By Mohamed Massaquoi,Information Attaché
At the High-Level Anniversary Event: ‘Marking Ten Years of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law’, the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Alhaji Fanday Turay highlighted Sierra Leone’s contributions in strengthening the rule of law and deepening democratic governance under the leadership of President Julius Maada Bio.
The High-Level event was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, at the UNHQ in New York. Participating in the event were Mr. Achim Steiner the Administrator of UNDP and Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix the Under-Secretary General for Peace Operations, both Co-Chairs of the UN Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law.
The Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP) is a UN coordination mechanism established in 2012 by the UN Secretary-General “to enhance predictability, coherence, accountability and effectiveness in the delivery of UN rule of law assistance at country and international levels”.
GFP’s partners include the Executive Office of the Secretary General, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Office for Project Services and UN Women. In addition, the GFP brings together other UN entities working in the rule of law area, including the Team of Experts on Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, UNICEF, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.
Ambassador Turay in his opening remarks recounted that Sierra Leone’s UN GFP coordination mechanism was critical to ingraining the rule of law across the country it progressed from conflict resolution, peace building, peace consolidation, to deepening the rule of law in our democratic governance. “In this journey we have valued the role of the United Nations in developing rule of law strategies, resolving political challenges, and strengthening our democracy” he said.
Ambassador Turay further noted that “Sierra Leone believes that accountability, human rights protection and promotion builds confidence in democratic governance as well as bridge societal divides by strengthening a sense of common values and shared humanity, and at the same time, promote peaceful resolution of conflicts grounded in respect for the rights and dignity of all”.
He said the Administration of President Bio has embarked on reforms in the Justice Sector, encapsulated in the Justice Sector Strategy and Investment Plan (2019-2023) adding that the critical role of technology, including digital technologies, has been duly recognized and advocated for the Judiciary in the roll out of a Case Management Systems (CMS).
Further, there is also a policy recommendation to restructure the Ministry of Justice to provide for the Directorate for Access to Justice which will provide the technical lead on justice policy formulation, implementation and the coordination of the justice institutions and partners under the Justice Ministry. The Access to Justice Directorate will implement the government’s accelerated commitment on SDG 16 and all the related SDGs which have implications for ensuring access to justice for all.
Ambassador Turay concluded that as the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, He was pleased to co-sponsor this High-Level Anniversary Event ‘Marking Ten Years of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law’ together with the Permanent Representative of The Netherlands. He finally congratulated the leadership and staff of the UNDP, DPO and UN country-offices in the field, and indeed the partner member States for the excellent work done and results achieved in the ten years of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law coordination mechanism.