Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the webinar “Supreme courts, governance and democracy: Contributions of civil society to the improvement of the governance of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil”, today:
Excelentíssimo Senhor Ministro Luiz Fux, Presidente do Supremo Tribunal Federal, excelências, senhoras e senhores, it is a great pleasure for me to join you today.
I recognize the Brazilian Supreme Court and civil society for the strong support to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development Goal 16 commits the international community to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and to ensure equal access to justice for all. A strong and independent judicial sector is critical to the rule of law and our shared efforts to protect human rights and leave no one behind.
COVID-19 has revealed deep economic and social fragilities everywhere. But the pandemic has also opened opportunities for an innovative, people-centred rule of law agenda. I am pleased to note that the Brazilian civil society, in its richness and diversity, is fully engaged in the advancement of this agenda. This bodes well and is indeed essential to strengthening democracy and the justice system.
Technology can also play a transformative role in strengthening the rule of law across many of its aspects, including by facilitating equality and inclusion. Fundamental rights must, in turn, guide and shape the use of new technologies.
Brazil’s justice system is showing that innovation is possible. Once again, thank you for your commitment. I wish you a very fruitful seminar.