Voluntary Trust Fund to support participation of LDCs and SIDS in the Human Rights Council
In March 2012, the Human Rights Council established (Res 19/26) the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to support the participation at its meetings in Geneva of government representatives from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Since becoming operational in January 2014, the Trust Fund has facilitated travel and accommodation for seven government officials from LDCs/SIDS to participate in Human Rights Council meetings in 2014. These officials represented Ethiopia, Madagascar, Maldives, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Suriname and Vanuatu. The Trust Fund also financed two fellowships in 2014 for representatives from Barbados and Tuvalu for a period of three months.
In addition to the regular briefings and orientation programmes conducted in Geneva for delegations, as part of its support to LDCs/SIDS, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) organizes specialised briefings in New York for officials from these countries without representation in Geneva. These briefings cover the activities and work of the Human Rights Council, including the Universal Periodic Review.
Building on the success of the Mauritius Seminar in July 2013 held to explore ways to facilitate the participation of LDCs/SIDS in the work of the Council, the OHCHR is organizing a second seminar to take place in Rabat, Morocco (Mauritius II), from 9 to 11 December 2014, for French speaking LDCs/SIDS.
It is envisaged that the Trust Fund will continue to facilitate the participation of LDCs/SIDS officials in Council meetings throughout 2015 and support up to six fellows (three English-speaking and three French-speaking) for three-month periods. Other activities foreseen is the creation of an E-learning package on human rights mechanisms with a particular focus on areas of interest for LDCs/SIDS, and the organization of a third seminar for Caribbean region LDCs/SIDS (Mauritius III).
How the Trust Fund works
How you can contribute to the Trust Fund