28 February 2020

To: All permanent missions in New York and Geneva

CC: Antonio Guterres, members of the St and 3rd Committee of the UN General Assembly and Ms. Michelle Bachelet

Your Excellency,

In recent years, the United Nations Human Right System has grown exponentially. The number of states ratifying human rights treaties continued to increase, getting us closer to the ambitious goal of universal ratification. Such growth represents a great achievement of the peoples' struggle for justice and social progress and at the same time, it poses some challenges that need to be addressed.

Our organizations are particularly concerned by the lack of adequate funding to the UN Human Rights System. Human Rights, Peace and Development are the three pillars of the United Nations. These pillars are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. It is unacceptable that, as underlined by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, human rights received less than the 8% of the regular budget and the Office of the High Commissioner just received 3.7 per cent of the total UN regular budget[1] for 2018-2019 and 3.3% for 2020[2]

In 2019, the financial constraint of the OHCHR resulted in the potential cancellation of the third session of six different treaty bodies. The decreasing budgetary allocation to UNOG forced the Human Rights Council to reduce its meetings and, consequently, the Council suppressed all general debates during its nextJune session and it further reduced speaking time for all stakeholders. Special Procedures, as well as the OHCHR, heavily rely for their functioning on 'voluntary contributions' by states, private institutions and even business enterprises. This situation is unacceptable and it seriously threaten the independence and impartiality of the UN work in the field of human rights. Such developments negatively affect the right of participation of civil society organizations and peoples' movements.

Despite its limits and defects, the UN Human Rights System plays a fundamental role in the promotion and protection of human rights all over the world. It is crucial to preserve it and to guarantee its efficacy and efficiency. For many groups the UN Human rights system remains one of the few international spaces to which they can turn seeking justice and accountability. These institutions are especially relevant in the current environment, in which i.a. authoritarian forces are fueling racism, xenophobia, misogyny and nationalism; repression and criminalization of human rights defenders are on the rise; and outrageous inequalities are deepened by the dominant economic model. Armed conflicts affect many regions of the world and environmental destruction and climate change harm the livelihoods of the most marginalized groups of the population and threat to destroy our common house.

In accordance with resolution 68/268, in April 2020 the General Assembly will review the functioning of the UN human rights treaty body system. In Geneva, the so-called "Human Rights Council Long Term efficiency process" is ongoing. We urge all UN member states to actively participate in these important debates and to make sure that adequate recourses are allocated to the human rights system through the UN regular budget.

More than 70 years ago, we, the peoples of the United Nations, decided to unite our strength to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to create better conditions of living for all, i.a through promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all. We have come a long way since then but there is still a long way to go.

Confident in the active support of your Delegation to our common effort to improve and strengthen the UN human rights system, please accept, Excellency, the assurance of our highest considerations.

