Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights

The BoT is currently composed as follows:

Members of the Vountary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights


Ms. Esi Sutherland-Addy is a human rights activist and a Professor at the Institute of African Studies in Accra, Ghana as well as Chairperson of the Forum for African Women Educationalists Ghana Chapter. A renowned member of the Ghanaian civil society and women’s movement, she has served on several boards, committees and commissions nationally and internationally including the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and the West African Civil Society Institute. She served in two ministerial positions as Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism and Higher Education (1986 & 1986-1993) respectively. She has also undertaken studies particularly in the field of education for a wide range of international organizations including UNESCO, UNICEF, The World Bank and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa. Ms. Sutherland-Addy has received several awards including Hon. Fellowship of the College of Preceptors, U.K. (1998) and Group Award by the Rockefeller Foundation (2001 & 2002) for the Women Writing Africa Project. Her work in civil society and technical cooperation and advisory services to state institutions and a variety of stakeholders cuts across children’s rights, girl's education, cultural rights, the development of urban child-friendly spaces, civil society management and capacity building. She is fluent in English and French. Ms. Esi Sutherland-Addy was appointed as VFTC Board Member by the Secretary-General in January 2015.

Mr. Valeriu NICOLAE (Romania)

Mr. Valeriu Nicolae is a regional director of advocacy for World Vision. A well-known human rights activist and communications trainer with extensive experience in Europe and on human rights and technical cooperation programmes, he is the founder of the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities, a Bucharest-based think tank; and co-founder of the European Roma Policy Coalition, which includes active NGOs in the field of human rights and capacity building institutions. During the last seven years he has worked as a senior consultant for the Open Society Institute and European institutions, and Director for a network of European Roma NGOs (ERGO). He has written and published extensively on Roma issues and human rights. In 2005, in partnership with DiploFoundation, he developed and managed the Roma Diplomacy capacity development programme for Roma professionals. In recent years Mr. Nicolae has dedicated a good part of his free time to working with schoolchildren together with colleagues from the Policy Center for Roma and Minorities. The Center is trying to develop alternative educational approaches for children at high risk, and community development initiatives with vulnerable groups. Mr. Nicolae has received a number of awards for his activity including the 2013 European Citizenship Award of the European Parliament and is the producer of one of the most winning Eastern European documentaries regarding the situation of the Roma. He holds a Masters in Contemporary Diplomacy from the University of Malta; a Post Graduate Diploma on Human Rights and a Bachelor Degree in Engineering. He is fluent in English and French. Mr. Valeriu Nicolae was appointed as VFTC Board Member by the Secretary-General in January 2015.

Mr. Chris SIDOTI (Australia)

Mr. Sidoti is a human rights lawyer, activist and teacher. He currently works from Sydney, Australia, as an international human rights consultant, specializing in the international human rights system and in national human rights institutions. He was director of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), based in Geneva, from 2003 to 2007, and is currently a board member. He has been Australian Human Rights Commissioner (1995-2000), Australian Law Reform Commissioner (1992-1995) and Foundation Director of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1987-1992). He has also worked in non-government organisations, including the Human Rights Council of Australia and the Australian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace. In 2007-2008 he was the independent chair of the United Kingdom Government’s Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Sydney, Griffith University (Queensland), University of the Sunshine Coast (Queensland) and the Australian Catholic University and an Affiliate at the Sydney Centre for International Law at the University of Sydney. Mr. Sidoti was appointed as VFTC Board Member by the Secretary-General in December 2011.

Ms. Marieclaire ACOSTA URQUIDI (Mexico)

Ms. Acosta currently heads the Mexico office of Freedom House, an organization dedicated to the promotion of democracy and human rights and is a member of the Advisory Council of the National Human Rights Commission. She was Special Ambassador for Human Rights and Democracy (2000) and Undersecretary for Human Rights and Democracy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) of Mexico (2001-2003). Director of the Department for Democratic Governance and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) until March 2008, then served as Director for the Americas of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). For ten years she chaired the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights (1990-2000) and was founder and director of the Mexican Academy of Human Rights (1984-1989). Both organizations were pioneers in the Mexican movement for Human Rights and have made important contributions to this cause. Ms. Acosta , who was representative of the Mexico Section of Amnesty International ( 1977-1984 ) , has extensive academic experience at El Colegio de Mexico , the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the University of Notre Dame ( Indiana USA ) among others. She has also worked as Adviser to the Working Group Social Convergence of Civil Organizations of the Office of Political Affairs and the Transition Team of President-elect Vicente Fox. Ms. Acosta was appointed as VFTC Board Member by the Secretary-General in June 2012. She was elected Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the VFTC, for a one-year term, as of July 2014.

Ms. Lin LIM (Malaysia)

Ms. Lim is a Doctor in Development Economics and a women’s rights and gender activist and specialist from Malaysia. She currently works as an Independent Consultant specializing in decent work and labour and economic and social rights with specific focus on youth. She has worked as a Senior Adviser to the ILO Director General on the Employment and Decent Work Agenda; occupied various senior positions in the field with ILO including as Deputy Regional Director for Asia in Bangkok and other field responsibilities in Africa, particularly in Tanzania. Ms. Lim has been managing several large technical cooperation programmes including the Gender Promotion Programme and the International Programme on More and Better Jobs for Women from ILO Geneva. She has renowned experience in providing technical cooperation to Governments, CSOs and national institutions as well as in carrying out impact evaluations of numerous partnerships and programmes with bilateral and multilateral donors. She has collaborated in several occasions with OHCHR. Ms. Lim who also has academic experience as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, is currently a member of the Board of the Women in the Informal Economy Network. Ms. Lim was appointed as VFTC Board Member by the Secretary-General in January 2014.