UN human rights chief calls for more investment in human rights

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Navi Pillay

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has appealed for more than $130 million for the promotion of human rights in 2013.

In her annual appeal to donors in Geneva on Thursday, Ms. Pillay says the UN Human Rights Office can respond to more of the many requests for assistance if additional resources are made available.

She says despite reducing its expenditure by more than 7.5 percent in 2012, her office experienced a funding shortfall for the third year in a row.

Ms. Pillay told donors that her office budget for 2013 has already been reduced by 12 per cent, that is – $17 million to cope with the lack of funds.

As a result, she adds, 46 posts have been cut or frozen.

The UN human rights chief says the decision will affect the ability of her office to respond to ongoing challenges such as discrimination, climate change, HIV-related issues, protection of human rights defenders and support for various key human rights bodies.

Ms. Pillay urged donors to consider the importance and cost-effectiveness of major long-term investment in human rights.

"It is a disturbing paradox that raising funds to respond to crisis situations is so much easier than raising funds to prevent crises from happening in the first place" Ms. Pillay said.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

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