Deputy UN chief emphasizes importance of rule of law for just and peaceful world

12 October 2010
Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro

The strengthening of the rule of law among Member States is key to realizing the United Nations ideal of a just, secure and peaceful world, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today, stressing that respect of the law is also crucial for poverty reduction initiatives to succeed.

The rule of law is “linked to peacebuilding and peacekeeping, accountability for gross violations of human rights, and combating organized crime and terrorism. It is also integrally tied to global governance,” Ms. Migiro said in a speech to a meeting of the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, which deals with legal issues.

She stressed that the international community must make efforts to strengthen national capacities to combat impunity.

“I encourage those Member States that have not done so, to accede to major international instruments, including two that will mark important anniversaries in 2011; the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness,” Ms. Migiro said.

She said the implementation of international norms at the national level remains a critical challenge, welcoming the Committee’s decision to have a subtopic focusing on the laws and practices of Member States in implementing international law.

Ms. Migiro noted that this year’s report of the Secretary-General on strengthening and coordinating UN rule of law activities contributes to the debate by sharing the experiences of UN mechanisms and approaches, such as model laws, peer reviews, and treaty-based periodic reviews that have positively affected implementation by Member States.

“These experiences show that Member States are assisted in their domestic implementation of standards by increasing linkages between monitoring and review mechanisms, and by targeted capacity-building and technical assistance,” she said.

The Deputy Secretary-General pointed out that the UN assists national authorities in more than 125 countries in all regions and in all contexts, from conflict prevention to peacekeeping and development.

She said the overall trend is towards joint and comprehensive rule of law initiatives by key operational UN entities, particularly in conflict and post-conflict States.

“Still, the financial resources allocated for strengthening the rule of law have fallen short, especially when compared to statements by Member States about the importance they attach to this issue.

“More needs to be done to enable the Organization to better recruit, train, and retain high-quality personnel and deploy them in a rapid, consistent and predictable manner,” she added.

 

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