Rule of Law Donors’ Roundtable 2013
April 17 saw UNDP China host the 2013 Rule of Law Donors Roundtable, co-organised with the Ford Foundation. The Country Office welcomed over 50 participants from 27 embassies, development partners and civil society organisations to discuss China’s developmental state with regard to the rule of law under the theme of “Constitutionalism” and exchange information about rule of law development projects and initiatives. UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Renata Dessallien introduced the UN General Assembly’s Resolution on Rule of Law which laid out a forward-looking agenda for strengthening the rule of law. She also introduced the theme as she opened the event, commenting:
“Constitutionalism proclaims the desirability of the rule of law as opposed to rule by the arbitrary judgment or mere fiat of public officials. In China, the four pillars of constitutionalism are democracy, the rule of law, freedom and rights, and central-local relationships, all of which are closely related to the implementation of Constitution, to which the judicial oversight of the constitution or constitutional review is the key.”
During the course of the event two guests of honour conducted a comprehensive analysis of Chinese constitutionalism’s development, prospects and challenges. Professor Zhang Qianfan of the Peking University School of Law spoke on the disparities between the law and reality and China’s constitutional development, while the Dean of Renmin University Law School Professor Han Dayuan had opinions to offer on shortcomings in the enforcement of China’s constitution.
At the roundtable, all participating development partners also exchanged information regarding their respective programme portfolios on the rule of law, human rights and governance.