UN to extend enhanced support to the National Human Rights Institutions

Annual Review Meeting of the Tripartite Partnership between UNDP, OHCHR, and GANHRI to Support National Human Rights Institutions

June 26, 2020


New York- The UN’s Framework for COVID-19 Response has a clear entry point for the National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), particularly in monitoring the risks of human rights violations, acting as a bridge between excluded populations and the state, and providing rights-based advice to governments— discussed the delegates at the Tripartite Review Meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) held on June 24-25.

The UN Secretary-General’s The Highest Aspiration: A Call to Action on Human Rights  urges greater collaboration— emphasizes the importance of NHRIs as contributors to the implementation of the SDGs and calls for enhanced support to NHRIs from the UN system.

“In these challenging times we need to reinforce, support and work in partnership with NHRIs to address COVID-19. We also need to support member states to ‘recover back better’ - to use inclusive approaches in their recovery towards achieving the SDGs and securing the social contract,” stated Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Crisis Bureau in her opening remarks at the high-level session of the Annual Review Meeting.

Representatives of NHRIs, their regional networks, as well as UN agencies and other international partners discussed the urgency of human rights issues in the current context and how best to build the capacity of NHRIs to promote and protect human rights.

“The UN Secretary-General has acknowledged the critical role of NRHIs in his Call to Action , launched this February, highlighting their important role in implementation of 2030 Agenda, multilateralism and in addressing deprivation and discrimination,” stated Ilze Brands-Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General of OHCHR .

The newly revised voluntary common reporting guidelines for voluntary national reviews (VNRs) at the High-level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF) emphasizes the important role of NHRIs to meaningfully and effectively engage stakeholders in the VNR process and the 2030 Agenda implementation. 

“We need to expand our efforts on anti-discrimination.  Human rights know no discrimination, but this promise has not yet materialised in practice.  Leaving no one behind is our banner; let’s not forget this dream,” stated Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera, Chairperson of GANHRI.

UNDP has worked in over 100 countries supporting NHRIs, i.e. the NHRIs of Mali and The Gambia. In 2020, the ongoing efforts in Mali contributed to the release of 1,300 people from overcrowded prisons in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The NHRIs of Egypt, Ghana, Madagascar, and Mauritania received support in 2019 to navigate the internationally recognized accreditation process for NHRIs— a process which is based on the Paris Principles. 

The Tri-Partite Partnership since its inception has leveraged the respective mandates, expertise, and operations of its partners – and their regional networks – to jointly support national human rights institutions (NHRIs) around the world.

The conclusions of the Annual Review will contribute to the upcoming UNDP Annual Rule of Law and Human Rights Meeting from 29 June  to 1 July.