UN human rights trust fund to help small island states

The UN Human Rights Council has established a trust fund to help small island states and Least Developed Countries to more effectively engage with and benefit from the international human rights system, the Foreign Ministry has stated, crediting the Maldives, Morocco and Mauritius for securing the fund.

The UN resolution establishing the Fund was adopted by consensus and with 111 cosponsors – a record number for a UN Human Rights Council resolution, the ministry noted in a statement.

Introducing the motion, Iruthisham Adam, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the UN in Geneva, noted the severe financial, human and technical capacity constraints facing small island states, “constraints which prevent them from benefiting fully from the international human rights system.”

She noted that the new Trust Fund would help level the playing field and enable SIDS “to take their rightful place at the very centre of Human Rights Council debates and mechanisms”.

The fund’s activities will include fellowships and financial support for junior staff to attend three month work placements at their ministries in Geneva, travel support to help foreign ministry staff participate in UN Human Rights Council sessions, and capacity building for diplomats in international human rights law.

Daughter of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and newly-appointed State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dunya Maumoon, said: “We hope this new UN Trust Fund will help improve the capacity of the Maldives and other SIDS to participate fully in the international human rights system and to more effectively implement international human rights obligations.”