Democratic governance is essential to the long-term development of Moldova providing an enabling environment for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The Government of Moldova has placed a strong emphasis on improving the country’s public services, as well as achieving its fundamental priority of integration into Europe. However, frequent elections, limited budgets and a significant brain drain have slowed Moldova’s public administration reform. Implementing new legislation and policies is often a slow process, and enhanced joint work and increased capacity across Government institutions are needed to speed up the process and cascade its benefits down to people.
UNDP is one of the main UN agencies supporting the Government’s reform agenda. The aim is to work with the state to modernize its institutions, while ensuring consultation with all those affected. UNDP has aligned its support with the Government’s priorities set forth in the National Development Strategy Moldova 2020 and provides it mainly in the form of advisory services and capacity development.
Strengthening governance requires investments in institutions, processes and the cadre of civil servants to make them responsive to the needs of the ordinary persons including those vulnerable and marginalized. Building skills to support national efforts to reduce poverty, sustain the environment, ensuring access to justice for everyone, protect and promote human rights and advance human development is essential. UNDP brings people together by building partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels.
By supporting Moldova’s efforts to improve its legislative and electoral systems, establish an effective and accountable public administration, promote and protect human rights, improve access to justice and develop a greater capacity to deliver basic services to those most in need, UNDP helps create a more transparent, efficient and equitable governance system where citizens can take part in the decision-making process of their country.
UNDP has helped in broadening public administration reform to support Moldova’s aim of EU integration. A number of institutions have shown increased ability to carry out their work in a credible manner and in line with the European standards. UNDP contributed to the establishment of the Food Safety Agency as one of important prerequisites for signing of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between Moldova and the EU.
Moldova’s Electoral Commission gained increased public trust and confidence in the election results thanks to the joint efforts of UNDP and other UN agencies, even though the country has held three national elections in less than two years. The capacity of the Parliament has also grown, including through the production of a manual to be used by many first-time MPs, the Parliament’s Secretariat Strategic Development Plan and a series of standard operations procedures now applied in the execution of the Parliament’s legislative, oversight and representation functions.
UNDP has partnered with the EU to strengthen border and customs control to keep the national border between Moldova and Ukraine secure and stop illegal cross-border activities. The partners jointly elaborated and implement the Integrated Border Management Strategy that provides for a significant reduction of the illegal cross-border activities.
Justice and human rights
UNDP has helped the Republic of Moldova develop policies and strategies on justice and human rights, such as gender equality, non-discrimination, torture and ill treatment in detention, domestic violence, human trafficking, improvement of access to justice and social inclusion of people with disabilities.
There is room for progress in a number of other areas, such as equality and non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability and health status, inclusion of the Roma population, human rights mainstreaming in education, implementation of international commitments, etc.
UNDP supported the process of the elaboration of the Justice Sector Reform Strategy (2012 – 2016) and its Action Plan and was instrumental in helping the Government to establish a strong monitoring, coordination and reporting mechanism that allows assessing the progress in the implementation. It contributes to achieving of its important targets by strengthening the National Legal Aid System and supporting corruption prevention measures and anti-corruption institutions.
There have been significant changes in thinking in Moldova about human rights. Working together with partners, UNDP has helped the Government align its national agenda with international human rights standards and supported the development of the legal and institutional framework on human rights and related policies, strategies and plans. In essence, the Government has now made human rights part of its new agenda.
UNDP provided technical support to Moldova’s ratification in 2010 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to the development of a new National Human Rights Action Plan for 2011–2014, as well as of the anti-discrimination law. The agency has also helped elaborate a new vision on local development and decentralization grounded in the principles of human rights and gender equality.
The capacity of the Government to report on progress against international human rights commitments and civil society’s ability to fulfil its human rights watchdog role in preventing and combating torture have been strengthened.
With EU support, an information campaign has been carried out to reduce the incidence of human rights violations, particularly torture, by raising awareness among citizens to report cases by means of the “green line” of the Centre for Human Rights in Moldova (Ombudsperson’s office).The Centre for Human Rights and the National Torture Preventive Mechanism are also now able to undertake meaningful visits to places of detention to help in the prevention of torture.
The Centre for Human Rights in Moldova has been also assisted in drafting its Strategy Development Programme for 2013-2017. Forensic doctors, torture investigation prosecutors and defense lawyers improved their skills in documenting evidences of torture, and the national Centre for Legal Medicine was endowed with the modern laboratory forensic equipment.