Human Rights, Rule of Law and the Renewed Social Contract in the COVID-19 reality.
(Speech by UNDP Administrator)
The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the very foundation’s of our societies. It is exposing inequalities, weak health and social security systems and the digital divide.
It is also compromising our existing governance , human rights and security challenges.
We have seen governance by coercion, control and consent in various combinations.
Indeed, structural discrimination were starkly illustrated by the disproportionate impact of the virus on marginalised groups.
It shows that the enjoyment of rights is neither a ” given ” -nor a is it equal.
We must remember that the pandemic did not occur in a vacuum.
We were already seeing searing divisions in the political discourse; racism and exclusion, and the erosion of trust.
We have seen increasing demands for socio-economic justice and accountability for Human Rights violations.
It could be said that the COVID-19 crisis has played out in this “theatre of risk”.
THE WAY FORWARD
So, we move forward from the pandemic and support the socio-economic recovery, we are at a critical turning point- which I believe we must turn into a positive “tipping point”.
It is clear that securing the rule of law and human rights is key to achieving the transformational change we need—-based on principles of trust, accountability and justice.
This ultimately means forging a new, MORE INCLUSIVE “social contract”.
WE MUST SUPPORT PEOPLE-CENTRED JUSTICE, REDUCE VIOLENCE—AND BUILD INCLUSIVE AND EFFECTIVE INSTITUTIONS.
We need to prioritise innovation–including using digital technology in the rule of law and human rights arenas. Notably, service provision during the pandemic has been enabled by the adaptability of online platforms and apps.