Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) president and Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) chairperson HE Maryam bint Abdullah al-Attiyah participated in a high-level panel on 'The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law', which was held at the UN headquarters in New York.

During her at the panel convened under the auspices of the UN, HE al-Attiyah emphasised that the meeting lies at the heart of the work of ombudsman and mediator institutions in promoting human rights.

She referred to the GANHRI's mission statement, which seeks to unify, strengthen, and support national human rights institutions (NHRIs) to operate in line with the Paris Principles, in addition to leading the efforts to promote and protect human rights.

HE al-Attiyah underscored the intersection between the GANHRI's mission and the significant role that ombudsman and mediator institutions play in its implementation, especially given their common goal of protecting and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

She highlighted that the GANHRI functions as a platform for its members to exchange experiences and set priorities in order to maintain strong and independent NHRIs, in co-ordination with four regional GANHRI networks across the world.

HE al-Attiyah said that the Paris Principles serve as the guiding framework for the NHRIs' work, adding that the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and other UN bodies and forums have recognised and welcomed the NHRIs' contributions nationally, regionally, and globally, thus, extending a helping hand to NHRIs.

Consequently, she said, having independent NHRIs that operate in line with the Paris Principles has become one of the indicators of a country's level of progress, with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 on promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, being a manifestation of that.

HE al-Attiyah explained that while the Paris Principles set out the requirements to establish and operate NHRIs, they do not prescribe a specific model or structure for them.

As such, countries have the discretion to choose the most appropriate framework based on their specific needs, something that gives birth to various forms of NHRIs, with some being set up as commissions, others national committees, while others are ombudsman institutions.

The high-level panel session provided an opportunity for participants to exchange experiences and consider best practices and ongoing challenges through addressing several guiding questions concerning the coherence of establishing and/or enhancing ombudsman and mediator institutions' independence and autonomy with the Paris and Venice Principles.

The discussions also centred on the steps taken to grant ombudsman and mediator institutions the necessary constitutional and legislative frameworks, as well as the required financial and administrative independence and stability.
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