Minister of State Conor Lenihan meets UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and announces funding package of €3.3M for her office
Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister of State for Irish Aid and Human Rights, today announced funding of €3.3 million for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Minister of State made the announcement before a working breakfast with the High Commissioner, Ms. Louise Arbour, at which the new UN Human Rights Council was also discussed. The Minister of State pledged Ireland's full support for the new 47 member body which is to be elected by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 May 2006.
The Minister of State said:
“Ireland looks forward to seeing a robust body emerge from the election next month. We will be playing our part in trying to ensure that the members chosen by the General Assembly are strong human rights supporters. We also want to see the Council operating in an effective way which will allow it to make a real contribution to promoting and protecting human rights around the world”.
The Minister went on to say:
“We are conscious that adequate resources are also essential.
“Ireland has consistently been among the largest voluntary contributors to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and we support fully the great work that High Commissioner Arbour and her staff are doing. This year's Irish contribution represents a €250,000 increase on our 2005 funding.
“This support is particularly important now, as the High Commissioner rolls out the Strategic Management Plan for 2006-2007 and builds on the commitment made by world leaders at the UN Summit of September 2005 to give her Office greater resources to promote and protect human rights around the world.
“The High Commissioner's Office carries out indispensable work, not least in providing technical cooperation to countries that are committed to improving the protection of human rights at a domestic level.
It is incumbent upon those States that can offer support to the Office to do so”.
High Commissioner Arbour is in Dublin to receive an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland.
7th April 2006
Note for Editors:
The new UN Human Rights Council will be elected by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 May 2006. The 47 member body will have its first meeting on 19 June 2006.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is a department of the UN Secretariat and is mandated to protect and promote all human rights and to prevent the occurrence or continuation of human rights abuses throughout the world. The OHCHR is guided in its work by General Assembly resolution 48/141, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights instruments, and the 1993 Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
Ireland is the largest voluntary contributor to the OHCHR when the contribution is expressed in terms of Gross National Income and we were the 7th largest contributor in absolute terms in 2004.
Ms. Louise Arbour was appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights by the Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly on 1 July 2004. She was Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and was also a member of the Canadian Supreme Court.