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Press Release - States call on the UN to further enhance participation of national human rights institutions


Press Release​


New York/Berlin/Geneva, 8 November 2017 - The UN Third Committee of the General Assembly in its biannual resolution on national human rights institutions (NHRI) has reiterated its call on all relevant United Nations (UN) processes, mechanisms, fora and meetings, to further enhance the participation of NHRIs and allow for their contributions, while recognizing the important role NHRIs play in contributing across the work of the UN.

Member states adopted the resolution on NHRIs on 7 November 2017, by consensus, without a vote, and 90 states from across all regions co-sponsored the resolution, thereby demonstrating their support of, and the value that they attach to, the work of NHRIs at national, regional and global levels.

The NHRI resolution:

·         Underlines the value of NHRIs, established and operating in accordance with the Paris principles, and encourages Member States to establish effective, independent and pluralistic NHRIs, or where they already exist, to strengthen them;

·         Recognizes the role NHRIs can play in preventing cases of reprisals and stresses that NHRIs should not face any form of reprisals, calling on States to promptly and thoroughly investigate such cases; 

·         Recognizes the added-value of NHRIs’ participation in, and contributions to, the international human rights system;

·         Acknowledges the progress made in the implementation of the last General Assembly resolution over the last two years, including with the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing and the Global Compact on Migration;

·         Welcomes the decision of the Commission on the Status of Women to encourage the secretariat to continue its consideration of how to enhance the participation, including at the sixty-second session of the Commission, of national human rights institutions that are fully compliant with the Paris Principles, where they exist, in compliance with the rules of procedure of the Economic and Social Council;

·         Encourages all relevant UN processes and mechanisms to further enhance the participation of NHRIs and to allow for their contribution, and calls on the Secretary-General to do likewise. 


“GANHRI welcomes the adoption of this resolution which is a strong signal about the value and recognition of the role of NHRIs and what they can offer to the UN.”, said GANHRI Chairperson Prof Dr Beate Rudolf following the adoption of the resolution.

She thanked the Permanent Mission of Germany for leading the development and negotiation of the resolution, as well as all member states that co-sponsored and the non-governmental organizations that supported the resolution.

“GANHRI looks forward to working with all the partners that supported the resolution to takes strides forward in implementing its provisions. This will include as a priority, as highlighted in the resolution, in particular the Commission on the Status of Women and the High Level Political Forum to review progress made in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

NHRIs are uniquely placed to offer evidence-based information and advice to the UN about human rights situations on the ground, and to work with civil society and States to implement UN recommendations to strengthen human rights in-country. 

“GANHRI is delighted that again a high, cross-regional number of states have co-sponsored the resolution. This is a strong signal for cross regional support of NHRI engagement at the UN”, stressed GANHRI Chairperson Rudolf. 

Speaking at the adoption of the resolution at the Third Committee, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany Ambassador Jürgen Schulz, as main sponsor of the resolution, said that “the resolution recognizes that the added-value of NHRIs in the international human-rights system extends beyond the Human Rights Council in Geneva”, making reference to the unique status of NHRIs. “We would like to thank all stakeholders, in particular representatives from various National Human Rights Institutions, from their regional networks and from their umbrella organization, the Global Alliance of NHRIs. Their input at every stage of the process leading up to today’s adoption of this resolution has been invaluable”.


Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany, Ambassador Jürgen Schulz during the adoption of the resolution at the Third Committee

The resolution also specifically recognizes that NHRIs should not face any reprisals or acts of intimidation at a result of their mandated activities, and that they have an important role in prevent cases of reprisals against human rights defenders.

Shrinking democratic space, the situation of human rights defenders and reprisals against NHRIs across all regions has also been a focus of the GANHRI Bureau meeting, held from 1 to 3 November in Costa Rica.

Against this backdrop, the Bureau decided that the next, 13th International Conference of GANHRI be on the theme of shrinking democratic space and human rights defenders, with a specific focus on women. The Conference will take place in late 2018 in Africa.

The resolution is expected to be formally adopted by the General Assembly in December.

Find the text of the resolution here

Download Germany Statement on the occasion of the adoption of the draft resolution on NHRIs: 171107 Adoption72GA_NHRI_Resolution_AmbassadorSchulz_.docx

Download Full Press Release : 17.11.08_GANHRI_PressRelease_GA-ResolutionNHRI-2017.pdf17.11.08_GANHRI_PressRelease_GA-ResolutionNHRI-2017.pdf

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Created at 08/11/2017 16:33 by iccgeneva
Last modified at 08/11/2017 16:58 by iccgeneva