18.09.2017 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

Launched the Guide for Judicial Operators on Agenda 2030 for sustainable development with emphasis on ODS 16

This publication reinforces the invitation to dialogue Judicial Systems carried out by the UNESCO Office in Montevideo and provides the stakeholders with a material that emphasize thes relationship between the Judiciary Powers and the Agenda 2030.

Supported by the Government of Sweden, the Ibero-American Network of Judicial Schools (RIAEJ) and the Ibero-American Judicial Summit, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the Guide for Judicial sustainable development with an emphasis on the SDG 16. With open access and available online, this publication presents the transformative vision of the world of Agenda 2030 and exposes an essential connection with the Judicial Systems.

The Guide provides a special perspective of the content of ODS 16, which focuses on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building responsible and effective institutions at all levels. Among the goals of SDG 16: the promotion of democratic rule of law and access to justice (16.3), combating corruption (16.5), building effective institutions (16.6) and access to information (16.10).

The Coordinator of the Global Alliance for Reporting Progress on Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies, Lucy Turner, highlights the perspective that “Sustainable Development Goal 16.10 on freedom of information is one among 169 targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And yet, freedom of information underpins progress on every SDG. Throughout history, transparency, accountability have underpinned social progress in all its forms. This resource will inform and inspire action to promote access to information, enabling the development of evidence-based policy, trust, and social cohesion—and hence peace and progress in all its forms”.

The president of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica, Zarela Villanueva, observes that it is through ODS 16 that "democracy presupposes and requires effectiveness in the exercise of rights for all people, a mechanism to achieve this is to have justice administration systems that effectively meet the demands, that are accessible and have clarity of their function. The strength of judicial powers lies in guaranteeing the independence and impartiality of those who serve in this role and in the effective access to justice that the population has."

Signed by Javier Benech, a graduate in communication and head of the Communication Department of the Attorney General of Uruguay, the Guide for Judicial Operators on Agenda 2030 for sustainable development with emphasis on SDG 16 is part of the Discussion Papers of Communication and Information and is directed to judicial operators of Latin America and interested in this subject. Aligned to this, Ricardo Pérez Manrique, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay until January 2017, said that all operators "must have clear that sustainable development objectives are an essential material for the work of all the days. In short, the guarantee of human rights is something that concerns all legal professions".

Jorge Omar Chediak González, Permanent Secretary of the Ibero-American Judicial Summit and President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, highlights the perspective that "the achievement of the Sustainable Development Objectives (ODS) is only possible to the extent that states have strong institutions and an efficient administration of justice system against the demands of the population". Chediak also reflects that "undoubtedly, the Ibero-American Judicial Summit has a very important role in the promotion of peaceful, just and inclusive societies".

Therefore, the Guide offers people who coexist with the contemporary challenges of the Judiciary, knowledge and inputs with different angles of the issues that are on the agenda of the international agenda, always having as a driving axis the existing international standards and the objectives of Agenda 2030, in particular the SDG 16.

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

2030 Agenda is a is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. The document was signed in 2015 by the 193 Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the United Nations.

The 17 Sustainable Development Objectives puts the human being as the center of its attention and serves as a lighthouse for humanity.

SDG 16:

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

Objective 16 is a recognition by the international community of the importance of freedom of information in the development aspects reflected in Agenda 2030. This notion is confirmed with the opinion of former New York Times journalist Bill Orme, who considered a true "victory" that has included access to information as one of the Sustainable Development Objectives 16.

SDG 16.10:

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

UNESCO was designated as the responsible for monitoring goal 10 of SDG 16: access to information (16.10). Through this commitment, UNESCO Montevideo performs a synergy of actions that intensify the role of the Organization's laboratory of ideas with the purpose of contributing to an increasingly informed and plural dialogue with all the people about the issue and constitute an additional and fundamental step toward the achievement of autonomous Judicial Systems and an independent and plural free press. This is essential conditions for the trinomial democracy, development and human rights to assume its maximum expression for all citizens.

Inserted in this line of work are the following actions:

- Toolkit on freedom of expression, access to information and safety of journalists for judicial schools

- “International Standards for Freedom of Expression: A Basic Guide for Legal Professionals in Latin America”.

- Online course International Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists.

- “Political-pedagogical guide on incorporating the subject of freedom of expression and access to public information in the training of judicial officers”.

- Bank of Jurisprudence on Freedom of Expression of Columbia University.

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