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Item 8 General Debate: Follow-up and Implementation of Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA)

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Oral statement delivered by Ahmed Adam on behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Mr. President, Article 76 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA) encourages states to avail international support in strengthening regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights in accordance with universal human rights standards as contained in international human rights instruments. In this regard, FORUM-ASIA welcomes the establishment of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). While we are encouraged by the establishment of the IPHRC as a human rights mechanism for all OIC member states, we remain concerned by the limited mandate of the IPHRC. FORUM-ASIA urges the OIC to incorporate best practices from other regional and international arrangements with the aim of ensuring the independence, autonomy and impartiality of the IPHRC and making the body compatible with international human rights standards.[1]

FORUM-ASIA further calls upon the OIC to incorporate practices from international bodies such as the UN and make necessary revisions to the IPHRC’s founding documents in order to empower it to conduct investigations into allegations of human rights violations in member states.

Finally, Mr. President, Articles 13, 38 and 73 of the VDPA reiterate the importance of civil society and their roles in the national, international and regional levels. In this regard we note with appreciation the mandate of the IPHRC to cooperate and consult with civil society organisations. The IPHRC should indeed ensure that its decisions are adequately inclusive of the views and contributions of civil society organisations as well as national human rights institutions in OIC member states. To this end FORUM-ASIA calls on the IPHRC to expedite the enactment of necessary regulations and rules of procedure for civil society participation; ensure that they are compatible with  standards used in comparable international bodies such as the UN; and enable meaningful participation of civil society organisations and national human rights institutions in meetings, activities and processes.

Thank you Mr. President.

Click here to download the oral statement (PDF)

[1] Statute of the OIC Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights, OIC Council of Foreign Ministers Resolution No. 2/38-LEG adopted at the 38th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (Astana, 26 to 28 June 2011), OIC Doc. No. OIC/IPCHR/2010/STATUTE <>