The UNPD, UNESCO, the Permanent Mission of Argentina, and the Permanent Mission of Austria co-organized such an event on the eve of High-Level Political Forums (HLPF) to set the tones for further discussion on SDG 16 and concerning issues. Ms. Ana Maria Menendez considered the HLPF to be the timing for taking stocks of all efforts reviewing the progress done so far. The forum should also investigate the linkages between SDGs, in particular, goal 5, 10, and 16 concerning the topic of today. On gender equality, society should strive to establish norms and mechanisms to address the problems women and girls face in accessing justice and human rights protection. Goal 10 establishes the principle of non-discrimination in all institutions while goal 16 similarily calls for access to justice for all.
The first panel discussion centered on the national perspectives of the progress and challenges faced. Impunity, including corruption and organized crimes, and its peril to the justice system was brought under the spotlight. Jurisprudence and transitional justice are highlighted as the building blocks for judicial independence and public confidence. Accessibility to justice was also identified to be the most paramount component to prevent discrimination based on gender, age, and race. It was suggested that a more person-oriented measure should be adopted to survey the individual experience of the justice system. Increased transparency, responsibility, and proactive aid from the government were all encouraged to make accessibility real to people.
The second panel presentation communicated the interconnectedness of different SDGs, the rule of law, and human rights. The Peacekeeping Operation shared experiences working with Haiti, South Sudan, and many more on enhancing the rule of law, which was deemed the building block for development and sustainability of peace. The negligence of certain groups, such as children, was iterated for the inclusiveness of the justice system. Lastly, as UNESCO endeavored to set global norms, reports, and research on concerned SDG, educational programs and databases were launched to protect the freedom of speech for journalists to monitor the progress of the rule of law.
Meeting: United Nations Development Programme, High-level event titled “Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights to Achieve Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies”
Date/Location: Monday, July 8th, 2019; 10:00-13:00; Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
H.E. Ambassador Mr. Jan Kickert, Permanent Representative of Austria of the UN;
H.E Ambassador Mr. Marin Garcia Moritan, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the UN;
Ms. Ana Maria Menedez, Under Secretary-General and Senior Adviser on Policy;
H.E. Mr. German Garavano, Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina, and co-chair of the Task Force on Justice;
H.E. Ms.Raya al-Hassan, Minister of the Interior Lebanon;
H.E Judge Ricardo Perez Manrique, Inter-American Court of Human Rights and former Chief Justice of Uruguay;
H.E. Mr. Michel Landry Louanga, President of the Special Criminal Court, Central African Republic;
Mr. Jean-Pierre Francois Renaud Lacroix, Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations;
Ms. Najat Maalla M’jid, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children;
Ms. Marie Paule Roudil, UNESCO Representative to the UN and Director of UNESCO Liaison Office in NY;
H.E. Ms Maria Jose Segarra Crespo, Attorney-General Spain;
Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
Written By: WIT Representative Yung-Hsuan Wu