Universal goals for national action

A seminar on governance and Rule of Law as the foundation for human development. There is a strong correlation between Rule of Law and the level of development in a society.

Event details

Date:11 December 2013
Venue:Myntkabinett, Slottsbacken 6, Stockholm

Transparency, accountability and the rule of law are essential cornerstones in order for people to empower themselves and enable sustainable growth. However, building state institutions that exercise good governance as well as ensuring basic human rights and equal access to justice to its citizen’s remains a challenge, especially in conflict and post-conflict settings.Will the world’s leaders be ready to agree on universal standards and targets on governance and rule of law that could possibly limit their political scope and threaten national sovereignty?

The High-Level Panel report on post-2015 emphasized the importance of democratic governance, accountable and responsive institutions and public engagement in ensuring sustainable human development. Their report called for a fundamental shift where peace and good governance should be at the core of the development agenda – not considered as “optional extras”.

The following questions were discussed during this seminar:

  • Will focusing on governance hamper or support the short-term strive for growth and development?
  • Which are the potential risks with providing a global “blueprint” on good governance and rule of law?
  • Can efforts to strengthen governance and rights based values be considered interference in internal affairs?


Pablo de Greiff, is the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence since 2012. Previously, he has been Director of Research at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in New York. Mr. de Greiff has published extensively on transitions to democracy, democratic theory, and the relationship between morality, politics, and law, and is in the board of editors of the International Journal of Transitional Justice. He has also provided advice to a wide range of Governments, non-governmental organizations, particularly victims’ organizations, truth commissions and multilateral institutions in the area of transitional justice, gender issues and the linkages between justice, security and development.

Maarten Barends, is the Chief Technical Specialist/Programme Manager of UNDP’s Rule of Law and Access to Justice Programme in the West Bank and Gaza (from 2011 to present). Mr. Barends previously worked for UNDP in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2009-2010) and Sudan (2005-2008), also with a focus on rule of law, human rights and justice. Before joining UNDP, he worked at the Dutch embassies in Islamabad, Pakistan (2002) and Khartoum, Sudan (2004) as well as at Leiden University as part of a major research project on shari’a law (2003). He holds an LL.M. from the University of Amsterdam.

Amitabh Behar, former Co-Chair of Beyond 2015 and Executive Committee member of Global Call to Action Against Poverty. Currently he is ED of National Foundation for India (NFI) and National Convener of the Social Watch Coalition of India. He works on advocacy, networking and coalition building. He also works on campaigning, with a special focus on issues of governance and civil society from the perspective of rights and justice. His areas of interest include civil society, governance and the South Asian Panchayati Raj political system. He works with the Wada Na Todo campaign in New Delhi. Wada Na Todo Abhiyan is a national campaign to hold the government accountable to its promise to end Poverty, Social Exclusion & Discrimination.

For further information, please contact Malin von Strauss, UNDP, 0702-30 82 53, malin.vonstrauss@undp.org or Erika Beckman, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, 076-541 10 12, erika.beckman@dhf.uu.se

This event forms part of the seminar series “After 2015 – The road towards the next global development agenda,” jointly organized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and UNDP Nordic Office, running throughout 2013 and 2014. The next seminar is to take place in January 2014. More information to come!

This seminar was streamed live, and commented on twitter with #2015governance.