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Research Report

SOLDERING THE LINK:: The UN Global Focal Point for police, justice and corrections

Megan Price
Kevin Steeves
Luc van de Goor
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2012
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 41

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
  2. (pp. i-ii)
  3. (pp. iii-iv)
  4. (pp. v-x)
  5. (pp. 1-2)

    Rule of Law (RoL) promotion and Security Sector Reform (SSR) are increasingly prioritised as activities in the context of UN peace-support around the world.¹ Yet, there remain issues in effectively linking the two concepts both doctrinally and operationally. A growing recognition has taken hold in policy communities of the need to articulate the interrelated roles and responsibilities of the various actors within the UN system dealing with justice and security. New developments seem to suggest that progress can be made, starting with a focus on security reform and rule of law promotion in field contexts. The recent establishment by the...

  6. (pp. 3-6)

    Since the UN started its work on Rule of Law in the 1980s and 90s (with SSR joining the agenda this millennium), an expansive body of policies and guidance has been produced. An overview of all engagements shows that the breadth of the UN’s Rule of Law related activities received a new level of attention in 2000, with the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations.² Following this, a wide range of guidance and arrangements mushroomed, aiming to solve the challenges of working towards a more unified approach to the Rule of Law.³ These efforts, however, have not...

  7. (pp. 7-10)

    Interviews held in early July 2012 indicated that the global focal point concept is still a work in progress. Yet, a number of the approach’s key elements have been developed. They include: co-location; policy guidance; joint work plans; and client orientation. These aspects are assessed in terms of the opportunity to improve joined-up working, with a view to more efficiency and effectiveness in supporting missions and Country Teams.

    One of the more interesting features of the GFP was the announcement that engaged agencies will be co-located in Headquarters offices. Co-location will involve staff from UNDP’s Bureau of Crisis Prevention and...

  8. (pp. 11-16)

    While the contours of the Global Focal Point have begun to come into focus, a few areas remain less defined. These points, discussed below, will be crucial to the formation and effective functioning of the GFP. They thus deserve particular attention during the development of this new UN approach to integrated working.

    Leadership of the senior staff within the GFP has the potential to make or break the new initiative. However, decision-making structures and practice are yet to be elaborated. Each actor joining the GFP will arrive with its own management structure still intact. How the agencies negotiate their decision-making...

  9. (pp. 17-24)

    Keeping in mind both the foreseeable facets and challenges of bringing it into being, we turn now to the areas that will be key in propelling forward the GFP’s potential. These represent issues and aspects for which GFP proponents could apply tempered leverage to reinforce sustained progress.

    Any assessment of the Global Focal Point’s eventual success should consider its ability to promote better aligned work at the field level, both in and between police, justice and corrections programmes. Operational and context-specific advice and support should be the hallmarks of GFP support. There is a valuable opportunity for the new initiative...

  10. (pp. 25-29)

    The Global Focal Point for police, justice and corrections represents another opportunity and a practical way forward in syncing the UN’s technical, political and developmental capacities and approaches to justice and security in fragile states. Its potential contribution to supporting the field level is bold given the UN’s history of attempts at joined-up working. But from the field perspective, it is also quite necessary. The concept of the GFP, at least in the form as currently proposed, therefore deserves and requires dedicated support from the UN management and agencies, as well as from Member States. Experience – be it with...