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Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea(NHRCK) discusses cooperation with the United Nations as the Chairperson of the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions(APF)
- Called for international cooperation to protect human rights defenders and address the climate crisis.
□ The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Chairperson Song Doo-hwan, hereinafter 'NHRCK'), in its capacity as the chairperson of the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions(APF), attended the Tripartite Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, May 24-25, 2023, in New York, United States.
○ The Tripartite Partnership Meeting is a network created in 2011 by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to support national human rights institutions around the world.
The meeting was attended by the chairs of national human rights institution networks in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, including the Asia-Pacific region; UN regional offices and the UN Secretary-General's Office; and UN agencies that work closely with national human rights institutions, including UN Environmental Plan(UNEP).
□ The tripartite partnership meeting examined the state of human rights in the region and explored ways to collaborate between national human rights institutions and UN agencies to protect and promote human rights, and reiterated the paramount importance of the role of national human rights institutions in promoting and protecting human rights, especially as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Paris Principles.
□ Noting that human rights defenders in the region continue to face various forms of threats and reprisals, Chairperson Song called for cooperation and protection at the international level. He also expressed concern about the human rights violations caused by climate change and digitalization in the region, and called for solidarity and joint efforts among various stakeholders to address them.
○ The chairpersons of the National Human Rights Institutions Network echoed this sentiment and requested the cooperation and support of the OHCHR and UNDP to enable national human rights institutions to work more independently and effectively on issues such as the protection of human rights defenders, climate change and human rights, and digitalization and human rights.
□ Notably, this year marks the midpoint of the review of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were resolved by the UN General Assembly in 2015 to be achieved by 2030, and the UN has been emphasizing the importance of a human rights-based approach and the role of national human rights institutions in the implementation of the SDGs.
○ At an open forum at UN Headquarters in the morning of the 25th, participants shared progress on the implementation of the SDGs and agreed that in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030, national human rights institutions around the world need to build networks between governments, businesses and civil society and promote their implementation on the basis of human rights.
□ As the Chair of the APF, NHRCK will continue to actively engage with the UN and the international community for the development of national human rights institutions in the region, and work with partners in international organizations around the world to build an Asia-Pacific community where all people enjoy their human rights equally and live in solidarity with each other.