UNDP and UN Women sign a USD 29.5 million agreement with the Palestinian Ministries of Justice and Interior
Ramallah - In a concerted effort to strengthen the rule of law and improve access to justice across the occupied Palestinian territory, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior, UN Women and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People signed a USD 29.5 million agreement to support the establishment of a viable Palestinian state solidly based on the rule of law, human rights and justice.
Minister of Justice, H.E. Adv. Ali Muhanna, highlighted the importance of the new programme to accomplish the goals set out in the Palestinian National Development Plan. “The launch of the new programme marks an important milestone for the Ministry of Justice and the rule of law sector as a whole, and I hope that the programme will make a real difference in the lives of ordinary Palestinians,” he stated.
The joint programme builds on a number of development projects and programmes previously implemented by UNDP and UN Women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is aimed at strengthening the rule of law by both developing efficient and accountable rule of law institutions and by improving access to justice and security services for disadvantaged groups.
Minister of Interior, H.E. Said Abu Ali, thanked UNDP and UN Women for their continued support and engagement and stressed the importance of continuing to build upon the results achieved in recent years. “A comprehensive approach to rule of law assistance necessitates close attention to the relationship between the justice sector and the security sector. I hope that the programme will help to further strengthen inter-institutional linkages across the security and justice triad” he added.
Following extensive consultations with national and international partners, the Joint Programme will work towards the following six priority outcomes:
• Strengthen capacity of justice and security institutions
• Enhance civil society contribution to rule of law and community access to justice in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
• Strengthen the gender responsiveness of justice, security and legislative actors
• Improve women’s and girls’ access to justice and security by ensuring accountable service provision to prevent, protect and respond to violence, and by addressing their broader legal needs
• Improve juvenile justice and adherence to child rights; and
• Increase the capacity of key actors and stakeholders to monitor progress and results in rule of law development
In addition to increasing public confidence in rule of law institutions, the joint programme will ensure that collective UN action to strengthen rule of law in the oPt retains gender equality principles as a central pillar of its approach. Therefore, it will specifically address women and girls’ access to justice, as well as engage an array of social protection actors to promote gender justice more holistically.
In her speech, Head of UN Women, Ms Alia El-Yassir, thanked the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior for their efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, and for making this Joint Programme possible.
UNDP Deputy Special Representative, Ms Narjess Saidane, acknowledged the strong and fruitful partnership UNDP has enjoyed over the years with the Ministry of Justice and expressed the hope that the new Joint Programme will provide an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with the Ministry of Interior as well. “This new programme is consistent with Palestinian national priorities and will further strengthen efforts to mainstream gender across the justice and security sectors”, she added.
The signing ceremony was held on Thursday 15 May 2014 in the presence of Minister of Justice, H.E. Adv. Ali Muhanna, Minister of Interior, H.E. Said Abu Ali, Head of UN Women, Ms Alia El-Yassir and UNDP Deputy Special Representative, Ms Narjess Saidane.
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: email@example.com. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.