The Hague Colloquium on the Future of Legal Identity

Civil Registration Centre for Development, The Hague and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Johannesburg

The Role of Identification in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The post-2015 development agenda is being shaped as we speak. The role of identification and its importance to development outcomes places it within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda—specifically as one of the proposed SDG targets (#16.9), but also as a key enabler of the efficacy of many other SDG targets. Although there is no one model for providing legal identity, this SDG would urge states to ensure that all have free or low-cost access to widely accepted, robust identity credentials. Regardless the modalities to achieve it, the recognition of legal identity – together with its associated rights – is becoming a priority for governments around the world. Political will is central, and the SDGs – unwieldy as they may seem today – provide a useful reference point for accountability. But new approaches expand the horizon of what is possible, and should serve as a stimulus to development ambition. Seizing these opportunities requires strong leadership, a supportive legal framework, mobilization of financial and human resources, and – critically – the trust of each country’s residents. Incentives, technology, foreign assistance and reforms will all be critical in achieving tangible results. Equally important is donor coordination at the global, regional and national levels, to ensure inclusive oversight and concerted global action.

Event reference: 
The Hague Colloquium on the Future of Legal Identity