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  UNDP > UNDP Focus Areas > Democratic Governance

DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE

More countries than ever before are working to build democratic governance. The challenge before them is to develop institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor. UNDP brings people together both within nations and around the world, building partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability, and effectiveness at all levels. The UNDP helps countries to strengthen their electoral and legislative systems, improve their access to justice and public administration, and develop a greater capacity to deliver basic services to those most in need.

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HUMAN RIGHTS

UNDP pays special attention to increasing public awareness on human rights and to making civil servants and law enforcement officials informed of the responsibility of organs of society to promote and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms. Since 1998, UNDP printed and disseminated over 450,000 copies of human rights documents and materials, complementing work done by other UN agencies in Belarus.

The EU funded project “Promotion of a wider application of the international human rights standards in the administration of justice in Belarus” was implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and the Ministry of Justice of Belarus. The project allowed justice sector professionals, scientists and practitioners to discuss most pertinent issues and to observe best practices of European countries. Within the project a team of experts developed a set of recommendations how to improve Belarusian legislation and law enforcement in 11 areas. Additionally, a 4-volume compendium of the international human rights standards was prepared and published under the project. The 3,200-page compendium issued in 8,000 copies was distributed among judges, lawyers, prosecutors, legislators and representatives of executive government authorities, libraries, law universities and NGOs.



LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Lawyers' assistance in solving legal issues is an important part of a rule-based society. Belarusian citizens have increasingly started to use the services of lawyers. However, due to a widening income gap in the society, some people can not afford paying lawyer's fees. UNDP is addressing this imbalance by supporting the development of legal clinics, which offer free legal advice to the most poor and vulnerable groups of the population (including single parent families, households with many dependent children, pensioners, unemployed and asylum seekers). A clinic is staffed by law students who work under the supervision of professional lawyers and teachers of law. A clinic is a tool for improving the students' practical lawyer skills and raising their awareness of the needs of weaker groups in society.

 

IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF LAWS

Assessing the economic, environment, and social impact of future laws is a key factor in drafting effective legislation. Il allows law-makers to take well-informed decisions and increase the effectiveness of laws and policies. It also improves citizen's protection by encouraging decision-makers to consider the interests of different social groups, rather than focusing on narrow sectoral interests.

UNDP assists Belarus' legislative bodies to build up their capacity for regular impact assessment. A working group with representatives from key law-drafting institutions focuses on the elaboration of impact assessment manuals and pilots draft-law assessments.

 

INTERNET

Belarus’ integration in the global community depends greatly on the development of modern information technologies, such as the Internet. UNDP helps Belarus to strengthen the national information and communication infrastructure through the Internet services and resources.

UNDP put in place a nation-wide communication grid covering Minsk and regional capitals. The grid has increased the speed of data transfer within Belarus and connected more than 300 non-commercial users, notably, NGOs, secondary schools, libraries and government institutions. Over 40 Belarusian organizations have designed and posted their web sites with UNDP’s support.

The second phase of UNDP assistance in this area was fostering improved application of ICT among main target groups (secondary schools, libraries, NGOs and parliament) through support to policy development, training and advocacy.

On-going Projects:

00054285 Capacity Building of SALW Stockpile Management and Security

 

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