Minister of State Lenihan announces over €2.9 million in funding to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Seventh Annual Department of Foreign Affairs NGO Forum on Human Rights
Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Conor Lenihan TD, today announced a funding package of €2.9 Million for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Announcing this 15 % increase in the Irish government's funding of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Minister Lenihan said:
“The need to increase the resources available to the OHCHR was highlighted in the recent report of the United Nations Secretary General, In Larger Freedom. Ireland is already a leading contributor to the OHCHR and I am delighted to be able to respond to the Secretary General's appeal with this substantially increased contribution”.
Minister Lenihan added:
“Given the High Commissioner's emphasis on enhancing the Office's field capacity I have asked that a portion of this funding be committed to OHCHR's field offices in developing countries.”
He made the announcement while opening the Seventh Annual Department of Foreign Affairs NGO Forum on Human Rights. Later Minister Lenihan met with the Deputy United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mehr Khan Williams, at the Forum to discuss the funding allocation.
Minister Lenihan also met with Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, former President of Zambia, who delivered a keynote address at the Forum.
The main theme of this year's Forum was Human Rights and Development.
Addressing the Forum Minister Lenihan said:
“Human rights and development share a common objective – realising the potential of the individual to the full.
It is often said that there cannot be real development without human rights and that human rights cannot be guaranteed without development.
The Development Cooperation Ireland programme has already recognised the central importance of respect for human rights in achieving sustainable development and vice versa.”
The NGO Forum on Human Rights was established by the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1998 to allow discussion on a wide range of human rights issues with the emphasis on foreign policy. It is intended to facilitate a broad-based but focussed discussion on a range of human rights issues, with the emphasis primarily on foreign policy. It is an annual event which acts as a vital link between the Department and all those active in the field of human rights, on both the domestic and foreign fronts.
Other speakers at the Seventh Forum included Mr. Nick Howen, Secretary General, International Commission of Jurists; Mr. Kevin Kennedy, Director of the Humanitarian Emergency Branch, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Dr. Maurice Manning, President, Irish Human Rights Commission; and Mr. Johan Schar, Special Tsunami Representative, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Approximately 200 people were in attendance at the event which took place in Croke Park.