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Funding human rights

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay has welcomed the generosity of member states in supporting Human Rights in these very difficult economic times. The High Commissioner noted that so far this year more than U.S. $40 million has been donated to the Office.

Donors are giving more untagged funds for the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human RightsDonors continue to provide the organisation with funds not earmarked for specific purposes. Those funds can be used without restriction to implement the High Commissioner’s Strategic Management plan.

Already this year, US $33 million in untagged funds have been provided by – Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Commission, France, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

Last week Kuwait became the latest donor to announce an unearmarked contribution. In a meeting between Ambassador Razzooqi and High Commissioner Pillay, Kuwait pledged a donation of U.S. $300,000, of which U.S. $100,000 was unearmarked.

Pillay welcomed the contribution, noting that it “reflects Kuwait’s commitment to human rights and its strong support for the High Commissioner’s mandates and activities around the world.”

“Non-specific funding is critical for the independence of the office and its ability to establish priorities on the basis of its own assessments,” she said.

Funding for the High Commissioner’s Office comes from the regular budget of the United Nations but most of its activities are made possible through voluntary contributions.

Voluntary funding for the Human Rights office has grown from US $41.2 million in 2002 to an unprecedented US $119.9 million last year.

Voluntary contributions come mostly from UN member states but donations are also accepted from intergovernmental organisations, NGOS, foundations, companies and private individuals.

March 2009