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
The rule of law is essential for sustainable peace and resilient economies, as well as for the prevention or recurrence of conflict. To prevent or address injustice, inequalities or democratic deficits, UNDP works with multiple stakeholders to operate in a way that is consistent with the rule of law and creates opportunities for all individuals to exercise their rights and access justice.
The importance of strong institutions is more evident than ever as countries and communities respond to disruption, whether because of public health restrictions, climate change or political upheaval. Limitations on public gatherings and travel have revealed the need for institutions that are resilient to disruption.
2021 was a pivotal year that saw various developments affecting peace and security around the world. Civic space continued to shrink and the social contract between states and citizens was increasingly challenged, particularly during and after the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing distressing consequences of climate change, states and communities are forced to manage more cross-border conflicts, triggered by the displacement of people seeking increasingly scarce resources.
The scope of human rights challenges is widening, from eroded public trust and shrinking civic space to ongoing inequality and human rights impacts in the socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emerging risks in the digital sphere. National human rights institutions (NHRIs), along with other human rights defenders, are facing rising and sophisticated forms of reprisals for carrying out their work.
Sustainable Development Goal 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) of the 2030 Agenda highlights the importance of access to justice for all for the development of peaceful and inclusive societies. Meaningful access to justice can only be achieved when people know their rights, have the opportunities, agency and capacities to claim them, and have access to independent, inclusive and people-centred justice systems that will respond in a timely, fair and effective manner.
Without justice, there can be no lasting peace. In post-conflict, crisis-affected and fragile contexts, truth-seeking initiatives and reconciliation efforts are essential to bring peace to affected communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down transitional processes as states prioritized their response to the health crisis and measures to support the economy.
In 2021, the continued erosion of democracy and the spread of authoritarian trends in politics in many parts of the world contributed to a backlash against women’s rights. The COVID-19 crisis has reversed some of the hard-won gender parity gains by exacerbating pre-existing inequalities and power imbalances. It has also caused a dramatic increase in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). All these challenges have been particularly acute in conflict, fragile and crisis-affected settings.
New ideas and new strategies are critical to building sustainable and effective development approaches that really meet people’s needs. Technologies and globalization raise new human rights concerns and threaten the rule of law. Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to limit people’s access to basic services. UNDP connected expertise across the globe to learn and adapt. Creating a culture of curiosity and experimentation, these efforts ensured that local needs and expertise were combined with emerging models to bring strategic thinking to people-centred development goals.
- Arab States
- Europe & Central Asia
- Latin America &
In Algeria, UNDP supported the transformation of a Constitutional Council into a Constitutional Court, with extended prerogatives of a guarantor of the Constitution and a regulatory body for the functioning of the institutions. The Constitutional Court was officially established in November 2021, following the amendment of the Constitution in the end of the previous year that enabled this structural transformation in the Algerian constitutional order.
In April 2021, UNDP organized an international conference for legal professionals attended by over 400 lawyers, judges, clerks and students. The practitioners were informed about the avenues to file a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court to challenge legislative provisions if they are deemed unconstitutional.
Following the conference, UNDP supported the organization of two trainings for legal professionals on the work of the Constitutional Court and the appeals process. Eighty lawyers from Algiers, the capital, and the cities of the central regions, as well as all the magistrates and clerks of the Constitutional Court improved their decision-writing techniques and acquired technical skills to process and write verdicts that define whether a law is constitutional or not.
UNDP supported the Government of Algeria in raising awareness, through the official websites and social media, about the constitution process to enhance public understanding of the work of the Constitutional Court and its jurisdiction. The Constitutional Court’s website was updated to present comprehensive and latest information to guide the public on the appeal process for constitutional cases. Since the launch of the website, the number of appeals to the constitutional body more than tripled, from five in 2020 to 19 in 2021.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Constitutional Court, UNDP launched a competition for high school students on constitutional culture. The purpose of this activity was to raise awareness among students and to provide young people with the tools for civic engagement in the future. The first round of this competition saw the participation of 33 students (15 girls and 18 boys) from all over the country, six of whom received awards for their projects.
Key Results: Algeria
1,800 views of the Constitutional Court website were registered per month.
The number of appeals for constitutionality more than tripled in 2021, from five in 2020 to 19 in 2021.
In 2021, the three decisions of the Constitutional Court on unconstitutionality were made public through the UNDP-supported website.