UNDP and Ministry of Justice Discuss Strengthening Relations and Continued CollaborationAug 24, 2016
UNDP Acting Country Director Mr. Jean-Luc Stalon met with the Minister of Justice Honorable Paulino Wanawila Onango this week to discuss strengthened relations between the Ministry of Justice and UNDP. The meeting reaffirms UNDP’s continued support for the development of South Sudan’s legal system.
UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project provides technical support, capacity building, and service delivery support to the Ministry, including the development of a case management system, the ascertainment of customary laws, the training of prosecutors and traditional leaders, and the development of a legal aid strategy.
During the meeting, Mr. Stalon noted the importance of the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH).
“UNDP is ready to provide support to the establishment of the CTRH,” said Mr. Stalon. “This process will include a national consultative process as well as the development of a legislative framework.”
The Minister also noted that the peace agreement provides for the establishment of the CTRH and that the Commission remains a matter of priority for government leaders. Hon. Onango emphasised the peace agreement provided a six month timeline for the establishment of the CTRH and discussed the substantial resources required to successfully do so.
Other possible areas of cooperation discussed between UNDP and the Ministry included support to legal aid and capacity building, including the development of competencies in international criminal justice. The prosecution of cases of sexual and gender-based violence was also highlighted and discussed in the meeting.
In response, the Minister of Justice thanked UNDP for the overall technical support it has provided to the Ministry. Hon. Onango noted the importance of supporting a sector-wide coordination mechanism in the rule of law sector. He emphasised that a strengthened justice system is inter-connected and coordination among the various rule of law institutions is essential to their proper functioning.
Hon. Onango noted that the Ministry is especially committed to building the capacity of its personnel and expressed satisfaction with the level of coordination and support from UNDP and its donors in this area.
In addition to existing support provided to the Ministry of Justice, UNDP committed to provide continued support for the establishment of the CTRH, the establishment of a rule of law coordination mechanism, as well as capacity building for prosecutors on sexual and gender-based violence case work.