At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

HRC28, Item 8: Follow up to and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

One of the landmark achievements of the Vienna Declaration was the proposal to create the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For more than 20 years, successive High Commissioners have provided a strong and independent voice, committed to promoting and protecting human rights around the world.

Today, that independence is under threat. The draft resolution, inaccurately titled “Composition of staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights” goes well beyond staffing issues, seeking to affirm and encourage follow-up to the report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), which reviews the “Management and Administration” of the OHCHR.

While the JIU report itself affirms that “nothing in the review would infringe or impact adversely on the independence” of the Office, its primary recommendation is to “strengthen the capacity of Member States to direct … the work of OHCHR” (emphasis added).

There is much that is controversial and inconsistent in the JIU inspector’s report, but what is clear is that it is not a matter for the Council. Not one of the report’s recommendations is addressed to the Human Rights Council.  As the Bureau has noted, the JIU report itself clearly states:

[I]t is inconceivable that the Human Rights Council can address, or will be allowed to address, questions relating to management and administration of the Office, given its current agenda. (JIU report, para. 64)

The Council is all too often guided by political considerations. During the high-level segment at this Council session, numerous foreign ministers and high-ranking officials expressed concern at global human rights crises taking their toll in every region of the world. Now more than ever, we need a High Commissioner who can stand outside the politics of the Council and provide a principled independent voice to remind us all of the human rights standards that the Council is sworn to uphold.

The resolution on the composition of the staff of the Office has always been divisive. Regrettably, the lead sponsors have chosen to make the new text even more so, by continuing a trend of incrementally encroaching on matters outside the purview of the Council.  We urge States to reject such damaging and intrusive provisions.

Also sponsored by:

African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
Amnesty International
Article 19
Cairo Institute for Human Rights
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
Fédération International des ligues des droits de l’homme
Human Rights House Foundation
International Service for Human Rights
World Organization against Torture

Click here to download the oral statement