Statement of the International Development Law Organization
14 February 2022
Delivered by Sarah Papineau, Permanent Observer a.i., IDLO
I am pleased to join today’s consultation on behalf of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to advancing peace and sustainable development through the rule of law.
Today’s discussion comes at an extraordinary moment in history.
In a world already struggling to cope with major challenges, COVID-19 has raised the stakes even higher and showed us clearly that the status quo is not working.
Our Common Agenda, proposes a new framework to tackle our most pressing challenges.
IDLO welcomes and strongly supports the Secretary General's call for a new, people centred, vision for the rule of law.
The concept of justice, and the elements of due process, equality, good governance and respect for human rights are at the core of IDLO’s understanding of the rule of law.
It is this approach,reflected most prominently in SDG 16, which will be critical to the achievement of Our Common Agenda.
The social contract, like any contract, is based on trust, which the Secretary General has described as fundamental to “the foundational relationship between the individual, the community and the State.”
Drawing on IDLO’s over thirty years of experience across all regions of the world, allow me to offer three ways in which the rule of law can play a key role in building trust and confidence.
First, people centred approaches to justice can empower women, young people, and others who have been historically excluded or marginalized, by arming them with the tools and knowledge to claim their rights and participate in decision-making.
They can enable institutions to better understand and meet people’s needs, tackle the corrosive influence of corruption, and resolve disputes before they can spiral into violence.
Second, the rule of law can help to preserve and advance progress on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
Many SDGs implicitly draw on the principles of inclusivity, equity and non-discrimination and require the creation of new legal frameworks and institutional capacity for their implementation.
For example, the rule of law can provide the clarity and predictability developing countries need to attract investment and promote economic development, while ensuring that it is both sustainable and inclusive.
Third, a new vision for the rule of law is also required to address complex and transnational challenges that traditional instruments of governance are currently ill-equipped to handle.
Our most urgent problems do not stop at borders and are too big and too complex for any of us to solve alone.
Tackling issues like climate change, vaccine inequity, extreme inequality and the digital divide will require rules-based mechanisms that allow countries to cooperate fairly and equitably.
Mr. President, IDLO is committed to assisting countries and engaging with all partners, through our programmes, research and policy advocacy, to maximize the contribution of the rule of law to Our Common Agenda and the realization of the SDGs.
Together we can work to restore trust in institutions, put people at the centre of justice, and leverage the rule of law to build peace and sustain development.