C5: Agenda items 64 and 134: Human Rights Council Financing

Last updated: 12/16/2011 // This statement to the Fifth committee of the General Assembly was delivered by counsellor Julie Meinich Takahashi Jacobsen. With an increase of urgent mandates from the Human Rigths Council, proper financing is of great importance.

We thank the secretariat and the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions for the introduction of their reports. 

Norway attaches great importance to the proper financing of urgent mandates arising from resolutions and decisions of the Human Rights Council.  As we all know, we have seen an increasing number of urgent mandates during the past years. This is a positive trend, drawing urgent attention and response to human rights crises. At the same time, the follow- up of the decisions of the HRC has put considerable strain on the Office of the High Commissioner and its resources.

Following the review of the Human Rights Council by the GA concluded this summer, and the adoption of resolution 65/281, the General Assembly recognized the need to provide adequate financing to fund unforeseen and extraordinary expenses arising from resolutions and decisions of the HRC, requesting the Secretary General to present a report with options for such funding.

We have keenly studied the SG report, and share much of its analysis.  We are, however, surprised to learn from the ACABQ’s analysis of the 3 options presented, that there appears to be another, existing financing mechanism, that has not been explored – the mechanism for unforeseen and extraordinary expenses. As such, we note the discrepancy between the findings in the SG report and the recommendations of the ACABQ. We are also concerned that this finding comes at a very late stage, leaving little time for the consideration of the Fifth Committee.

We are encouraged by the conclusion of the ACABQ that the Committee stands ready to examine urgent requests from the OHCHR under this mechanism as and when required.  We would therefore encourage the OHCHR to seek financing from the mechanism, as recommended by the ACABQ.  It is crucial, however, that this process proves to be expeditious and effective and that it fully caters to the needs of the Office of the High Commissioner, as laid out in the report of the Secretary-General. Currently there is limited experience with using the existing mechanism. An evaluation of the use of the existing financing mechanism at the 68th Session, or earlier if required, will be key.

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