  1. Conselho lndigenista Missionário - CIMI
  2. FIAN International
  3. Franciscans International
  4. Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos MNDH Brasil
  5. FIAN International
  6. MAB
  7. Central de Cooperativas Unisol Brasil
  8. La Sabana University - Federico Carrillo
  9. Peace Brigades International
  10. REDIM - Red por los Derechos de la lnfancia en México
  11. Asistencia Legal Por los Derechos Humanos A.C. (ASILEGAL)
  13. Articulacão para o Monitoramento dos Direitos Humanos no Brasil
  14. Al-Haq
  15. Center for Women's Global Leadership
  16. Dominicans for Justice and Peace
  17. Centro de Derechos Humanos Fray Francisco de Vitoria, O.P, A.C
  18. Collectif GRITO
  1. Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  2. Society for International Development (SID)
  3. Indonesia for Global Justice (IGJ)
  4. Centro de Documentacion en Derechos Humanos "Segundo Montes Mozo S.J." (CSMM)
  5. FIAN Colombia
  6. Participatory Research Action Network- PRAN
  7. Food Security Network- KHANi, Bangladesh
  8. lnpade intituto de participacion y desarrollo. FOCO Foro ciudadano de participacion y derechos humanos
  9. Saluteglobale.it
  11. FIAN Indonesia
  12. Global Policy Forum Europe
  13. Honduras Forum Switzerland
  14. Viva Salud
  15. Solsoc
  16. Frères des Hommes Belgique
  17. Peace Watch Switzerland (PWS)
  18. Grupo de Trabajo Suiza Colombia (ask!)
  19. University of Essex - Professor Clara Sandoval
  20. Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services (RIGHTS), Inc.
  21. Asociacion de lnvestigación y Especialización sobre Temas lberoamericanos
  22. FIAN Austria
  23. Plataforma Internacional contra la lmpunidad
  24. Foro Honduras-Suiza
  25. KM2207 Guatemala Suisse
  1. Group-FIAN Haiti
  2. Fian Brasil
  3. Institute Plurais
  4. RCA- Rede de Cooperação Amazônica
  5. lepé -lnstituto de Pesquisa e Formação lndígena
  6. lnspirAction
  7. UPR Info
  9. Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education
  10. ETIS
  11. Jóvenes Argentinos por el Derecho a la Educación
  12. Forum Syd
  13. Coalición Colombiana por el Derecho a la Educación
  14. Frente Amplio por la Educación los Derechos y la Paz
  15. FIAN Ecuador
  16. Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras
  17. "Red europea de Comités Oscar Romero" y Comité belga 'Solidair met Guatemala"
  18. CLADEM El Salvador
  19. Campaña Boliviana por el derecho a la educación
  20. Campaña Latinoamericana por el Derecho a la Educación
  21. PODER   Proyecto sabre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e lnvestigación (PODER, por sus siglas en inglés)® MéxicoI
  22. CNCD-11.11.11
  24. Espacio Público
  25. 11.11.11 - The Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement
  1. Ligue Burundaise des droits de l'homme lteka
  2. WomanHealth Philippines
  3. Fundación para el Desarrollo de Comunidades Rurales y Urbanas de El Salvador
  4. International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights
  5. ICID (lniciativas de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo)
  6. Mundubat
  7. Institute de Derecho Ambiental A.C.
  2. Robert F Kennedy Human Rights
  1. El Proyecto sobre Organización, Desarrollo, Educación e lnvestigación (PODER, por sus siglas en ingles)® MéxicoPODER
  2. Red de Educacion Popular entre Mujeres - REPEM
  3. Comunidad de Derechos Humanos
  4. Fundacion Levantate y Anda
  5. Plataforma Internacional contra la lmpunidad
  6. Campana por el derecho a la educación en México CADEM
  7. WhyHunger
  8. PASO global
  9. Institute de Desenvolvimento e Direitos Humanos - IDDH
  10. Corporate Accountability
  11. Centro de Gestión Cultural PUKANAWI
  12. Asociacion de Mujeres JUMAM Pl LURATA
  13. Andrea Bolaños Vargas Defensora y Consultora Internacional
  14. Red Global/glocal por la calidad educativa
  15. Comité Cerezo México
  16. Frontera con Justicia AC - Casa del Migrante de Saltillo
  1. Consejo de Educación Popular de America Latina y el Caribe - CEAAL
  2. MARUAH, Singapore
  3. Cfrculo de Mujeres lntelectuales de Panama. CIMIP
  4. Sudwind, Austria
  5. Sudwind, Austria
  6. Confédération Paysanne
  7. CEAR-Euskadi
  8. Kilusan para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (KATARUNGAN)
  9. Society for International Development
  10. Friends of the Earth Sweden/Jordens Vanner
  11. Katarungan  Negros Occidental
  12. Katarungan  Negros Occidental
  13. APRASE -Asociación Profesional de Abogados Saharauis en Espana
  14. Fondazione Lelio e Listi Basso Onlus
  15. ARTICLE 19
  16. CCFD-Terre Solidaire
  17. Katarungan    (kilusan   para   sa   repormang    agraryo   at    katarungan panlipunan)
  18. Transnational Institute TNI
  19. Campaña Argentina por el Derecho a la Educación (CADE)
  20. Coordinadora de la Mujer
  21. Mexiko Forum Schweiz
  22. Trocaire
  23. 5 Elementos - Institute de Educacão para a Sustentabilidade
  24. Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE)
  25. Fundación Tierra de Paz
  26. FIAN Suisse
  27. Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
  28. Mujeres Libres COLEM A.C
  29. Grupo de Mujeres de San Cristobal Las Casas AC
  31. FIAN Sweden
  33. Sindicato de Trabajadores del Ministerio de Salud
  34. Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montana "Tlachinollan"
  35. Servicios y Asesorfa para la Paz A.C.
Oral or Written: