On 21 June 2017, Salma Moussawi delivered an Item 10 oral intervention during the 35th session of the Human Rights Council. In her intervention, Moussawi addressed technical engagement with OHCHR, stressing that engagement with OHCHR to improve human rights should be taken seriously and states must allow OHCHR the time and space and availability to conduct full trips with an eye to technical cooperation. Please continue reading for the full text of her remarks or click here for a PDF.
Alsalam with ADHRB and BIRD would like to discuss the issue of technical cooperation with OHCHR. We welcome all states that choose to fully, openly, and constructively engage with OHCHR and the special procedures to achieve positive, concrete impacts on the human rights situation in their respective countries.
However, we feel that such cooperation must not be undertaken in contexts where cooperation with the Office is taken for the purpose of window dressing for governments seeking to whitewash their human rights records. On the contrary, such engagement must occur under appropriate conditions, where technical cooperation missions are allowed the full space, protection and mandate to affect positive change. Furthermore, we would like to highlight that technical cooperation should always seek to create tangible results and create a sustainable impact. Otherwise, an engagement may undermine the credibility of cooperation mechanisms.
For this reason, we call upon the OHCHR to ensure a genuine political will of countries before entering technical cooperation missions. Especially in the context of states seeking tore-engaging in human rights cooperation after recent rapid declines, genuine desire for constructive action must be demonstrated.
Therefore, we urge OHCHR to continue their diligent work in providing technical cooperation to states that genuinely seek to improve the status of human rights within their borders, and to continue to critically assess future proposals for partnership.