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Launch of the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators: Statement by Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, New York, 6 July 2011 - Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN : Current Affairs

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Speeches, 7/6/2011

Launch of the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators: Statement by Ambassador Jarmo Viinanen, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, New York, 6 July 2011

Assistant Secretary General Titov,
Assistant Secretary General Simonovic,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m happy to welcome you all this evening to launch the United Nations Rule of Law Indicators.

The World Development Report published in April argues that strong rule of law institutions are the single most important factor that can prevent a fragile country from lapsing into a conflict. Hence building rule of law is also a priority in post-conflict peacebuilding.

Finland has long been a strong supporter of rule of law, and we fully share World Bank’s view.

We are therefore very happy to see that attention to rule of law has increased here at the UN and elsewhere.

We hope that this attention, including the upcoming discussions in the General Assembly and the Security Council as well as the High Level Segment planned for 2012, will result in concrete improvements to the way rule of law assistance is delivered.

For improved results, we should, in my mind, focus on the following three things:

- National capacity building should always be the number one priority of the UN and bilateral actors;

- Support should be prioritized and delivered in a coherent and coordinated manner;

- Focus should be on impact and accountability on the ground. We should always ask ourselves: are our efforts resulting in real improvements?

The Rule of Law indicators which we are launching today are a tool for all that:

- They will help us track the development of criminal justice institutions over time.

- They will support planning and prioritization, and their development is a concrete demonstration of good cooperation between different actors on the ground.

- Most importantly, they focus on building the capacity of the national institutions. 

I will let my more knowledgeable colleagues to tell us more about the indicators, how they were developed and how they work in practice.

Before that, let me acknowledge those who made the development of these indicators possible:

- UN Rule of Law indicators have been developed by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the support and endorsement of the UN Rule of Law Resource and Coordination Group.

- Vera Institute of Justice, Harvard University and University of Fraser Valley assisted in the technical development of the indicators.

- The indicators were tested in Haiti and in Liberia, and piloted in Liberia. Next they will be implemented in Haiti. This would not have been or be possible without the active support and participation of their respective Governments.

- Voluntary funding to get the work started came from the Governments of Australia, Canada, Finland, Luxemburg, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Ambassador Cazeau, (DPR)
Haiti will be implementing the indicators, which are an open-tool that can be used by any Member State next, what are your expectations?

Mr. Dennis, (DPR, Minister),
Liberia not only tested an earlier set of indicators, but also piloted the set launched today. Could you share with us some of your experiences of the use of the rule of law indicators? And what in your view could be areas to which the rule of law indicators could be expanded to in the future? At the moment the indicators cover the police, the judiciary and corrections institutions.

ASG Titov,
Could you tell us a bit more of the rule of law indicators and how they were developed?

ASG Simonovic,
Could you tell us how the rules of law indicators help countries themselves safeguard human rights?

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Updated 8/17/2011


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