ENNHRI and ODIHR sign Memorandum of Understanding on the occasion of the 5th NHRI Academy

On the occasion of the 2018 NHRI Academy, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and ENNHRI have signed today in Helsinki a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU forms a solid basis for future cooperation in a wide range of activities and highlights the importance of NHRIs in the OSCE region.

“This is not only a statement of cooperation, but a statement of partnership on shared values. ODIHR alone cannot contribute to their own vision without strong effective national human rights institutions”, stated Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, First Deputy Director of OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

“This is not only a statement of cooperation, but a statement of partnership on shared values."
Katarzyna Gardapkhadze, First Deputy Director of ODIHR

OSCE has long recognized the role of NHRIs as key actors for the promotion and protection of human rights in democratic societies. The 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document includes pledges of the participating states to facilitate the establishment and strengthening of independent national institutions in the area of human rights and the rule of law. Since then, NHRIs hold a central place in OSCE commitments and in ODIHR’s mandate. Through the NHRI Academy, which is organized every year since 2014, ODIHR and ENNHRI have trained over 100 participants from OSCE participating States.

“The 5th edition of Academy is an excellent opportunity to move this partnership even further and we are very grateful to ODIHR for recognizing NHRIs as important building blocks of the human rights architecture in the region.”
Lora Vidovic, ENNHRI Chair

Natural continuation of cooperation

“ODIHR supported the establishment of ENNHRI’s Secretariat in 2013 and since then we have cooperated closely on a number of pressing human rights issues, such as counter-terrorism, NHRIs’ independence and shrinking democratic space. NHRIs across the region see ODIHR as a crucial partner to help them ensure the enjoyment of human rights and the implementation of Human Dimensions Commitments. Hence, the signing of Memorandum of Understanding is a natural continuation of our cooperation”, concluded ENNHRI’s Chair, Lora Vidovic.

Sirpa Rautio, Director of the Human Rights Centre of Finland, which is hosting the 2018 NHRI Academy, emphasized the need of international cooperation between NHRIs: “It’s all about sharing and learning (…) We’ve witnessed a remarkable, inspiring evolution of ENNHRI during the last years, due to an increased cooperation."