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54th Session of the Human Rights Council

Statement by International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Item 8: Follow-up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
General Debate
4 October 2023


Geneva, Switzerland


The Vienna Declaration recognises democracy, justice, equality, and the rule of law as key principles for safeguarding human rights. It calls for greater cooperation, technical assistance, and resources for strengthening rule of law and administration of justice, particularly institutions directly related to human rights protection.

Today, I am honoured to stand before you as a representative of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), a devout supporter of the Declaration, actively translating these principles into action since 1983.

At IDLO, we firmly believe that accountability, just law, open government, and accessible and fair justice are all essential elements for upholding human rights, fostering sustainable development, and advancing peace and security.

With four decades of experience in assisting governments to strengthen justice systems, we have seen that tangible progress requires not only political will but, equally importantly, institutional capacity. IDLO achieves these objectives by working top-down with governments and bottom-up with civil society and communities. We combine our programmatic, research and advocacy efforts to strengthen legal frameworks, build capacities of justice actors, and facilitate access to justice, particularly for the most vulnerable.

Our experience has shown that the rule of law is key to rebuilding public trust and tackling complex global challenges. There is a need to reinvigorate people’s confidence in the rule of law as a vehicle to advance human rights, attract investments, and promote inclusive sustainable development.

This year, IDLO celebrates its 40th anniversary, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of its Permanent Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva. We have been organizing a series of events that underscore our work to promote and uphold the rule of law and we invite you to join us in these discussions. We encourage this Council to integrate the rule of law and access to justice as means to support countries’ efforts to protect human rights. IDLO stands ready to partner with you to achieve those goals.