The Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance in the implementation of the universal periodic review

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The Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance in the implementation of the universal periodic review was established in 2009 pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 6/17 and further strengthened in 2011 by resolution 16/21. The Fund provides financial and technical assistance to help countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), implement recommendations emanating from the universal periodic review in consultation with, and with the consent of, the country concerned.

As established in its TOR, the Fund provides support to a wide range of activities, including:

  • Co-funding of programs and projects aimed at implementing the UPR outcomes;
  • Development of national capacity and expertise for the implementation of the UPR outcomes;
  • Integration of UPR outcomes into United Nations common country programming documents, and coordination of United Nations, multilateral and bilateral action in support of the UPR outcomes.
  • Exchange of information and sharing of best practices, including through the organization of regional and sub-regional meetings, seminars, consultations and other interactions;

Policy guidance to the operationalization of the fund is provided by the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund, composed of the members of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights. In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 6/30 on integrating the human rights of women throughout the United Nations system, the Voluntary Fund encourages proposal aimed at achieving gender equality and advancing women rights.


Achievements


Since its establishment, the Voluntary Fund has supported projects in 65 countries in all regions of the world, with a total disbursement of USD 5,793,303 as at 31 December 2020. All the projects supported by the Fund are implemented in coordination with the States concerned and benefit from the technical assistance provided by OHCHR, including through its field presences. They focus on five areas, which reflect the criteria that guide funding decisions in accordance with the TOR of the Voluntary Fund.

  • Support from the Voluntary Fund focuses on the implementation of key human rights recommendations, so that it can make a significant and lasting contribution to national change, in particular through their contribution to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, using Voluntary Fund support, the OHCHR Country Office in Cambodia enhanced the capacity of local authorities to implement the complex and lengthy communal land titling process. In total, the project helped 2,000 indigenous persons to progress towards the legal recognition of their land by mitigating the risk of eviction and land grabbing. Indigenous communities were consulted during each step of the communal land registration process through committees selected by them ensuring gender parity.

  • Projects to establish or strengthen national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up aim at creating sustainable capacity for reporting on and implementation of international human rights recommendations. In Moldova, the Permanent Human Rights Secretariat developed, with OHCHR support, a guide on national mechanisms for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of human rights recommendations. The Voluntary Fund also supported the development of a roadmap to link the National Human Rights Action Plan with the Sustainable Development Goals and the recommendations formulated to Moldova by international human rights mechanisms.
  • Development of recommendations implementation plans allow to cluster all recommendations from the international human rights mechanisms thematically, prioritize them, establish an implementation time-frame, assign implementation responsibilities, and define resources and indicators. In Mauritania, OHCHR supported the implementation of the National Action Plan for the implementation of the 2015 UPR recommendations, developed in 2018 by the Commissariat for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Relations with Civil Society, and strengthened the capacities of relevant State officials to monitor its progress.
  • Strengthening the role of parliaments in ensuring compliance with human rights obligations, through their oversight, legislative and budgetary functions, will increase implementation of the recommendations of human rights mechanisms In Brazil, the Voluntary Fund is supporting the establishment of a UPR Parliamentary Observatory with the aim of strengthening the engagement of the Brazilian legislative power with UN human rights mechanisms.
  • Strengthening the capacity of United Nations country teamsto integrateaccepted universal periodic review recommendations in common country-programming documents allows creating synergies between efforts to implement international human rights recommendations and initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In Uruguay, the Voluntary Fund supported the project “Structural transformations needed for the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda”, a joint endeavour (UN, Government, academia, private sector and civil society) aimed at positioning the 2030 Agenda as a key element in the country's development priorities. At the regional level, a regional consultation on the universal periodic review, looking at good practices, follow-up mechanisms and synergies with the 2030 Agenda was organized in 2019 in Panamawith the support of the Voluntary Fund and in partnership with the Development Coordination Office, the UNDP regional office and the office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator. The consultation aimed at facilitating the use of good practices at the various stages of the universal periodic review process, especially regarding the implementation of recommendations, and to identify challenges as well as opportunities to align initiatives to achieve human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.

Know more about our impact*

Some news/web stories about UPR funded projects in:
BrazilBolivia - Mongolia - Panama - ParaguayTajikistan

*Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.


Funding


Contributions to the Voluntary Fund can be made by States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations or private institutions and individuals. Since the establishment of the Fund, 18 countries have made financial contributions:

Contributions to the Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance in the implementation of the universal periodic review

2008 - 2009

2010-2011

2012-2013

2014-2015

2016-2017

2018-2019

2020

USD 535,326

USD 981,855

USD 1,722,333

USD 938,465

USD 1,144,236

USD 1,044,893

USD 298,807

Colombia
Russian Federation
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Germany
Morocco
Russian Federation
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Australia
Germany
Kazakhstan
Norway

Germany
Kazakhstan
Netherlands
Norway
Oman

France
Germany
Kazakhstan
Norway
Paraguay
Republic of Korea
Saudi Arabia
Spain
United Arab Emirates

France
Germany
Norway
Pakistan
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Spain

France
India
Kazakhstan
Pakistan
Republic of Korea
Singapore

 For a more detailed overview about the activities of the Voluntary Fund, please consult the latest Annual Reports on the operations of the Voluntary Fund:

For information please contact: UPRStates@ohchr.org

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