Croatian Ombudswoman and Chair of the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) Lora Vidović is participating on 13-17 June 2016 in a series of meetings with the heads of other regional networks of human rights institutions at the UN headquarters in New York. The aim of the meetings is to further strengthen the cooperation between the regional networks as well as their cooperation with the organizers of the meeting – their umbrella organization, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Office of the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - in the protection and the promotion of human rights.
In the first part of the program Moggens Lykketoft, the president of the UN’s General Assembly, chaired the panel on the UN sustainable development goals in the context of the promotion and protection of the rights of persons with disabilities. The program’s agenda also included a meeting with the UN's Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović as well as a series of bilateral meetings.
The central event, the sixth annual Tripartite Partnership Meeting between UNDP, OHCHR and GANHRI, was held on 15-16 June 2016. The main themes of this series of meetings included the strategic development of the partner relations between the participating organizations, the exploration of the possibilities of a more intense cooperation – especially at the regional levels, the cooperation with the UN bodies, as well as the implementation of the UN’s Agenda 2030 within the work of independent human rights institutions. A significant portion of the activities was focused on the further elaboration of the GANHRI strategic plan for the period 2017-2020.
On Friday, 17 June 2016, the Fourth Annual Seminar Series on National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) is scheduled to take place, with the aim of discussing the independence of the NHRIs, their role in conflict and fragile contexts, as well as their contribution in the development of peaceful, just and inclusive societies. At this event Ombudsman Vidović will speak about the role of the NHRIs in the achievement of the UN’s sustainable development goal no. 16 – the promotion of peace, justice and strong institutions. The goal of the seminar is to exchange good practices and identify critical issues and challenges faced by NHRIs in conflict and fragile contexts as well as to pinpoint the opportunities for the strengthening of their capacities, especially in the countries in which they are exposed to threats while performing their mandates.
National human rights institutions are the cornerstones of the protection and promotion of human rights. They work to promote responsibility, prevent violence and support the development and implementation of the legislation, policies and programs aimed at the elimination of discrimination. NHRIs represent an important bridge between the state and the civil society and contribute to the state processes affecting marginalized and vulnerable social groups. 72 national human rights institutions from around the world have so far been granted the status A accreditation in line with the UN’s Paris Principles. One of the accredited institutions is the Office of the Ombudswoman of the Republic of Croatia., which speaks to its ability to meet the highest international standards of independence in carrying out its work.