OHCHR in the Field
OHCHR works with and through other parts of the United Nations to carry out human rights activities at country level. Activities in the field are implemented in five different ways: through stand-alone OHCHR offices, which are established on the basis of memoranda of understanding signed with the governments concerned, or in keeping with decisions or resolutions made by the Commission on Human Rights ; through technical cooperation projects, which are undertaken, usually within United Nations Country Teams, in cooperation with and at the request of Member States; through OHCHR regional offices, which are mostly based within United Nations Economic and Social Commissions; through human rights advisers posted within United Nations Country Teams who are appointed at the request of the United Nations Resident Coordinators; and through human rights components of United Nations peace missions established by the United Nations Security Council or the General Assembly.
OHCHR field presences are usually limited in time and scope. A mission ends when certain concrete results are achieved, such as the creation of national human rights institutions and/or when OHCHR's partners or the United Nations Country Team can conduct human rights work on their own. Once these objectives are met, responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights can be transferred from OHCHR to its partners. Exit strategies and hand-over arrangements are coordinated with all partners.
OHCHR is currently setting up a human rights presence in Uganda to deal with protection issues in relation to the conflict afflicting the northern and eastern parts of the country. The country office, which is expected to be operational by June 2005, will undertake human rights monitoring, training, capacity-building of local actors, and work on a protection strategy in cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission as well as the United Nations Country Team.
In March 2005, the UNCT requested assistance related to the presidential election which will take place on 24 April 2005. OHCHR deployed a Human Rights Adviser to assist the UNCT on human rights and protection issues for three months to cover the period before and after the elections. The Adviser will help to devise a protection strategy for the UN system as a whole after consultation with all UN partners, other national stakeholders as well as civil society organizations such as NGOs and the Togolese National Human Rights Commission. In addition he will assist in the elaboration of medium and long term solutions/strategies for the promotion of human rights and rules of law and democracy.
Following the signing of an agreement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Minister for Foreign Affairs on behalf of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, in April 2005, the High Commissioner established an office to monitor the situation of human rights and observance of international humanitarian law with a view to preventative or remedial action by national authorities.
The Agreement signed in New York on 10 January 2005 by OHCHR and the Government of Guatemala to establish an OHCHR Office in the country with a combined monitoring and technical cooperation mandate, was approved by the External Affairs Commission of Guatemala's Congress on 8 April. This paves the way for the Agreement's prompt ratification by Congress. OHCHR is consequently preparing to open the Office as soon as the Agreement is ratified.