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Cooperation for human rights development

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Government of Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) which establishes a unique model for co operation on human rights. The object of the agreement is to establish tripartite partnerships between the Government of Brazil, the UN human rights office and third countries that request assistance to improve the protection and promotion of human rights.

Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay signs a Memorandum of Intent with Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso AmorimThe focus of the technical cooperation offered under the terms of the MOI will be assistance with implementation of recommendations from the range of UN human rightsmechanismsincluding those from the human rights oversight process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Earlier this year, Brazil deployed officials to work with the UN human rights office in Haiti and Angola to support the Governments and civil societies of each country to participate in the UPR. The Human Rights Council oversees the UPR which requires all 192 UN member States to report every four years on the human rights situations in their countries.

Welcoming the agreement, High Commissioner Navi Pillay said, “This model intends to strengthen South-South cooperation on human rights, increase compliance with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, and maximise efforts of all partners for the promotion and protection of human rights.” Pillay and Brazilian Foreign Affairs Minister Celso Amorim signed the MOI in Brazilia.

Pillay said she was pleased that the cooperative model would offer the Government of Brazil “many opportunities to share the experiences, knowledge and practices that have emerged from its human rights programmes.” The Brazilian Government has launched a number of programmes to tackle the country’s social and economic challenges amongst them the Fome Zero (Zero Hunger Program) and Bolsa Familia (Family Bursary) which supports childhood education and vaccinations.

The High Commissioner on a week-long visit to Brazil also discussed the human rights situation in the country at a meeting with President Lula da Silva. Pillay expressed her concerns at the high level of extrajudicial executions which she considers “unacceptable”. President da Silva responded by assuring the High Commissioner that “the Brazilian Government does not have any interest in hiding anything related to human rights and emphasized “the determination and the strong will [of his government] to solve the problems of human rights in Brazil”.

13 November, 2009