“Human Rights are not the sole responsibility of the UN Human Rights Office. They are a United Nations responsibility. Every member in the UN Country Team has a contribution in that area.”
These are the UN Resident Coordinator of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Mohammad El Zarkani, chose to launch a regional capacity building webinar on the importance of the United Nations Country Teams’ (UNCT) engagement with the International Human Rights Mechanisms*.
Also speaking at the event, Dena Assaf, Resident Coordinator for the UAE emphasized the importance of “working together, collaboratively, as one UN, to promote Human Rights.
Organized by the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa of the UN Human Rights Office, the webinar saw the participation of a large number of UNCT members from both concerned countries (Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates) in addition to UN Human Rights experts.
This capacity building activity aimed at ensuring that UNCTs understand the role they can play in supporting human rights mechanisms, to understand the relevance of these mechanisms to their own work, and to use these mechanisms to further human rights and development goals at the national level.
Addressing the effectiveness of the Mechanisms in promoting and protecting Human Rights, UN Human Rights Coordinator of the Treaty Body Capacity Building Programme, Nosy Ramamonjiso, said that UNCTs can strategically use the Human Rights Mechanisms to advance the 2030 Agenda.
“They can facilitate engagement with the Mechanisms by facilitating communication and cooperation between the State and Civil Societies through exercising the UN’s convening role in preparing for the Universal Periodic Review. Similarly, UNCTs can also facilitate the engagement of the Civil Societies with the Mechanisms,” Ramamonjiso said.
The conclusion of the training saw a better understanding amongst the participants of how individual or collective UNCT contributions are invaluable to identifying human rights challenges and priorities at country level and assessing the progress made by the State towards the implementation of previous recommendations.
*International Human Rights Mechanisms include the Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures (independent experts and working groups), the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and the Treaty Bodies.