Mandate & statistics

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Mandate

In accordance with its resolution 19/26 of 23 March 2012, the Human Rights Council (HRC) established the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the work of the HRC.

The Fund, which is managed by the Human Rights Council Branch at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), provides funding for the following activities:

  • targeted training courses and capacity-building activities, including e-learning, on the international human rights system, international human rights law and the rules and functioning of the HRC and its mechanisms;
  • support to government officials to participate in HRC sessions;
  • Fellowship programmes for government officials from LDCs/SIDS to undertake three-month work placements relating to the work of the HRC; and
  • induction training sessions for government officials of LDCs/SIDS to provide them with information on the multilateral human rights system as well as focused, practical training related to the work procedures of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.

A strengthened mandate on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the Trust Fund

On 24 March 2017, the Human Rights Council adopted without a vote resolution 34/40 entitled "Promoting the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the Work of the Human Rights Council".

Resolution 34/40 was sponsored /co-sponsored by 120 countries hence becoming the second most sponsored resolution since the establishment of the Human Rights Council in 2006. The resolution recognizes:

  • the continued achievements of the Trust Fund since its operationalization in 2014, and in particular its contribution to the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session in June 2016: for the first time ever, universal participation of the United Nations Member States was achieved;
  • the creation and provision of an e-learning tool, in the working languages of the UN, providing initial training and information on the rules, functioning and customary practices of the Council and its mechanisms; and
  • the efforts made by the secretariat of the Trust Fund to conduct its work in different working languages of the United Nations.

In the same resolution, the HRC decides that the Trust Fund:

  • conducts at least one briefing a year in New York on the outcomes of the regular and special sessions of the Human Rights Council, prior to the commencement of each session of the General Assembly. The briefing aims at supporting the engagement of LDCs/SIDS delegations in the work of the Third Committee;
  • conducts workshops in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and the Caribbean, before the tenth anniversary of the Trust Fund, reflecting on its achievements, identifying where further improvements might be made and assessing the value of its activities in fulfilling its training and capacity-building mandate in support of the engagement of LDCs/SIDS and its mechanisms;
  • and requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report in which the Office evaluates the activities of the Trust Fund in meeting its training and capacity-building mandate, and to present the report to the Human Rights Council at its forty-ninth session.

Fact and figures

Statistics on the support provided by the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund cover the period from 1 January 2014 to 12 February 2020 (including the 10 Beneficiary delegates at HRC43).

Since it became operational on 1 January 2014, the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund has supported:

  • 153 delegates and fellows (95 women, 58 men).
  • Coming from 71 of the 72 LDCs/SIDS (35 from Africa, 22 from Asia and the Pacific, 14 from the Caribbean and Latin America).
  • All the 14 LDCs and SIDS of the Caribbean and Latin America have been supported at least once by the Trust Fund (milestone reached in June 2017).
  • All the 22 LDCs and SIDS of the Asia and the Pacific have been supported at least once by the Trust Fund (milestone reached in March 2018).
  • 35 of the 36 LDCs and SIDS of Africa have been supported at least once by the Trust Fund.

Fact 1:

For 95% of the LDCs/SIDS Beneficiary delegates supported by the Trust Fund, it was their first time participating in a regular HRC session though they are responsible for the HRC in their respective countries.

Fact 2:

134 of the 143 Beneficiary delegates supported by the Trust Fund were based in their respective capitals at the time of their participation. The 9 others were based in their Permanent Missions in New York.

Fact 3:

One of the women delegates who was supported by the Trust Fund was visually impaired. 

Fact 4:

All the SIDS without a Permanent Mission in Geneva have been supported at least once by the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund.

Fact 5:

Since 2016, all beneficiary delegates and fellows of the Trust Fund have been requested to undertake the E-learning tool on the HRC prior to participating in the LDCs/SIDS s Programmes.

In June 2016, the Secretariat of the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund launched the first online training tool on the HRC and its mechanisms for LDCs/SIDS government officials working in the field of human rights, as mandated by HRC resolution 19/26.

This online course developed is free of charge, interactive, accessible and gender aware. It is available in English and French and "offline mode" (USB keys can be delivered upon request of LDCs/SIDS). Since its launch around 300 persons have taken the course.


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