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Annual Meetings

Annual meetings of special rapporteurs/representatives, independent experts and chairs of working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council have been organized since 1994. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights underlined the importance of preserving and strengthening the system of special procedures and specified that the procedures and mechanisms should be enabled to harmonize and rationalize their work through periodic meetings (Part II, para. 95). The Office of the High Commissioner was requested to organize periodic meetings among the special procedures by the Commission and Council (most recently by CHR resolution 2004/76, as extended by HRC decision 2/102).

The annual meeting is also an opportunity for mandate holders to meet and exchange views with States, the Bureau of the Council, civil society/non-governmental organizations (NGOs), national human rights institutions (NHRIs), and representatives from OHCHR and UN entities on issues such as follow-up to their country visits and recommendations. Participants also hold a joint meeting with Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies meeting in Geneva during the same period. Instead of upon invitation of the Government of Austria and as part of the the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, the 20th Annual Meeting of the Special Procedures was held in Vienna from 24 - 28 June 2013.

Annual Meetings: