UNDP and Kingdom of Netherlands Sign New Cooperation Agreement to Continue Support to Access to Justice and Rule of Law in South Sudan

The Netherlands has been a strategic partner and donor to the rule of law sector in South Sudan, contributing over $20 million to UNDP South Sudan’s work since 2006

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 21, 2017,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a new agreement on Thursday extending support to strengthening the rule of law and expanding access to justice for the people of South Sudan through 2020.

The new funding totals US$10.2 million until March 2020.

During the signing ceremony, Netherlands Ambassador Geert Geut shared his view that the Netherlands has a global commitment to supporting the rule of law. This is of particular importance in countries experiencing conflict, where citizens face additional challenges in accessing justice.

The Netherlands has been a strategic partner and donor to the rule of law sector in South Sudan, contributing over $20 million to UNDP South Sudan’s work since 2006, including $10.7 million for the first phase of the Access to Justice and Rule of Law project from 2013-2017.

“The Kingdom of Netherlands has shown unwavering commitment to improving the lives and well-being of the people of South Sudan, with an eye first to interventions that support rule of law institutions to improve security at the community-level, and equip those same institutions with the capacity to care for and seek justice for victims of crime and conflict,” said UNDP South Sudan Officer-in-Charge Jean-Luc Stalon.

“The next phase of the project is designed to respond to the present context of South Sudan, and in this regard, UNDP has been enhancing its strategic positioning and re-aligning its support to rule of law institutions to support a conflict setting, and an eventual early recovery, post-conflict model,” said Mr. Stalon, at the agreement signing ceremony. “Within the broader context of justice reform, UNDP’s specific niche lies in supporting justice and related systems so that they work for those who are poor and disadvantaged. This response falls within UNDP’s mandate to reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance and the protection of human rights.”

Moreover, the continuation of the Access to Justice and Rule of Law project is consistent with UNDP’s strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 16: “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”.

The Access to Justice and Rule of Law project will devote significant resources to building the capacity of rule of law institutions to enable the delivery of accountable, effective and equitable justice services. The project also aims to support the rule of law sector to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence. The third main focus of the project is on human rights and transitional justice mechanisms to monitor and respond to the promotion and protection of citizen’s rights.

The Access to Justice and Rule of Law project provides this comprehensive support to rule of law institutions and civil society at three levels: policy and legislative development, capacity building, and supporting service delivery to citizens.

Enabling the government to better deliver basic rule of law services, and improving coordination among rule of law institutions, will create a foundation from which the government can carry forward initiatives in a sustainable manner even beyond the lifecycle of the project.

Addressing institutional capacity needs, individual accessibility to justice, advocacy on transitional justice priorities, and improved public legal awareness are all critical to achieving long-term peace and stability in South Sudan.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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