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W Africa Human Rights Office Established

UN Human Rights Office Establishes West African Regional Office

New York, Dec 3 2007 3:00PM

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Senegalese Government today signed an agreement to set up a regional office in the capital, Dakar, to bolster the protection of rights across West Africa.

The new office will be tasked with working with governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental associations and other UN partners to devise and carry out strategies to protect the human rights of people living in the 15 member states of the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS).

Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang, who signed the memorandum of understanding establishing the office on behalf of the UN, said the bureau “demonstrates the High Commissioner’s commitment to assist the efforts of the ECOWAS member states in the field of human rights.”

The office in Dakar, created as part of the OHCHR’s Strategic Management Plan to boost its field presence, is the fourth of its kind in Africa, joining offices already established in Yaoundé, Cameroon (covering Central Africa); Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Eastern Africa); and Pretoria, South Africa (Southern Africa).

The member states of ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

ENDS

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