Rome: Pakistan has been unanimously elected as President of the Assembly of Parties and Chair of the Standing Committee of International Development Law Organization (IDLO) for a term of three years 2021-2023. The position was vacated by the United States following the completion of their three-year term. Pakistan’s Ambassador to Italy and Permanent Representative to FAO, WFP and IFAD, Jauhar Saleem, will be serving on the dual leadership positions on behalf of Pakistan.
The elections were held at the Annual Conference of the Assembly of Parties of IDLO. United States was elected as the Vice President along with Italy.
With its headquarters in Rome, IDLO is the only international inter-governmental organization devoted for promotion of rule of law and rights based development in the world. It was established in 1988 and has 37 member countries, with experience of working with more than 90 countries and legal systems.
With a specific mandate to ensure access to justice, rule of law and protection of human rights, IDLO has made significant contribution in strengthening legal institutions and frameworks around the world, helping create a culture of justice. Besides pursuing its role towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s, focusing on SDG 16, “Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions,” IDLO is working with many governments and international organizations on important subjects of sustainable economic development, climate change and global health and food security.
It is for the first time that Pakistan has attained a leadership role in IDLO, which has, over the years, expanded both its scope and vision. Pakistan launched its candidacy under the leadership of Ambassador Jauhar Saleem, who extensively campaigned and projected Pakistan’s firm commitment to rule of law, access to justice, transparency and sustainable development.
In his acceptance speech on the occasion, Ambassador Saleem thanked all the member countries for their support and vowed to work together for the shared goals of promoting justice and development in the world. Highlighting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision and agenda of combating corruption, enhancing transparency and ensuring accountability, he noted that a two pronged strategy was required to address the formidable challenge. On the one hand the national criminal justice institutions and watchdogs needed to be strengthened by providing more resources and enhancing capacity, on the other, it needed to be ensured through greater international cooperation that ill-gotten or unidentified wealth could not be parked in other countries or off-shore havens, beyond the reach of national authorities. He emphasized over the need for greater focus on ensuring that the national resources of developing countries could only be used for betterment of their wider populations. Ambassador Saleem underlined that rooting out corruption could not only help ensure rule of law and equal rights, but also help to achieve sustainable development.
The participants of a thematic webinar in the wake of the elections, including Head of UNDP, President of ECOSOC, Ombudsman of Afghanistan, Justice Minister of Somalia and Director General IDLO echoed these sentiments.
Pakistan has been a member of IDLO since 2015 and earlier served on Standing Committee and the Audit and Finance Committee as a member.
On the heels of Pakistan’s elections as President ECOSOC and Member of Human Rights Council, Pakistan’s election as the President of IDLO reflects the growing trust of international community in the country’s democratic process and potential for leadership in important areas of international cooperation.
Pakistan would commence its Presidency in January 2021, with United States and Italy serving as Vice Presidents.