The Asia Pacific Forum’s (APF) three-day workshop on accreditation of national human rights institutions, which is organised by the APF’s regional office in Doha, began here yesterday, with the participation of a number of national institutions subject to accreditation and re-accreditation.
HE Secretary-General of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri pointed out that the recent period has seen a fundamental transformation in the global system and international relations, adding that the United Nations took the lead in formulating human rights mechanisms, and developed a set of legal arrangements and institutional protection for it at the national level.
In his opening speech, al-Marri reviewed the history of the emergence of national human rights institutions, and noted the efforts made to create them, saying that these measures bring a great responsibility to advance such institutions and demonstrate their legitimacy and credibility through commitment to Paris Principles, application for accreditation, and taking into account the observations of the accreditation committee.
Highlighting his experience as a member of the accreditation committee, and currently as Secretary-General of the GANHRI and Chairman of Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) which received A status of accreditation twice, al-Marri said that accreditation is a process in which information and documents are provided to the accreditation committee to assess the institution’s compliance with the Paris Principles, which constitutes an opportunity for the institution to conduct a self-evaluation first and to evaluate its work, with the aim of improving the performance of its tasks and addressing any shortcomings in its performance.
He added that the accreditation committee looks at more than 20 criteria, including the law of establishment, conditions for membership, independence and immunity, in addition to infrastructure, employment and budget, and the application of institutions to their tasks and powers under the law of their establishment, then the role of institutions in encouraging the government to join international agreements and to implement the recommendations of the treaty mechanisms and the universal periodic review, in addition to playing its role in disseminating a culture of human rights, publishing annual objective reports and issuing press releases, appeals, and others.
In the first day of the workshop’s activities, chairperson of the human rights commission in Sri Lanka Deepika Udagama made a presentation on accreditation and its importance, while Katharina Rose, representative of the Global Alliance for National Human Rights Institutions, presented a working paper on the framework of the accreditation process and related standards.
Meanwhile, al-Marri met the Head of the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights Dr Aqeel Jaber al-Moussawi, and the Chairman of National Bureau for Human Rights of Kuwait ambassador Jassim Mubarak al-Mubaraki, where they reviewed aspects of co-operation in the fields of human rights and the important conditions for the accreditation of national human rights institutions.
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