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Constitutional Assistance


Constitution making is a central aspect of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as well as the promotion of human rights, the rule of law and sustainable human development. For the United Nations (UN), constitution making is a broad concept that covers the process of drafting or amending a constitution, the substance of constitutional text, and the subsequent implementation of a constitution. Both the process and substance are critical elements of constitution making.

 

The UN is committed to providing constitutional assistance in a manner that respects national sovereignty, promotes democratic values and the international norms for which the UN stands, is sensitive to the context of the country concerned, and ensures national leadership and ownership. UN constitutional assistance is as focused on the process of making or revising a constitution as it is on the content of the constitution, as the likelihood of forging a durable social compact is enhanced if citizens and groups feel they are genuinely included in the reform process.

Assistance may include:

  • Political and Strategic Support

  • Technical Advice on Constitutions and Constitutional Reform Processes

  • Capacity Building and Institution Development and Support

The range of potential forms of constitutional assistance draws on many facets of expertise from within and outside the UN system.  Accordingly, UN departments and offices, funds and programmes have created an inter-agency Working Group on Constitutional Assistance, which serves as a forum for system-wide coordinated constitutional assistance.

 

For more information on UN assistance to constitution making see: