NIHRC New Chair of Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions

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Monday 23 November 2015

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been announced as the New Chair of the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. The Commission will formally take over the Chair in Malta on Monday 23 November before this year’s significant Heads of Government Meeting.

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby stated:

“This is a great opportunity and great honour for the Commission to take up the Commonwealth Chair and is indicative of how Northern Ireland is regarded on the international stage. We hope to build on the work of our predecessor, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia. We also hope to progress existing work on conflict resolution, disability and equality issues. There is clearly a wealth of experiences and expertise between Commonwealth Members and we hope to use our new role as Chair to promote the sharing of best practice and to encourage countries to establish Paris Principle compliant National Human Rights Institutions.”

Notes to editors

1. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is a National Human Rights Institution. It is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.

2. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will begin the role of Chair of the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions in November 2015. The Commission will hold the role until 2017.

3. The Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions (CFNHRI) is an informal and inclusive body of Commonwealth National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. It has 37 members Commonwealth Members: Africa; Asia; Caribbean; European; North America & Pacific Members. Countries include New Zealand, Canada, Africa, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) play an important role in ensuring that internationally accepted human rights standards result in improved enjoyment of human rights on the ground within their respective countries.

4. The mandate of the Forum is to promote networking, sharing of information, experiences and best practices, encouraging countries to establish Paris Principle-compliant NHRIs, and assisting national institutions to fulfil their mandated activities. The Forum is intended to complement and support the activities of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and existing regional coordination or accreditation bodies.

5. Find out more about the work of the Commonwealth Forum of National Human Rights Institutions at: http://cfnhri.org/


23 Nov 2015