New York USA), 26 Sept. 2020
Secretary-General and Acting Chairman of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri called for rethinking governance and how to build more participatory and inclusive societies.
This came during the speech made by Al Marri in the virtual high-level panel discussion on the sidelines of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, hosted by the Republic of Uruguay, on future challenges of participation, human rights, and governance.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore, Founder and Executive Director of Action for Justice and Human Rights in Liberia Satta Sheriff, Member of UN Human Rights Committee and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria Christoph Heinz, Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Gambia Dawda Jallow participated in the panel along with the sponsors from Argentina, Costa Rica, Korea and Ukraine, while the panel discussion was moderated by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ilze Brands Kehris.
Al Marri said that the world is going through unprecedented times that have put the world in front of challenges to adapt and rethink the way used to deal with life itself, noting that human rights contribute constructively during the difficult times the world is going through.
Human rights embody values that guide the way forward, including the importance of safety, dignity, decent living, fairness, freedom, equality, respect, well-being, and responsibility, he added.
He noted the necessity to implement many comprehensive and participatory processes at all levels, within the framework of the central elements to move forward in our path, as well as a safe and conducive environment for those who have a role in promoting and defending human rights. He added that participation in public affairs is a human right and a vital matter for leaving no one behind.
Al Marri stressed that the sustainable development goals can only be achieved in the presence of a safe and conducive environment for participation in policy planning, implementation, and evaluation, pointing to the critical role of national human rights institutions in supporting countries to build bridges of more comprehensive and effective participation in their societies.
Secretary-General and Acting Chairman of GANHRI said that national institutions are an essential source for preserving democracy and civic space, such as independence, participation, inclusion, pluralism, and security.
He stressed the importance of ensuring that human rights are at the core of the new culture of governance shaped by the current changes. Al Marri noted that the UN General Assembly recently called on all countries to establish and strengthen national human rights institutions as a means to accelerate and ensure progress within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He explained that a comprehensive dialogue with governments about public policies, a safe environment for human rights defenders and independent media, as well as the availability of the necessary resources to ensure the existence and continuity of civil society organizations, are essential requirements for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He affirmed that the GANHRI fully supports the mandate of the UN Secretary-General and the work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as a coalition of national institutions at the global level.
He explained that GANHRI is looking forward to working with everyone in support of equitable well-being that builds more equitable, participatory societies.
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri thanked the participants in the panel and its sponsors for their support for the GANHRI in its mission of establishing and strengthening independent national human rights institutions around the world and encouraging member states to protect national human rights institutions.
The high-level panel discussion discussed the participation process as a fundamental human right and an effective tool for multilateralism and the governance of member states in facing serious global challenges, including the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the climate and development crisis.