GANHRI 2023 Annual Conference

Celebrating 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 30 years of the Paris Principles: Reflecting where we are and where we go from here

2023 is a significant milestone for human rights and international and national human rights organisations and institutions. 

It marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Principles by the United Nations General Assembly and the establishment of a worldwide network of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), today known as the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI). This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which provide the foundation for the work of NHRIs in all regions. 

GANHRI’s Annual Conference on 16 March 2023, to be held in person in Geneva and co-hostedby GANHRI and the UN Human Rights Office will be a timely opportunity for GANHRI members and partners to mark these anniversaries.

NHRIs across the globe, and GANHRI as their collective voice,play a vital and constructive role in addressing the human rights impacts of today’s complex and multiple crisis. Responding to these challenges, while also working within, at times, restrictive national settings, requires commitment, strategic thinking, innovation, partnerships and collaboration. Many GANHRI members require support and leadership to identify effective approaches to address these complex challenges and have voiced a desire to reflect together with peers on the role of NHRIs and GANHRI on potential approaches.

This year’s Annual Conference will provide participating GANHRI members and partners with the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the current state of human rights and identify challenges, priorities and opportunities
  • Reflect on the significance of the Universal Declaration and the Paris Principles in today’s context
  • Showcase the experiences and contributions of NHRIs in protecting the rights of people, both individually and in conjunction with their peers through GANHRI
  • Discuss NHRIs’ activities, priorities and needs, as they implement their mandates in accordance with Paris Principles in today’s evolving context
  • Highlight the important role that GANHRI has played throughout the years in supporting and protecting its members, and as their collective voice for promoting and protecting human rights
  • Explore sustainable ways for moving forward and devising creative solutions, renewing our commitment and unlocking the full potential of NHRIs, the regional networks and GANHRI, while working with our partners, including across the United Nations, towards strengthening universal human rights.

The Annual Conference will be participative and interactive. It will encourage all participants to engage in an exchange of experiences, discussions, and reflections. The Annual Conference will have an opening session, followed by sessions led by different speakers and interactive group discussions. 

An Outcome Statement was adopted by participating GANHRI members.


High level opening: welcome and opening remarks 

  • Amina Bouayach, GANHRI Secretary (Morocco)  
  • Nada Al-Nashif, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights  
  • Václav Bálek, President of the Human Rights Council 
  • Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator (video message) 

Session 1 – Human Rights in 2023: key trends and threats

Moderated by Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga

  • Mikiko Otani, Chairperson, Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Clément Voulé, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
  • Mona M-Bikay, UPR Info
  • Adrien Claude Zoller, Geneva for Human Rights 
  • Therese Bjork, UN Human Rights Office
  • Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention
  • Reflecting on the current state of human rights
  • Identifying key human rights challenges in today’s world
  • Reflecting on the significance of the UDHR, the role of NHRIs and partnerships

Session 2 – NHRIs and the Paris Principles in today’s context 

Moderated by Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga

  • Rosalind Croucher, NHRI Australia
  • Joseph Whittal, NHRI Ghana
  • Blanca Izaguirre Lozano, NHRI Honduras
  • Maty Elhadji Moussa, NHRI Niger
  • Alyson Kilpatrick, NHRI Northern Ireland
  • Eliana Revollar Añaños, NHRI Peru
  • Pornprapai Ganjanarintr, NHRI Thailand 
  • Dmytro Lubinets, NHRI Ukraine
  • Discuss the current human rights trends and challenges
  • Discussing response strategies of NHRIs to key challenges, and NHRI’s challenges and needs
  • Reflecting on the significance of the UDHR and the Paris Principles, the role of NHRIs, and partnerships

Session 3 – Moderated group discussions with lead questions 

  • What are your most significant achievements as NHRI in helping ensure the UDHR is a lived reality for everyone? 
  • How have your mandate, functions and protection under the Paris Principles contributed to these achievements?
  • What are the human rights challenges in your country, and how are you as NHRI working to address them? What challenges do you face? 
  • How do you build institutional strength and growth in line with the Paris Principles? Where are you progressing, what is challenging? 
  • Being part of the Global Alliance, what do you value and how do you see your role being a member?

Session 5 – Collaboration and Partnerships 

Moderated by Amina Bouayach, Secretary

    • Alice Shackelford, Resident Coordinator Honduras (video) 
    • Hassan Shire, DefendDefenders (video)
    • Christian Salazar Volkmann, UN Human Rights Office
    • Sarah Rattray, UNDP 

Session 6 – Adoption of Outcome Statement & Closing 

  • Regional Chairpersons 
  • Amina Bouayach, Secretary