European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs has announced the EU will respond to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s urgent appeal to invest more in human rights.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) faces a funding shortfall for the third year in a row. Its budget for 2013 has already been reduced by 12% (about €13 million), a decision which affects its ability to prevent human rights violations, secure their respect, and protect human rights defenders.
In response to this appeal, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) will provide in 2013 an exceptional EU contribution of €10 million covering more than three/fourth of this financial gap. This exceptional EU contribution will allow the Office to continue its essential work at a time when monitoring, documenting and reporting on the situation of human rights is needed more than ever in various countries.
“We have decided to make this contribution as this UN Office represents the world’s commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. Human rights, fundamental freedoms, peace and good governance are common values and a silver thread that runs through the EU’s foreign and development policy. We have both the moral obligation and the political will to protect them,” said VP/HR Ashton and Commissioner Piebalgs. “I’m really happy my appeal has been heard by the European Commission,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. “This is a much-needed and extremely welcome increase in the Commission’s funding for human rights.”
Good governance, in all its components, is vital for an inclusive and sustainable development. The EU Agenda for Change for Development features prominently partners’ commitments to human rights, democracy and the rule of law and to meeting their peoples’ demands and needs.