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UNHR Office, African Commission Sign Cooperation Agreement

GENEVA (17 September 2019) – The UN Human Rights Office and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) have signed a formal agreement to cooperate and collaborate in areas of common interest. It is the third such agreement between the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and key African human rights institutions, and the second to be signed this year.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on Monday by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Chairperson of the ACHPR, Soyata Maïga, the two organizations agreed to cooperate on the overall implementation of the ACHPR’s mandate enshrined in the African Charter.

Specific areas of cooperation laid down in the agreement include:

• Exchanging views and good practices in areas such as human rights norms and standards, international and regional human rights jurisprudence, and the practice of international and regional bodies.

• Promoting collaboration in thematic and geographic areas of common interest, as well as institutional human rights capacity building.

• Supporting joint actions between international human rights bodies and the ACHPR, including thematic research and contribution in the development of international and regional jurisprudence, standards and guidance, as well as follow-up on the recommendations emanating from these bodies.

• Drawing on the expertise of ACHPR Commissioners for commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions set up by UN bodies, as well as on the expertise of UN human rights mechanisms/bodies for commissions of inquiry and fact-finding missions set up by the African Union.

• Engaging jointly with the African Union Peace and Security Council, and the UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council on country-specific or thematic issues of mutual concern, with the aim of contributing to early warning and prevention.

The agreement complements two previous Memoranda of Understanding signed by the UN Human Rights Office with the African Union Commission (on 1 February 2010), and with the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (on 9 February this year).

“I welcome the fact that we now have formal agreements with all three main bodies dealing with human rights issues in Africa,” said Bachelet. “While we have always had a good relationship with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the establishment of a formal agreement should enable us to cooperate more closely and effectively in our efforts to consolidate and improve human rights for individual women, children and men all across the African continent.”

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