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The 9th TIJ Public Forum on the Rule of Law and Sustainable Development

The International Virtual Forum:
Resilient Leadership in Practice

The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed unprecedented health, economic, and social crises, taking a toll on all countries across the globe. It not only threatens to reverse decades of progress towards fully realizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but it also exacerbates fragilities, inequalities, and injustices within and among nations. The principles on which the SDGs were established are key to building back better in a more inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and resilient manner in the post-COVID-19 world. Response and recovery efforts must center on leaving no one behind, especially those who are already vulnerable such as children, women, LGBTQ people, persons with disabilities, and migrant workers.

The world is currently witnessing the highest fatality rates among marginalized groups in advanced economies.1 Forecasts have indicated that the pandemic will push 71 million people back into extreme poverty. Many of these individuals are working in the informal economy in precarious situations without secure social safety nets to support themselves and their families.2 The pandemic has accelerated social stigmatization and discrimination, as well as exposed pre-existing inequalities in our society. As a result, women and children continue to severely face disproportionate impacts such as increases in unpaid domestic work, risks of gender-based violence (GBV), and lack of access to essential sexual and reproductive health services.3

The current crisis has presented leaders of today and tomorrow with a unique opportunity to consider their resilience. It has demanded them to thrive in the face of adversity and uncertainties, while remaining optimistic even in times of crisis. The Rule of Law in Development (RoLD) program at Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) aims to foster like-minded emerging leaders that share mutual appreciation for the rule of law in all its complexities as a fundamental to achieve sustained, equitable, and inclusive growth through innovative thinking and forward-leaning vision. The 1-week intensive workshop in June 2021 is comprised of core flagship components that are designed to equip participants with an “arsenal of weapons” including essential policy analysis skills, foresight solution-driven and innovative mindset, as well as practical underpinnings of leadership and crisis management in order to make more informed yet faster decisions in light of ever-evolving circumstances, especially during the challenges posed by the pandemic.

To complement this unique learning experience, the International Virtual Forum: Resilient Leadership in Practice aims to tie all these elements together and present them to public audiences. This is the ninth instalment of “TIJ Public Forum on the Rule of Law and Sustainable Development,” a continuing series of open discussions about regional and national approaches, along with issues in mainstreaming the rule of law, the efficacy of these attempts and case studies that embody the rule of law in action. The goal is to use the concept of the rule of law as a lens to better understand complex socio-economic challenges to establish a systematic framework to inform policy development. This year, the TIJ International Forum seeks to explore the inextricable linkages between the rule of law, equitable development and resilient leadership through a series dialogues from renowned academics, experts and policymakers.

The COVID-19 crisis offers us a valuable opportunity discuss:

  • How the ongoing outbreak has exposed and further intensified pre-existing risks of vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially how it will continue to widen inequalities.
  • How the pandemic has challenged the bedrock of society and sustainable development, highlighting the inflexibility of the rule of law and legal mechanisms in quickly responding to the crisis. This would be exemplified by various case studies from different parts of the world.
  • What outstanding resilient leadership look like during the pandemic, providing inspirational stories of how to tackle the crisis from various sectors and perspectives. This seeks to not only demonstrate how resiliency is integral to rising to the challenge of a generation, but will also draw on promising innovation and good practices from across Asia to identify strategic entry points and priority actions for the effective implementation of policies and initiatives on the ground.
  • How to combine policy analysis skills, foresight thinking and resilient leadership together to prepare for unforeseen problems of the future and their potential impacts.

Main objectives:

  • Gain insights from key leaders in the international organizations, renowned academic institutes, public and private sectors, civil society organizations and community-led initiatives from across the region about:
    • Shifts in global development trends from the views of vulnerable and marginalized groups. This aims to illustrate the criticality of adopting a human-centric and multi- stakeholder approach to programming, as well as underscore the importance of placing vulnerable groups at the center of effective response and robust recovery effort.
    • Practical foundation for leadership and crisis management to navigate through the “New Normal” in the post-COVID-19 world.
    • Case studies on the inflexibility of the rule of law and legal mechanisms in the current crisis that have constrained policies and programs from truly applying the principle of leaving no one behind.
    • Stories of resilient leaders’ vital roles in the COVID-19 response and how they have risen to the challenges faced on the ground. This seeks to highlight the opportunities, lessons learned, and strategic entry points for the effective integration of inclusivity into tangible actions.
  • Hear experiences from adopting futuristic approach to prepare for unforeseen problems of the future and their potential impacts by placing the most vulnerable and marginalized at the center of policy design process.

1 https://covid19.who.int/
2 https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2020/The-Sustainable-Development-Goals-Report-2020.pdf
3https://data.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/documents/COVID19/Unlocking_the_lockdown_UNWomen_2020.pdf