The Voluntary Fund for participation in the universal periodic review

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Pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 6/17 and 16/21, the Voluntary Fund for participation in the universal periodic review facilitates the participation of developing countries, particularly least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), in the universal periodic review mechanism.
 
As established in its TOR, the Fund provides financial support to cover travel to Geneva by one Government representative in order to participate in:


  • sessions of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review during which the representative’s country is considered; and
  • plenary sessions of the Human Rights Council during which the outcome of the review of the representative’s country is adopted.

In addition, the Voluntary Fund covers:

  • travel of representatives of developing countries which are members of the Human Rights Council and which do not have a permanent mission in Geneva, to act as Rapporteur (i.e. member of the “troika”); and
  • training of Member States in the preparation of national reports.


Achievements


Since its establishment in 2008, 112 countries have benefitted from the travel assistance under the Voluntary Fund. Out of these 112 States, approximately 40 per cent are LDCs and 33 per cent are SIDS.

In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 6/30 on integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system and also bearing in mind that resolution 5/1 that established the universal periodic review stipulated that the mechanism should fully integrate a gender perspective (para. 3(k)), the UPR Secretariat has been encouraging States to consider gender balance in the composition of their delegation and in the sharing of responsibilities among its members. In the third cycle of UPR, 33 women and 43 men have so far been funded.

Since May 2017, OHCHR has been organizing informal briefings during the sessions of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review for members of delegations participating in the review, especially those who have travelled from their capitals.


Funding


The total expenditure of the Voluntary Fund as at 31 December 2020 was USD 3,255,372.88.

The Fund can receive voluntary contributions from States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations or private institutions and individuals. Since the establishment of the Fund in 2008, 19 countries have made financial contributions: Austria, Australia, Belgium, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland.

Furthermore, in 2019, for the first time since the establishment of the Fund, an intergovernmental organization, the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF), made a contribution to the Fund.

Contributions to the Voluntary Fund for participation in the universal periodic review

2008 - 2009

2010-2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

USD 1,492,975

USD 898,849

USD 423,407

USD 338,993.30

USD 10,000

USD 25,000

USD 41,884

USD 58,441.41

USD 29,239.77

USD 297,167.01

Austria
Germany
Italy
Japan
Romania
Russian Federation
Saudi Arabia
Switzerland

Colombia
Denmark
Germany
Hungary
Japan
Kuwait
Singapore

Australia
Hungary
Japan
Saudi Arabia
Sweden

Australia
Cuba
Germany
Hungary
Singapore

Singapore

Singapore

Cuba
Republic of Korea
Singapore

Belgium
Republic of Korea
Singapore

Belgium

China
OIF

For a more detailed overview about the Voluntary Fund, please click here or consult the latest Annual Reports on the operations of the Voluntary Fund:

For information please contact: UPRStates@ohchr.org

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