International Conference "Paving the Path of Human Rights: Synergies between International Criminal Law and UN Agenda 2030”


The International Nuremberg Principles Academy (Nuremberg Academy) held the international expert conference “Paving the Path of Human Rights – Synergies between International Criminal Law and UN Agenda 2030" in Nuremberg, Germany on 3-4 May. Leading practitioners and academics in the fields of international human rights and international criminal law came together at the historic Courtroom 600 in the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. They discussed the elements of international criminal law that are able to contribute to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goal “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” (SDG 16) of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. The findings of the conference will be published in a conference report.

Dr. Navi Pillay, former UN-High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of the Advisory Council of the Nuremberg Academy, asserted in her keynote address the impact of human rights principles and instruments on the Agenda 2030 as the first global agreement, which explicitly recognizes governance and civil and political rights as a dimension of sustainable development. Development-based measures should follow the principles of equality and non-discrimination. “The huge disparities in wealth between the rich and poor across the world is an affront to the principle of equality,” Dr. Navi Pillay emphasized that “the rights to education, health, housing, water and sanitation are not commodities for sale only to those who can afford to pay, but should be accessible to all.”

“The UN Agenda 2030 and its effective implementation has a crucial role to play in the prevention of conflict, peacebuilding and sustaining peace,” underlined Klaus Rackwitz, Director of the Nuremberg Academy, “and SDG 16 affirms that there will be no lasting peace without justice. It also calls to bundle all efforts to maximize its impact. The current form and perspective of the field of human rights have been influenced significantly by the trial conducted by the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg and it is now time to link this current form and perspective to the future, to the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular to Goal 16 – Access to Justice.”

In a series of five panels, the experts discussed, inter alia, the foundation for justice and rule of law, international cooperation and strengthening institutions to prevent conflict, remedy and protection of vulnerable groups, and the risks and mechanisms of protection for human rights defenders.

A number of needs were identified from the wealth of experience of the experts gathered in Nuremberg, including the reaffirmation of the universality of human rights and justice; the implementation of outcome-based measurements for peace and justice; a better understanding of the cost of injustice; an increased judicial cooperation between States; stronger protection of victims and vulnerable groups; more coherence between human rights and international criminal law; ensuring legal accountability for the lack of compliance to multilateral obligations; strengthening the environmental rule of law; and protecting human rights defenders.

For more information, the conference program, photos and videos of the conference, please click here.