Finland to provide Euro 5.4 million to strengthen rule of law and improve respect for human rights in Nepal

07 Apr 2014

imageHonorable Justice Kalyan Shrestha, Finnish Ambassador to Nepal His Excellency Mr. Asko Luukkainen and UNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda pose for photo. Photo by : Dila D. Panta / UNDP Nepal

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have reached an agreement to implement a programme supporting the Supreme Court of Nepal and the Ministry of Law and Justice, Constituent Assembly and Parliamentary Affairs in minimizing impunity and protection and promotion of access to justice for thousands of poor and vulnerable people in Nepal. The programme seeks to increase access to justice for thousands of poor and vulnerable communities, while increasing court judgments implementation to 50 percent.

An agreement to implement the Strengthening Rule of Law and Human Rights Programme (ROLHR) was signed today by Finnish Ambassador to Nepal His Excellency Mr. Asko Luukkainen and UNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda, amid a ceremony at the Supreme Court of Nepal in the presence of Honorable Justice Kalyan Shrestha and senior Court officials.

“The effective implementation of this programme will be critical in enhancing justice delivery system through case management and strengthening justice sector coordination among rule of law institutions in Nepal,” said Justice Shrestha. “In addition, I expect this programme to make substantive difference in enhancing the court-client relation through improved service delivery.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Finland will provide EURO 5.4 million programme which will run for the next four years.

Finnish Ambassador Mr. Luukkainen said that he expects the programme will significantly contribute to more accessible and accountable justice, security and human rights institutions and more vulnerable people will be benefitting from legal aid services.

“The start of this ambitious Rule of Law sector programme is a great example of country ownership as well as harmonization both among the development partners and government agencies,” said Mr. Luukkainen.

UNDP Country Director Ms. Shoko Noda expressed her happiness to be part of the Supreme Court-led programme and thanked the Finnish Ambassador for his support. “This is a nationally led and implemented programme under the leadership of the Supreme Court of Nepal and we are happy to be part of it,” said Ms. Noda.

Norway and UN Peace Fund are also supporting the programme.

Besides pursuing considerable policy reforms, the programme aims to increase the rate of implementation of court judgments to 50 percent from nearly 15 percent at present. The programme will provide socio-legal aid services to 20,000 women and vulnerable individuals, train 2000 court officials, prosecutors and lawyers and establish secretariat for justice sector coordination committee in at least 15 districts. The programme was developed following wide consultations.