Where do we stand halfway to 2030?
How national human rights institutions accelerate progress towards the SDGs

25 May 2023, 09:00 – 10:30 EST  I Conference Room 6, UN HQ, New York

You can also follow the event live on UN Web TV


This event was co-hosted by the GANHRI-OHCHR-UNDP TriPartite Partnership (TPP) under the framework of the Annual Review Meeting held in New York on 24-25 May 2023.

National human rights institutions (NHRIs) play an integral part in supporting achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The Merida Declaration on the role of NHRIs in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015) convened NHRIs from around the world and reaffirmed the contribution NHRIs can make in support of 2030 Agenda implementation. This includes: promoting and monitoring implementation of the SDGs and international human rights standards; advising the state and its institutions on rights-based implementation and development of policies, planning ,and reporting; report on progress made at national level to Parliament and the public, building bridges between communities and state institutions; and holding governments to account for uneven or poor performance. NHRIs also promote effective and meaningful space for consultation and participation. They give voice to the voiceless and their work is critical in the central promise of the SDGs – to leave no one behind and to reach those furthest behind first.

More NHRIs need to be established to support achieving the SDGS. The presence of a functioning, Paris Principles compliant NHRI is an indicator of progress in the global SDG framework for achievement of the 2030 Agenda. In 2015, 70 countries had NHRIs that complied with the Paris Principles – or approximately 35% of Member States. Today, 88 countries benefit from an independent NHRI – or 45%. Whilst this represents important progress, more Member States need to take action to establish Paris Principles compliant NHRIs, and further coordinated support is required to these institutions.
The Secretary-General’s Call to Action on Human Rights continues to guide the efforts of the UN system to accelerate progress on human rights and highlights the role of NHRIs in contributing to SDG implementation and the need for enhanced support to NHRIs.

At the midpoint for implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, 2023 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 national human rights institutions (NHRIs) around the world. 2023 also marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Principles by the United Nations General Assembly, setting out the standards for independent and effective NHRIs.
By convening Member States, the UN system, NHRIs and other stakeholders to discuss how the action of NHRIs at all levels – global and local – helps accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda, this event seeks to:

  • Demonstrate through examples of practical work the contributions of NHRIs as key actors for sustainable development, human rights, and peace and security.
  • Highlight the importance of establishing more Paris Principles compliant NHRIs to support sustainable development and as an indicator of progress towards the SDGs.
  • Explore opportunities to facilitate and leverage the work of NHRIs in national and global systems for sustainable development.
  • Improve awareness of the challenges and risks NHRIs face in carrying out their mandates, which impedes development progress, and the need to strengthen protection mechanisms for human rights defenders.


0900 – 0905 Welcoming remarks
– Trine Heimerback, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations
0905 – 0920 Opening statements
– Maryam Abdullah Al Attiyah, GANHRI Chairperson (via video message)
– Asako Okai, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Crisis Bureau, UNDP

Partners for Good: Celebrating 30 years of the Paris Principles and 75 years of the UDHR, GANHRI’s 30 anniversary Video
0920 – 10:10 Panel discussion: From local to global – The importance of NHRIs’ action for the 2030 Agenda

Moderator Trine Heimerback, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations

– Amina Bouayach, President, National Human Rights Council of Morocco
– Daniel Zavala Porras, Minister Counselor, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations
– Mandeep Tiwana, Chief of Programmes, CIVICUS – Neil Pierre, Acting Director, Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development, UN DESA

1010 – 1025 Open discussion

1025 – 1030 Closing Remarks
– Ilze Brands-Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, OHCHR

Concept note