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Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity

Purpose of the mandate

International solidarity is the expression of a spirit of unity among individuals, peoples, States and international organizations. It encompasses the union of interests, purposes and actions and the recognition of different needs and rights to achieve common goals.

International solidarity is a foundational principle underpinning contemporary international law in order to preserve international order and to ensure the survival of international society.

The general objective of international solidarity is to create an enabling environment for:

  • Preventing and removing the causes of asymmetries and inequities between and within States, and the structural obstacles that generate and perpetuate poverty and inequality worldwide;
  • Engendering trust and mutual respect between States and non-State actors to foster peace and security, development and human rights;
  • Promoting a social and international order in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.

Read more about human rights based international solidarity.

About the mandate

The mandate of the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity was created in 2005 by the predecessor of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (see resolution 2005/55). The Human Rights Council extended the mandate for a further period of three years in 2014 (resolution 26/6), in 2017 (resolution 35/3), and in 2020 (resolution 44/11). Read more about the mandate.

Current mandate holder

Mr. Obiora Okafor, independent expert on human rights and international solidarityProfessor Obiora C. Okafor was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2017. He assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. Mr. Okafor is the Edward B. Burling Chair in International Law and Institutions at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, USA. He is also a former Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee.

Read more about Professor Obiora C. Okafor.

Key documents

Draft declaration on the right to international solidarity

PDF: English

Latest thematic reports

The role of the expression of international solidarity for the fuller realization of human rights within the context of economic security and insecurity: the Independent Expert examines the role of the expression of international solidarity for the fuller realization of human rights within the context of economic security and insecurity. The availability or absence of economic security is inherently intertwined with the rights of individuals and peoples to pursue a decent standard of living, maximize their capabilities and live a life of dignity. In recent times, economic insecurity has also been induced by a myriad of factors, including the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which has left many people without adequate sources of income and with limited prospects of finding stable and secure employment, at least in the near term. These events occur against the backdrop of heightened trade tensions and uncertainties within the international trade regime, which serve as an added layer of pressure, eliciting unpredictable reactions from States and private actors. View report page | View document: A/76/176

International solidarity in aid of the realization of human rights during and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic: in this report, the Independent Expert discusses how international solidarity in aid of the fuller realization of all categories of human rights has, or has not, been expressed by States and other actors in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. He discusses the serious threats to the enjoyment of human rights posed by the pandemic and the measures put into place to control it. He articulates the moral and legal rationale for an international solidarity obligation, including in the context of the pandemic, discusses examples of gaps in the enjoyment of international solidarity and identifies and highlights positive expressions of such solidarity by States and non-State actors, including best practices. View report page | View document: A/HRC/47/31

Populism and the threat to international solidarity: This report, presented to the 75th session of the General Assembly, examines the link between certain forms of contemporary populism and the enjoyment, or lack thereof, of human rights-based international solidarity. The negative impacts of certain forms of populism on the building and maintenance of international solidarity are emphasized in the report in order to support the realization of human rights for everyone around the world. View report page | View document: A/75/180

International solidarity and climate change: In this report, the Independent Expert engages with one of the thematic priorities that he established for his mandate, namely the enjoyment, or lack thereof, of human rights-based international solidarity in the context of climate change. View report page | View document: A/HRC/44/44

Latest country visits

Visit to Qatar (2-10 September 2019)
View document: A/HRC/44/44/Add.1 | Comments by the State: A/HRC/44/44/Add.2

Visit to Netherlands (5-13 November 2018)
View document: A/HRC/41/44/Add.2



Latest news


More press releases and statements...

Archived news
(over 3 years old)

Activities

Need for international solidarity for migrants and refuges at sea – Statement by the Independent Expert
2 February 2021

COVID-19 vaccines should be shared much more equitably, in solidarity, around the world - Article in the Toronto Star
18 January 2021

Solidarity is the key to post-COVID-19 response - Article at openglobalrights.org
28 April 2020

United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation
21 March 2019

Open letter to the President of the Council, in favor of the draft United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas
29 September 2017

Videos

9 July 2020
Independent Expert on International Solidarity - 16th Meeting, 44th Regular Session Human Rights Council. Watch on UN Web TV

26 Jun 2019
Clustered interactive dialogue, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, 7th Plenary Meeting at the 41st Regular Session of the HRC. Watch on UN Web TV

25 Jun 2019
Clustered interactive dialogue, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, 6th Plenary Meeting at the 41st Regular Session of the HRC. Watch on UN Web TV

Former mandate holders

Ms. Virginia Dandan
(Philippines)
2011-2017

Rudi Muhammad Rizki
(Indonesia)
2005-2011