Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

Preparatory Ministerial Meeting for the Summit of the Future

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO), delivered by Henk-Jan Brinkman, Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York

Thursday, 21 September 2023


It is a pleasure to address you on behalf of the International Development Law Organization, the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting peace and sustainable development through the rule of law.

The Secretary-General has aptly described the Summit of the Future as a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvigorate global action, recommit to fundamental principles, and further develop the frameworks of multilateralism.”

My central message to you today is that to achieve these objectives, the rule of law and justice must be at the heart of our efforts.

Over its 40 years of existence, IDLO is proud to have partnered with almost 100 countries across all regions.

Our experience has shown us that the rule of law is key to tackling current global challenges and building a renewed multilateralism that is fit for the future.

Allow me to offer three reasons why.

First, the rule of law is critical to rebuilding public trust.

It helps ensure fairness, accountability and transparency giving people confidence that institutions are working in the interest of all rather than a privileged few.

People centred justice systems protect the rights the least powerful, and empower them to participate in decision-making.

The inclusion of women, youth and other excluded groups, is not only a matter of equity, it is also essential for the whole of society approaches needed for peace and sustainable development.

Secondly, the rule of law, incorporated in SDG 16, can accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda, which remains our best, shared blueprint for peace and prosperity. 

Effective laws and accessible and accountable institutions are needed for everything, from ending poverty and hunger, to promoting gender equality.

The rule of law principles of justice, inclusivity, equity and non-discrimination, are incorporated throughout all seventeen SDGs.

They are at the core of the promise to leave no one behind, that makes the 2030 Agenda so transformative.

Finally, the rule of law is needed to address complex, transnational challenges that pose significant obstacles to peace and sustainable development.

The rule of law at the international level, as enshrined in the UN Charter, guarantees the sovereign equality of Member States and is the bedrock of the multilateral system.

But we also need rule of law-based solutions to deal with shared concerns like climate change, or the regulation of frontier technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

They require fair and efficient mechanisms that incentivize concerted global action, while balancing the needs of the present with the interests of future generations.

For these reasons, it will be vital to keep justice and the rule of law front and centre at the Summit next year and the negotiations leading up to it.

IDLO is committed to working with you to achieve the promise of the Summit of the Future and to helping build a peaceful, just and sustainable future grounded in the rule of law.