New York I Berlin I Geneva, 12 December 2016 – The
UN’s Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) adopted a landmark decision to
formalise the participation of GANHRI-accredited national human rights
institutions (NHRIs) in its proceedings. Starting with the OEWG’s next session
in July 2017, A status accredited NHRIs in full compliance with the Paris
Principles will be invited to participate in, and contribute with their human
rights expertise, to the OEWG as it deliberates on a future internationally
binding instrument on the rights of older persons.
The OEWG is the first General Assembly
subsidiary body to formalise NHRI participation since the adoption in 2015 of
the landmark General Assembly resolution on NHRIs, which called on all UN
processes and mechanisms to enhance the participation of Paris Principles
compliant NHRIs to their work.
Kate Holt / HelpAge International
The OEWG's decision allows for all A status NHRIs accredited by GANHRI to
participate in all sessions of the OEWG and its deliberations, including by
contributing with oral and written submissions in their own right as independent
NHRIs, next to member States and non-governmental organisations. Member
States adopted the decision by consensus during the ongoing 7th
session of the OEWG, from 12 to 15 December, in New York.
“GANHRI welcomes this milestone decision
which is a significant recognition of the value that NHRIs can bring
to the work of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing” said GANHRI’s
Chairperson Dr Prof Beate Rudolf. "We are particularly grateful for
the leadership of the OEWG Chair Minister Matteo Estrémé of Argentina in
support of this landmark initiative."
NHRIs across all regions look forward to
constructively contributing to the work of the OEWG as it takes strides forward
in developing an internationally binding instrument on the rights of older
NHRIs in all regions are applying their
mandates to promote and protect the rights of older persons. Although their
specific mandates differ, NHRIs generally work with individual rights holders,
through complaints handling or monitoring, and address structural issues
through investigatory and advisory functions. They are thus well-positioned to
provide a unique insight into the implementation of the existing international
framework of the human rights of older persons, and any gaps arising.
Individually and collectively
through GANHRI and their four regional networks, NHRIs have played an
important role in supporting the United Nation's work in developing
international human rights treaties and other norms and standards.
One of the historic accolades of this role
was the inclusion of NHRIs, and their global and regional representatives
during the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
GANHRI is represented at the 7th session of the OEWG
by Chairperson Lee Soung-ho, Chairperson of GANHRI's Working Group on Older
Persons. Jointly with the Asia Pacific Forum of NHRIs, GANHRI co-hosted a
side event on 12th December, in the UN Headquarters in New