Header image for news printout

UN Special Rapporteur rejects accusations of Russian influence on sanctions findings

GENEVA (15 September 2017) – A United Nations human rights expert has refuted allegations that extra-budgetary support from Russia influenced his report on the impact of sanctions on the country.

“This attack on my mandate is based on insinuation rather than facts,” said Idriss Jazairy, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

“I stand ready to address any questions regarding the legal or factual findings in my report, which I hope is drawing attention to the human rights concerns which arise from the use of sanctions, in keeping with my mandate.

Mr. Jazairy added: “Voluntary contributions are necessary for the proper functioning of the Special Procedures system, but I reject in the strongest terms accusations that my findings on my visit to the Russian Federation were influenced by funds allocated to my mandate. All official country visits, including my own, are financed through the regular budget of the United Nations.”

In 2016, the Russian Federation provided $350,000 in voluntary contributions to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, of which $50,000 was allocated by Russia to each of six mandates, including the one on unilateral coercive measures. This information is publicly available.

A total of 35% of last year’s budget of Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, was funded through extra-budgetary support, with 27 mandate holders receiving the support. The funds are channeled through and administered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mandate holders are governed by a code of conduct and take significant precautions to ensure conflicts of interest are avoided. The Coordination Committee of Special Procedures reviews any allegations of misconduct to ensure the integrity of the system.

Special Procedures is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Mr. Idriss Jazairy (Algeria) was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office in May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He was formerly the head of a UN specialized agency, IFAD. He holds a M.A. (Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the Ecole nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs.

For more information and media requests, please contact Stee Asbjornsen (+41 22 917 9827 / sasbjornsen@ohchr.org ) or write to ucm@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, OHCHR Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

You can access this press release online

Concerned about the world we live in? Then STAND UP for someone’s rights today.  #Standup4humanrights and visit the web page at http://www.standup4humanrights.org