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Human Rights - New York

Mainstreaming human rights

A general view of the General Assembly Hall © UN Photo/Sophia Paris
United Nations General Assembly Hall
© UN Photo/Sophia Paris

Different intergovernmental bodies and interdepartmental mechanisms based at the United Nations headquarters in New York, as well as the United Nations Secretary-General, address a range of human rights issues. Intergovernmental bodies such as the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council and their subsidiary organs make policy decisions and recommendations to Member States, the United Nations system and other actors.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights interacts with and provides advice and support on human rights issues to these bodies and mechanisms. The Office also works to mainstream human rights in all areas of work of the Organisation, including development, peace and security and humanitarian affairs.

The UNDG Human Rights Working Group
Created in 2009 at the request of the UN Secretary General, the UN Development Group’s Human Rights Working Group (UNDG-HRWG)* advances human rights mainstreaming efforts within the UN development system.  With OHCHR as the Chair, the UNDG-HRWG aims to strengthen coordinated UN responses to requests from Member States for support in fulfilling their human rights commitments.  A key priority of this inter-agency mechanism is supporting the UN development system to deliver rights based development results at the national level.
In line with the overall UNDG Strategic Priorities, the HRWG focuses on:

  • Serving as the Primary Policy Forum to Ensure Policy Coherence on Human Rights Mainstreaming;
  • Supporting the UNDG in making system-wide human rights expertise available to national development actors, anchored in strong human rights leadership by RCs and UNCTs with relevant capacity and support structures; and
  • Supporting the UN Development System Deliver on the Responsibilities and Demands of Human Rights up Front.

The UNDG-HRWG is pursuing these three priorities in a holistic approach targeting various levels, including system-level, regional and country level, with an overarching component of knowledge management informing all levels.   To maximize impact on the ground, the OHCHR and the 18 agency members continue to collect evidence on what is happening on the ground and to feed it back to country teams and HRWG practitioners.

* Recognizing the increased emphasis on human rights as a cornerstone of the Post-2015 development agenda, as well as renewed commitment by the UN system to uphold its human rights responsibilities, the UNDG transformed the Human Rights Mainstreaming mechanism into the Human Rights Working Group, effective as of January 2015.

Visit the UNDG-HRWG webpage for more information.

See also

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