Open NGO letter on budget challenges for UN expert bodies

On 28 May 2019, over two hundred and fifty NGOs addressed a letter in unison to all permanent missions in New York and Geneva to express their concern over a significant funding gap affecting the ability of various human rights mechanisms and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to effectively carry out their mandates. Due to funding shortages, the sessions of six Treaty Bodies will no longer be held in Autumn 2019. Fact-finding missions and Commissions of Iniquiry investigating human rights violations may similary be adversely affected. Treaty Body Experts and Special Procedure Mandate Holders have furthermore seen a 25% cut in travel in 2018-2019.

Concerns arise in the signal that this situation presents in strengthening human rights mechanisms, notably in light of the forthcoming 2020 review of the treaty body system. These development occur as OHCHR grapples with the 2018-2019 General Assembly votes further cutting its budget. The group of NGOs calls on Member States with outstanding assessed contributions to finalize these payments to ensure the continued and effective work of human rights mechanisms; to grant greater priority to funding of the UN human rights pillar as an integral part of securing development and peace and security; and to initiate discussions on how to reverse this trend of minimizing OHCHR's bottom line through blanket UN-wide cuts in which it is disproportionately impacted. 

UPR Info joins this call in expressing its concern and urges Member States to address these challenges. To see the full letter and its signatories, please click here