We make this cross-regional statement on behalf of 35 countries:
Afghanistan, Algerie, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, El Salvador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Uruguay.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is experiencing new financial challenges.
The financial gap is partly a result of the increasing requests and needs for support by the OHCHR, increasing needs for secretariat support for the human rights treaty bodies, an unprecedented number of new and expanded mandates by the HRC. The financial challenge is complicated by OHCHR’s reliance on voluntary contributions.
We all have an increasing interest in ensuring that OHCHR, a leading institution in promoting and protecting human rights in the UN system, can fulfil its mandate in light of increasing demands.
It should be to establish a more sustainable resourcing of OHCHR over the coming years in a manner that balances the different interests by states, without infringing on the independence of the High Commissioner and her office, which operates under the administrative direction and authority of the UN Secretary General and General Assembly.
With this in mind, we believe that UN members should work to establish a more sustainable resourcing of the OHCHR through:
- Strengthen funding of the OHCHR, including through coordinated efforts in 5th committee and other relevant UN bodies, like the ACABQ, to secure a substantial strengthening of the regular budget for the OHCHR over the coming years, and to secure timely funding of urgent mandates.
- Supporting the High Commissioner and her office in their efforts to find efficiencies and to prioritise, securing the required space to manoeuvre for the High Commissioner in this difficult exercise.
- Continue to provide voluntary contributions in order to secure a financial base for OHCHR activities, providing unearmarked contributions as much as possible.
- To bear in mind current financial constraints when mandating new activity
We also support the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office in their efforts to
- Strengthen the communication regarding resource requirements and how these could be met, including possible impact on the work of the OHCHR of different budget scenarios.
- Continue their efforts to develop the dialogue with states to secure transparency and easily accessible information on sources and allocation of funding to the OHCHR, based on the independent role of the High Commissioner.
- Take a realistic and sustainable approach to budgeting, and to look carefully at the work of the office to find efficiencies, to ensure OHCHR works in areas where it can add value and has comparative advantage. .
- Continue to roll-out the new performance monitoring system across all OHCHR field presences and Geneva HQ. This is important to measure impact and identify clear and concrete evidence on how OHCHR is performing in different areas.
- To expand the donor base and work for as wide a geographical spread of donors as possible.