Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, extended a message of support to the European network of national human rights institutions in his capacity as Secretary-General and Acting President of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, in support of the role of NHRIs to promote and protect human rights in situations of (post-) conflict.
Dr. Ali pointed out that National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) can play a key role in preventing conflicts and ensuring respect for human rights and their protection, both in conflict and post-conflict situations; where NHRIs serve a unique independent bridging role, between the state, rights-holders and affected communities, that encourages the ratification of international human rights instruments and the development of national legislation and policies. We, as NHRIs are able to conduct investigations, act as mediators, monitor, document and report violations, allowing us to function as an early warning mechanism. Through these actions, NHRIs can and will promote human rights education and training within all sectors of society, supporting the development of a vibrant civil society and the respect for human rights and the rule of law. All of which, will in turn give a voice to the voiceless and provide assistance to victims in access to justice and reparations.
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri reviewed the efforts of national institutions to strengthen their capabilities; In 2015, the Kyiv Declaration has been signed by NHRIs at the International Conference on the Role of National Human Rights Institutions in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations; which set out objectives for the promotion and protection of human rights, both in conflict and post-conflict situations. Two years later, in 2017, Nations Human Rights Institutions have gathered at the GANHRI Annual Meeting to discuss the role of NHRIs in early warning, prevention of conflicts and re-establishing peaceful societies; they have reaffirmed the critical importance of NHRIs’ role before, during, and after conflicts. There is a consensus among NHRIs that during conflict and post-conflict situations, it is a challenge to apply their mandates in that context, and can themselves fall victims to threats or attacks that can endanger their staff, the independence of the institution, and its very integrity.
Dr. Al Marri stated that GANHRI, along with its four regional networks and global partners, including through the Tri-Partite-Partnership (TPP) with UNDP and OHCHR, work together to support NHRIs in conflict and post-conflict situations in order to strengthen their capacities, serve as a knowledge broker, while providing platforms for exchanges with and among NHRIs across all regions, and protect NHRIs from reprisals or providing a coordinated response to such acts. Al Marri added in these unprecedented times, online platforms will serve as a place to gather your experience and expertise. Not only will it allow us to discuss how NHRIs approach conflict, warn of signs of conflict that prevent violations and re-establish a peaceful society by applying the Paris Principles. It will also enable us to discuss the challenges to the protection and promotion of human rights worldwide resulting from situations of tension, instability, violence and conflict, both at the domestic and international levels.