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UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing formalises NHRI independent participation to its work


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 persons. 

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 representative​s during the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. ​

​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 York. 

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Created at 14/12/2016 10:49 by iccgeneva
Last modified at 16/12/2016 12:30 by iccgeneva