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HLPF 2024 | Townhall Meeting

Statement by the Director-General, Ms Jan Beagle

From the SDG Summit to the effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions
New York, 8 July 2024


Thank you for this opportunity to say a few words as the Director-General of the International Development Law Organization, which is the only global intergovernmental organization solely focused on promoting peace and sustainable development through the rule of law.

For over 40 years, we have partnered with people and governments in all regions to address justice needs and advance nationally led solutions to major development challenges.

We believe that SDG 16 – with rule of law, human rights and good governance at its core – is a critical enabler of all the SDGs and is at the heart of what makes the 2030 Agenda transformative.

We heard many examples of this at the annual SDG 16 Conference organised by IDLO, Italy and DESA in May.

From IDLO’s experience, I would like to share three examples of innovative rule of law solutions, particularly relevant for the Goals under review this year.

First, the rule of law can encourage inclusive growth by providing stability and certainty, and resolving disputes fairly and expeditiously.

Strengthening the rule of law at global, national and local levels can help rebuild trust, tackle global challenges including conflict and climate change, and catalyse progress across the 2030 Agenda.

The development of sound policy and regulatory frameworks, grounded in the rule of law, can help to increase access to justice, eliminate discriminatory laws and practices, reduce corruption, and enhance transparency.

In so doing, the rule of law creates an enabling environment for attracting investment, generating economic opportunity, and lifting people out of poverty.

Secondly, working at the nexus of the law, gender, and climate can help unlock broad development gains on gender equality, climate action, land governance and food security.

It is critical to engage across sectors to strengthen these interlinkages.

As a founding commitment maker and leader of the Generation Equality Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition, IDLO empowers climate-vulnerable people, including women, indigenous people, and young people, to access justice and claim their environmental rights.

Third, digital innovation can significantly contribute to closing the justice gap, empowering justice seekers and improving cost-effectiveness, transparency, and responsiveness of justice systems.

The rule of law can, and must, ensure that frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence, are rights-based and carefully designed to avoid creating new forms of inequality.

Innovation in the justice sector must be driven by an understanding of people’s needs and their lived realities. We need to deploy resources towards data-driven and evidence-based solutions, and the use of diverse pathways to justice.

I particularly want to emphasize the fundamental role of women and young people.

IDLO puts gender equality at the centre of its mandate, promoting concrete measures to close the gender justice gap.

We are also committed to engaging with young people, as equal partners, to mobilise their creativity and capacity for innovation.

Whole-of-society partnerships, at national, regional and international levels, are central to address progress on SDG 16 and the entire 2030 Agenda. IDLO is committed to collaborating with all of you to promote a more peaceful, just and sustainable future through the rule of law.

Finally, I want to invite you to our side event today at 13:15 in Conference room 7 where we will highlight some of these points with examples from IDLO’s experience with partners at the national level.