UN Human Rights Chief launches new management plan

“We are accountable to you, and we are accountable to the women, men and children whose human rights we promote and protect,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, during her presentation to Member States on the OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017 at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

“This Management Plan is my last as High Commissioner, but as the first plan that spans four years it represents a new opening for the Office,” she said. “I believe that this horizon will enable our teams to work with clear goals and a sense of perspective, as OHCHR engages with all partners to pursue the enjoyment of all human rights for all.”

The goal for the Plan is to make the most of the resources in implementing the human rights mandate of the United Nations. Pillay said that the Plan brings together various elements of OHCHR’s mandate around a set of thematic priorities in order to increase synergies between them and to avoid overlaps.

The six thematic priorities are: strengthening international human rights mechanisms; enhancing equality and countering discrimination; combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law; integrating human rights in development and the economic sphere; widening the democratic space; and the early warning and protection of human rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity. All the thematic priorities have implications for civil, economic, political and social rights and the right to development, Pillay added.

This is the first time that OHCHR has identified a set of thematic priorities for a four year period. “The decision to extend our programming cycle was based on our recognition that human rights results take longer than two years to achieve,” Pillay said.

Pillay explained that the Plan features the results that the Office expects over the next four years within each of those thematic priorities, the key actions set forth to achieve them, and the indicators and targets for the Office to measure progress.

The six thematic priorities were identified with contributions from Member States and civil society organizations in Geneva and New York. OHCHR also commissioned a review of forecasting studies. The Office distributed an online questionnaire to Office staff and UN human rights experts, and held five office-wide regional consultations in OHCHR field offices that collected feedback from external partners.

“They are relevant, in various ways, to countries in different regions, at different phases of development and across diverse cultures. And, crucially, they ensure that our scarce resources are spent on human rights issues where we can add most value and maximize our impact on people’s lives,” Pillay said.

16 April 2014

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