Top official says UN making progress on improving efficiency and coordination

2 October 2009The United Nations has taken a significant step to avoid duplication and strengthen coordination between nine departments and agencies in so-called rule of law activities, a complex field ranging from peacebuilding and the environment to counter-terrorism and dealing with human rights abuses, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today. This is the first year that the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, which Ms. Migiro chairs, is implementing the Joint Strategic Plan, a results-oriented road map setting out targeted initiatives and outcomes for the next three years, the first of its kind in the rule of law field, she told the General Assembly in an informal briefing.“Strengthening the rule of law is central to achieving the UN vision for a just, secure and peaceful world,” she declared. “While we have far to go, I am pleased to be able to update you on the initiatives taken to date.”These include the development of guidance notes for key cross-cutting issues, such as rule of law assistance at the national level, justice for children, and constitution-making.A note on transitional justice is being prepared outlining the principles and framework for a common UN approach to increase system-wide effectiveness. The Group is currently developing a system-wide training programme to reinforce such an approach.Another major goal is reinforcing global action for the rule of law at the national and international levels. The Group recently began consultations with national leaders from developing countries who have played a key role in rule of law development, seeking to give voice to their views, including on donor assistance, to inform future policy-making.Since 2006, the Group has brought together principals from all relevant UN departments and agencies to help ensure policy coherence at the very highest levels across the UN system.“Already, we can see the fruits of this initial labour. Still, we have far to go to achieve our ambitious agenda,” Ms. Migiro said.