May 2010. The United Nations Rule of Law Website and Document Repository (UNROL) at www.unrol.org was recently launched by the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group (RoLCRG) and the Rule of Law Unit.
UNROL is a promotional and educational tool for practitioners and the general public. It seeks to inform users about the UN's work in the field of rule of law, and its efforts to coordinate and strengthen system-wide approaches in this field. It is the central UN rule of law web-based resource, serving as a gateway to the rest of the UN's related sites, and making information more widely accessible about UN rule of law issues and activities, and the various tools, documents and materials on the subject. The Document Repository comprises rule of law tools and materials website. UNROL is also an avenue for users to access other web resources on or related to rule of law, developed by the UN or external organizations.
The Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice was issued on 10 March 2010 by the UN Secretary-General. The Guidance Note was developed by the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, with the leadership of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and supported by the Rule of Law Unit in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.
The Note provides a rights-based perspective to the complex issue of transitional justice which is a key part of the UN rule of law framework. It builds on the Secretary-General's report on the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies (S/2004/616) of 23 August 2004. Ten guiding principles are outlined to inform the UN approach to transitional justice, including ensuring the centrality of victims in the design and implementation of transitional justice processes and mechanisms. Furthermore, the Note recalls that the nature and timing of transitional justice measures should be framed first of all in the context of international legal obligations and take due account of the national context and the views of the national stakeholders, particularly victims.
The Note offers three approaches for further strengthening UN transitional justice activities, including: (i) striving to take account of the root causes of conflict or repressive rule, and address the related violations of all rights, including economic, social and cultural rights; (ii) taking human rights and transitional justice considerations into account during peace processes; and, (iii) coordinating disarmament, demobilization and reintegration initiatives with transitional justice activities in a positively reinforcing manner.
As the Secretary-General has emphasized in his cover memo, this common approach to transitional justice will help UN entities and their partners to harness the knowledge that already exists and improve their assistance in this complex field.