Zeid urges greater funding for human rights to bolster stability in an uncertain world
GENEVA (15 February 2017) – The UN Human Rights Office today launched its most ambitious funding appeal yet, urging States and private donors to bolster the Office’s ability to work and stand up for human rights for all people, everywhere.
“Our world has entered a period of profound uncertainty. In numerous countries, even the rules are under attack - xenophobia and calls for racial and religious discrimination have entered mainstream discourse and every day, seemingly, are more widespread and more deeply rooted,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said. “A collective failure to prevent, minimize and resolve conflicts and proxy wars is feeding brutal extremist groups and creating wave upon wave of the most shocking human suffering, including forcing millions of people to flee their homes and everything they have ever known.”
“This is cause for grave alarm – but not dejection. It is a cry not to despair but to action. And, it is evidence of the pressing need for broad based compassion, stability and inclusive development that human rights underpin. Investment in human rights today makes for prevention tomorrow – prevention of escalating violations and of the shattering impacts of conflict. Human rights upheld returns stability to entire countries and regions by advancing justice for all.”
The UN Human Rights Office, through some 60 field presences and through partnerships with other international and local organizations worldwide, works to ensure that human rights principles have a real impact on the lives of people.
“Through human rights advocacy, advice on laws and constitutions, training of State authorities as well as of non-Governmental organizations, fact-finding and hard-hitting investigations that lay the groundwork for accountability and amplify the voices of victims of human rights violations – through these and other means, the UN Human Rights Office helps in the push for better human rights protections for all,” Zeid said.
“More than ever, we need strong partners to stand with us. My Office is dramatically and chronically underfunded. We need to broaden our financial support base to include more Member States, and encourage participation from a much broader range of private donors.”
The UN Human Rights Office is this year seeking USD 252.9 million in extra-budgetary funding for its 2017 programme of work, including in-country assistance, support to UN independent human rights experts and the UN Human Rights Council, as well as a number of trust funds to support work on issues such as torture, contemporary forms of slavery and the rights of indigenous peoples. This extra-budgetary funding would be in addition to the UN regular budget funding of USD 107.56 million provided to the UN Human Rights Office.
“With your support, we can help to prevent human rights crises from escalating. We can advocate a broad, open democratic space and impartial rule of law institutions in every country. We can contribute to sound governance of migration and continue to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda. We can push back against the current assaults on values, and act swiftly to uphold the human rights laws and principles we fought so hard to build,” the High Commissioner said.
“More and more people are suddenly realizing we can no longer afford to be complacent about human rights, and that the erosion of other people’s human rights will sooner or later lead to the erosion of our own,” Zeid added.
“The time to stand up for human rights is now. We are counting on your support.”
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