Coordinating human rights activities within the United Nations system

UN agencies and programmes, other international organizations, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations all have important contributions to make to promoting human rights. Cooperation and coordination among those bodies is essential for contributing to the achievement of the purposes of the UN in the field of human rights through better management, greater efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/141, the High Commissioner is responsible for system-wide coordination of activities aiming at the promotion and protection of human rights. A permanent dialogue with the UN agencies and programmes has been established to maintain systematic exchange of information, experience and expertise; in addition, operational cooperation and coordination are being developed. Working agreements or memoranda of understanding between the High Commissioner and the UN agencies have been concluded or are under preparation. They are based on the identification of areas of common interest and joint action in the field of human rights.

Coordination of activities was among the central objectives of meetings and contacts the High Commissioner had with the heads of UN ICEF, UNDP, UNHCR and UNESCO and other UN agencies and programmes and the International Organization for Migration. It should be noted that cooperation with UN agencies and programmes has increased substantially in connection with the human rights field operations and provided a solid base for cooperation in other areas as well. Operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are examples of such cooperation.

Reinforcing coordination and cooperation is closely connected with the rationalization of the UN machinery in the field of human rights.

In this context, the High Commissioner These mandates require fact-finding, investigation and the assessment of phenomena, situations and cases, and, as far as advisory services experts are concerned, the development of comprehensive programmes of human rights assistance and training. In this framework, the mandate of the High Commissioner is essentially one of facilitation and coordination and of promoting follow-up action to implement recommendations made by special rapporteurs, experts and working groups.

The priority areas, where enhanced cooperation and exchange of information with and among special rapporteurs, working groups, and treaty bodies should be ensured, are the following: (a) early warning on emergency human rights situations; (b) field missions by the various special rapporteurs or working groups; (c) follow-up action of the High Commissioner to recommendations made by special rapporteurs and working groups; (d) the work of other implementation mechanisms and the provision of advisory services and technical assistance to member states.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal