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Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Select a target for more information about UNCITRAL's role.

Target 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

The General Assembly has recognized that the rule of law is not only about criminal law and transitional justice. It is also about mature rule-based commerce, which UNCITRAL facilitates and which has long been recognized as a stabilizing factor and a factor important for mobilizing resources for development, including for such rule-of-law fundamentals as due process and a strong judicial and legal infrastructure, in addition to access to well-trained lawyers and judges. UNCITRAL’s work is also relevant to all dimensions of access to justice (normative protection, capacity to seek remedy, and capacity to provide effective remedies) and to legal and procedural transparency.

Target 16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

Anti-corruption and anti-bribery measures have long figured in UNCITRAL's legal standards, including the UNCITRAL standard in the area of public procurement. Since the mid-80s UNCITRAL has also been engaged in the area of e-commerce, which is characterized by increased transparency, traceability of actions and the elimination or reduction of human interaction/personal contacts, cited as major factors in anti-corruption/anti-bribery initiatives. Increased transparency in government dealings with investors is an aspiration that guides UNCITRAL's work in investor-State dispute resolution, various commercial means to reduce bribery and corruption are outlined in work on commercial fraud, and UNCITRAL standards on security interest registries aim at minimizing the potential for registry staff corruption.

Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

UNCITRAL's work in general highlights the importance of effective, accountable and transparent rules and institutions. Areas of focus, which have included e-commerce, transparency in investor-State treaty-based arbitration, public procurement (in particular e-procurement) security interests, and transport, are relevant to developing effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels. In addition, judicial training held for the purpose of promoting uniform interpretation and application of UNCITRAL standards is an important measure in effective institution building, assisting to increase the capacity of judges to properly understand and enforce legal frameworks based on UNCITRAL standards.

Target 16.8: Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance

Active participation of domestic governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in UNCITRAL can significantly contribute to understanding of the benefits of using international legal instruments to facilitate commercial law reform. Such participation can allow stakeholders to become familiar with the drafting of international commercial law and the different modalities that can later be used domestically. It can also serve as a platform for exchange of best practices with counterparts from diverse professional and geographical backgrounds. Measures to facilitate expert representation of developing countries in the work of UNCITRAL should therefore remain an ongoing concern. See also target 10.6 for discussion of related issues.

Target 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Public access to information is promoted and regulated in particular by UNCITRAL texts in the areas of security interest registries, public procurement and transparency in treaty-based investor-State arbitration. Work to establish best practices in business registration also supports this target, as does the promotion of due process, a feature of many UNCITRAL texts.

Target 16.b: Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

Internationally recognized standards, such as those elaborated by UNCITRAL, promote equal opportunity, reducing inequalities of outcome and addressing issues of discrimination. Compliance of the local framework with those international standards at the enactment, implementation and enforcement stages should therefore be promoted. See also target 10.3 for discussion of related issues.