Civil Society Organizations Call for Emergency Measures to Prevent U.N. Budget Cuts
Eleven regional and international human rights and law organizations are calling for emergency measures to prevent the cancellation of six upcoming sessions of U.N. human rights treaty bodies. The committees likely affected by budget cuts are part of legally binding international conventions that seek to uphold human and children’s rights, eliminate racial discrimination and discrimination against women, and prevent torture.
The potential cuts are a consequence of a projected $2.7 million shortfall in the budget for the treaty body system. The committees serve as a critical mechanism to uphold human rights and hold governments accountable for abuses and legal violations.
In a letter to Secretary-General António Guterres and High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, the eleven organizations, including the Justice Initiative, urged the U.N. to urgently explore how financial resources could be deployed to avoid cancellation of the 2019 committee sessions, given that several Member States reportedly recently paid their assessed contributions. And as a last resort, the group called on Guterres and Bachelet to appeal to Member States to make funds available.
The organizations joining this statement are: Amnesty International, International Service for Human Rights, Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Open Society Justice Initiative, TB-Net (Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre), Child Rights Connect, The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), International Disability Alliance (IDA), the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), International Women’s Rights Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP), and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT).