lesotho and Côte d’Ivoire benefitted from expert and technical support provided through the TriPartite Partnership between UNDP, OHCHR and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) to strengthen and establish NHRIs.