Press Release

New Initiative to Strengthen Nauru Justice Sector

02 August 2023

Meneng, Nauru: A new initiative has been launched in Nauru, focusing on strengthening the country’s justice sector. 

Anchored under the existing Nauru Accountable and Inclusive Governance (NAIG) project, the initiative will strengthen the rule of law, enhance accessibility to justice, promote democratic values, advance gender equality, and further civic education on justice related matters.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji will lead the initiative – supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – working hand-in-hand with the Government of Nauru to ensure that legal frameworks, legislation and practices are robust, transparent and effective.

This support to Nauru’s justice sector will see UNDP work with the country’s judicial officers, legal practitioners and justice institutions to provide a people-centered and rights-based approach to how justice services are delivered to the citizens of Nauru.

Furthermore, the justice component recognizes the importance of promoting legal literacy, advocacy and training on human rights for specific groups within Nauru.

Acting Chief Justice to the Republic of Nauru, Mohammed Shafiullah Khan, attended the launch event and made note of the initiative being in line with the mission and values of the judiciary.

“This new initiative will assist the judiciary in strengthening the link between our work, and the people we serve. The launch today is the culmination of many conversations, over a long period of time, and we look forward to designing a project that is not simply a cut and paste from what has worked elsewhere, but one that is best suited to Nauru,” he said. 

Deputy Resident Representative for the North Pacific, Kevin Petrini, said the initiative will further knowledge of human rights across Nauru, with a particular focus on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and UNDP’s transformative promise of leaving no one behind. 

“By offering support across the justice sector the initiative will foster a greater understanding of human rights and empower project recipients to advocate for their rights effectively. Access to justice is at the heart of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, and this initiative will be instrumental in supporting inclusion and combatting discriminative practices in Nauru,” he said. 

Australia’s High Commissioner to Nauru, Dr. Helen Cheney, said the initiative is aligned with Nauru’s Sustainable Development Strategy (2019-2030) and complements Australia’s ongoing support to Nauru in the areas of governance and human development.

“A great deal has already been achieved in strengthening Nauru’s governance institutions, and Australia is excited to partner with UNDP on this very important initiative. The Governments of Australia and Nauru share the same values of upholding democracy, and we are pleased to be supporting an initiative such as this that will assist Nauru in achieving its sustainable development strategy,” Dr. Cheney said. 

This new initiative continues UNDP’s long-standing support to Nauru, a relationship built on mutual respect and trust. The over-arching NAIG project aims to bring together the various strands of UNDP’s support for the legislative and judicial branches, and process these together into a single project.

The launch event was held at the Menen Hotel, Nauru on Tuesday, 1 August.

Nick Turner

Communications and Advocacy Specialist

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Development Programme

Goals we are supporting through this initiative