The UN General Assembly resolution stressed the need to protect national institutions and their staff and not to reduce their budgets
During the process of accreditation of institutions, the sub-committee on Accreditation attaches the utmost importance to the mechanism for the formation of members and the process of their selection and dismissal
Rabat: 9 July 2019
The Minister of Justice of the Kingdom of Morocco, Hon. Mohamed Aujjar received Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Marri, on the sidelines of the opening of the training workshop organized by the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions, and The National Human Rights Commission in Morocco on the accreditation of national institutions by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions during the period from 9 to 11 July. The meeting discussed ways of cooperation between the two sides in the fields of promotion and protection of human rights.
In his opening speech at the workshop, Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri stressed the necessity of protecting the national institutions and their staff from any pressures related to reducing their financial budgets and interfering in their affairs and undermining their independence and neutrality, as well as not obstructing their work as per the Resolution of the Secretary General of the United Nations of 2017, which called for greater engagement with United Nations bodies and mechanisms and reaffirmed the need for national institutions, their members and staff not to face any form of retaliation or intimidation, Including political pressure, physical intimidation, harassment or undue budgetary constraints, as a result of activities undertaken in accordance with their respective mandates.
In his capacity as Secretary-General of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh stressed the importance of implementing procedures to ensure that the activities of NHRIs are carried out as planned and applications for accreditation are submitted to the Global Alliance in an effective manner, while addressing the challenges that face NHRIs in accordance with the Paris Principles and the observations of the sub-committee on Accreditation of the Global Alliance.
Al-Marri reviewed his experience on the subject of accreditation of NHRIs, based on his previous work as a member of the sub-committee on Accreditation and as the present Secretary General of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee in Qatar, stressing the importance of obtaining status A by NHRIs in recognition of their credibility and an opportunity to expand its participation in international and regional forums
Dr. Al Marri said: “What is more important than the accreditation itself is that the process of submitting applications to the sub- committee on Accreditation helps to assess the institution’s compliance with the Paris Principles. This constitutes an opportunity for NHRIs to conduct self-evaluation and then to hold its work accountable in order to improve its performance and to address any shortcomings in its performance. Preparation for accreditation also helps to identify the extent to which the criteria set out in the Paris Principles are implemented, particularly those relating to the composition, selection and dismissal process, stressing that through his experience as a member of the Accreditation Committee over four years, the issue of independence and impartiality in the selection of members was a priority for the Accreditation Committee. Al-Marri called for the workshop to focus on this aspect and benefit from the various experiences and exchange of information in this regard, noting that the implementation of the criteria for membership of national institutions in accordance with the recommendations of the Accreditation Committee is a matter that needs further discussion and lighting for national human rights institutions in the Arab region.
The International Accreditation Committee considers at least twenty criteria within the so-called Paris Principles, the most important of which are the Articles of association, requirements for Membership, Independence and Immunity, composition, Employment and Budget, and the application of the functions of the institutions in the Construction Law, as well as the role of institutions in encouraging governments to accede to international conventions and implement the recommendations of the treaty bodies and the mechanism of universal periodic review, as well as its role in disseminating the culture of human rights, the publication of substantive annual reports, and the issuance of press releases and press statements.
Al-Marri noted the importance of reviewing the accreditation of national institutions every five years as a practical evaluation tool for institutions to ensure that their efforts continue in the right direction. He said: “Through my experience as a member of the accreditation committee, I have noticed that working hard to implement the recommendations of the Accreditation Committee is itself a measure of the efficiency of the institution. The accreditation is a manifestation of the confidence of the Global Alliance.
It is noteworthy that the workshop came within the framework of increasing international, regional and national interest of countries in the establishment of national human rights institutions in accordance with the Paris Principles. The number of NHRIs around the world increased to a total of 124 institutions, of which 79 are accredited as “A”, five of them from the Arab region . This attention is attributed to the broad functions and powers that these institutions have assumed, which make them a central pillar of the national system for the protection and promotion of human rights.In order for these institutions to fulfill their role, they must meet the criteria of independence, impartiality and pluralism and must be empowered with sufficient human and financial resources to allow them to exercise their functions in all spheres