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 2021, UNDP’s rule of law support in Sudan focused on the following areas: institutional and structural reforms of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) including its capacity development; a holistic legal reform process to accompany the transition; and technical and legal advisory support to the establishment of independent commissions stipulated in the transition Constitutional Charter. These commissions included the Anti-Corruption and Public Funds Recovery Commission, Transitional Justice Commission, Legal Reform Commission, Human Rights Commission, Constitutional Drafting and Constitutional Conference Commission, and the Elections Commission. While notable progress was made in these areas at national and subnational levels, further implementation was impeded by the military takeover in October 2021. As a result, rule of law support was reconfigured to intensify technical engagement and support at community level with minimal strategic/policy engagement at national level, as aligned to the good offices mandate of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).
Clustering institutional support and a holistic legal reform, UNDP provided technical assistance to the MOJ along with institutional capacity reinforcement. A reform strategy was developed for the MOJ covering aspects such as human resource development and measuring the effectiveness of the Ministry. In a series of workshops and exchange sessions with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), a plan to operationalize the strategy was elaborated. These sessions helped to improve technical cooperation within the Ministry as well as between the MOJ and other stakeholders.
To enhance the establishment of the commissions, UNDP, in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), provided technical support to draft the legal framework for the Human Rights Commission and organized two public consultation workshops. Similarly, with OHCHR, UNDP provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Justice in the development of the legislation for the establishment of the Transitional Justice Commission. This included supporting a total of five virtual and face-to-face workshops and public consultations on the draft law.
As part of the comprehensive legal reform development, UNDP provided technical support on the elaboration of an electoral framework, including on civic engagement, political parties and civil society regulation. Public engagement and consultations on the draft electoral laws, including civic participation in constitution-making, were a part of this support and are yet to resume in 2022.
To support the development of a National Strategy for Judicial Reform, UNDP worked with judiciary stakeholders to organize a national conference in October 2021 for the enhancement and promotion of the judiciary. UNDP’s support to the Attorney General’s Office included discussions, through peer exchange platforms, organized with public prosecutors on the issues of accountability, independence, and gender justice. The outcomes of these discussions were supposed to contribute to a strategy for the structural and institutional reform of the AGO. These activities, however, had to be paused due to the military takeover.
Nevertheless, UNDP with UNITAMS managed to hold three roundtables1 dedicated to accountability and crowd management with 20 prosecutors in Khartoum. In January 2022, days after the last UNDP-supported roundtable, the AGO made a public commitment to enable peaceful political protests and ensure legal protection of protesters.
In January 2022, UNDP with UNITAMS supported two sensitization sessions on accountability with 25 civil society activists from Khartoum and 20 from El Fasher, Darfur. Further programming in this area is under review with an ambition to intensify support to the civil society.
- 1 Some activities were implemented in 2022 after the no-cost extension until 30 June 2022.
Key Results: Sudan
Two legislative frameworks were elaborated: for the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Transitional Justice Commission. Three other legal frameworks were partly completed, with public consultations on the Human Rights Commission, Constitutional Drafting and Constitutional Conference Commission, and Elections Commissions.
UNDP with UNITAMS supported two sensitization sessions on accountability for 25 civil society activists from Khartoum and 20 from El Fasher, Darfur.
UNDP supported the National Conference for the Enhancement and Promotion of the Judiciary aiming to produce Judiciary National Strategy for Reform which is yet to be finalized.