Geneva, 22 May 2020

More and urgent efforts required by member states to ensure all people in all countries have access to internationally recognised national human rights institutions, says United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres

The yearly report of the UN Secretary-General on progress towards the 17 SDGs has been released ahead of the 2020 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). The report draws on the latest available data on the indicators contained in the global SDG indicator framework as of April 2020. It also highlights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on each SDG.

The 2020 SDG Progress Report finds “continued unevenness of progress” and identifies areas where significant improvement is required. The Progress Report also underscores the urgency of such efforts.

This includes states’ progress in establishing and strengthening national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in full compliance with the universal Paris Principles.

Whilst in 2019, 40% of member states have achieved compliance of their NHRIs with the Paris Principles, progress in 78 countries across several regions remains overdue, concludes UN Secretary General in his report.

The establishment and strengthening of NHRIs is an indicator under SDG 16 to measure States’ progress for sustainable development across all Goals.

Strong and well-resourced NHRIs play a critical role in supporting states’ efforts in realizing the SDGs and human rights obligations. NHRIs do so by advising states on human-rights based approaches, monitoring and reporting on progress and lack thereof, engaging groups and promoting participation, and holding duty-bearers to account.

In a unanimous cross regional resolution, the United Nations General Assembly had recently called on all member states to establish and strengthen NHRIs in line with the Paris Principles, including as a means to achieve sustainable development. 

“All people in all countries should have the benefit of having a strong and independent NHRIs that can protect and promote their human rights”, said GANHRI Chairperson Carlos Alfonso Negret Mosquera.

“In partnership with UN and NGOs, we stand ready to support all States that wish to establish or strengthen NHRIs and will continue to support our member NHRIs in building strength and growth”.

GANHRI supports the establishment of NHRIs where they do not yet exist and contributes to the continuous capacity development of NHRIs to enhance their effectiveness. In a unique peer-review-based accreditation process, GANHRI in partnership with the UN promotes individual NHRIs’ compliance with internationally recognised standards – the Paris Principles – to ensure their independence, pluralism and accountability.

The Chart of Accredited NHRIs provides an overview of which countries have a fully Paris Principles compliant and accredited NHRIs.

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