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Department of Political Affairs

UN offices team up to launch new newsletter on constitutions

Recognizing the importance of constitutions as the foundation of democracy and good governance, six UN offices have joined efforts to launch a first-of-its kind newsletter focused on constitutions.

The UN Constitutional showcases the organization’s constitutional assistance and introduces original content on related subjects, as well as offering innovative tools and resources to constitution-makers. The objective is to facilitate information-sharing, collaboration and cross-learning between the various UN entities that work on constitutional matters, thereby bolstering the organization’s constitutional assistance.

The newsletter is being produced by the Department of Political Affairs, in partnership with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Development Programme, the UN Children’s Fund and UN Women.

The first issue of UN Constitutional, launched in January 2014 and available here , illustrates the UN’s constitutional assistance on the ground, from Iraq to Kenya, Libya, Nepal, Somalia and Tunisia. It offers an interview with the UN Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs in Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, and provides a digest of recent publications.

Constitutions have an important bearing on how a country is being run, from democracy to human rights, with far-reaching implications for the well-being of citizens. As such, countries regularly amend their constitutions or review their society’s social contracts. How these processes unfold influences how well nations are able to address grievances and promote peace and stability -- particularly in post-conflict, transitional and fragile states. Constitution-making assistance is therefore a pillar of DPA’s effort to prevent and resolve conflicts. Currently, over half a dozen Special Political Missions are providing on-the ground assistance to countries undergoing constitutional reform, with additional Peacekeeping Missions and Country Teams providing direct constitutional support. 

To subscribe to future editions of the newsletter or share your feedback, contact us at constitutionmaker@un.org