UNDP, WB and Finance Ministry Poised for Independent Judiciary in Sudan

The Ministry of Finance and National Economy, United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP) and World Bank (WB), launched Wednesday, August 23, 2006, at the premises
of the High Court, a programme to improve the capacity of an independent Judiciary
in Sudan.


The programme, which is jointly funded by the Government of National Unity (GONU) which allocated US$ 5 million and the international community, with a contribution of US$ 13 million through the World Bank administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will be jointly implemented by the Judiciary and the UNDP over a three-year period.

The 18 million dollar grant agreement was signed yesterday by the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, Sheik El Mak, UNDP Sudan Country Director, Jerzy Skuratowicz and the World Bank Country manager for Sudan, Asif Faiz.

During the signing ceremony, World Bank Country Manager for Sudan and Manager of the Multi-Trust Fund-National (MDTF-National), Asif Faiz said, "The Capacity Building Project for the National Judiciary is particularly appropriate for MDTF's funding as it is articulated in the CPA and the Interim National Constitution (INC)." He further said a strong and independent Judiciary was a prerequisite for sustaining peace and that the project would help strengthen the rule of law in Sudan. "The training of judges and providing knowledge of modern legal systems will help the Judiciary at federal and state levels to apply the law and deliver justice in a fair and efficient manner," he asserted.

He clarified that with an initial pledged amount of $508 million, two MDTFs were established following the Oslo Donor Conference in April 2005, to support priority activities identified by the Joint Assessment Mission (JAM) for pro-peace and pro-poor investments and that both Funds were administered by the World Bank throughout the six years of the interim period. "Given the importance of a high-quality judicial training, the initiative will also develop judicial training curricula and materials, and train 800 judges at the state-level and 400 others at the central level," he reiterated.

"The MDTF National supports the Government of National Unity, in the reconstruction and development of war-affected and marginalized areas in the Northern states while the MDTF South supports the decentralization, recovery and development initiatives undertaken by the Government of Southern Sudan," Faiz explained. He said the $18 million programme aims to provide carefully designed training, along with technical and operational support to the National Judicial Service Commission and the National Judiciary. The training programme, he said, would cover modern legal analysis and application, constitutional law, international human rights, and comparative international experiences along with Sudanese cultural values and traditions and that it would also establish, construct and fully equip a pilot National Legal Training Resource Center in Wad Medani, and rehabilitate the existing judiciary training facility in Khartoum. "Court facilities in Khartoum, Abyei, Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Eastern Sudan will also be rehabilitated to improve the delivery of judicial services in different States," he said. Speaking on the same occasion, UNDP Country Director, Jerzy Skuratowicz, highlighted the vital link between peace and justice saying "a sound and independent judiciary is central to any society striving to achieve sustainable human development. Recovery and reconstruction cannot progress without basic human security and strong national institutions that uphold the rule of law and

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