Government representatives from across the Caribbean region along with the President of the Human Rights Council, Vojislav Šuc of Slovenia will meet in Guyana on November 19-20 to discuss ways to maximize their engagement with the Geneva-based Council, the United Nations’ body responding to all human rights situations across the globe.
A release from the UN noted that the unique event marks the first official visit by a President of the Human Rights Council to the region.
The two-day workshop will provide a unique opportunity for officials of the 14 member States of CARICOM to interact, exchange information, experiences and ideas on how to better engage with the Geneva-based Council, the release noted.
Some 40 participants, who include senior Government officials from Guyana, and Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General of CARICOM, will identify and document good practices that can further enhance and strengthen the effective participation of their respective countries in the Human Rights Council, both nationally and regionally.
“Only six of the 14 countries in the Caribbean region have a permanent mission in Geneva. It is therefore essential that those unable to attend our meetings in Geneva have their voices heard which will enhance our efforts to promote universality in our work. Thanks to the Trust Fund and this gathering in the Guyanese capital, this is becoming a reality”, Ambassador Šuc was quoted as saying in the release.
In June 2017, the CARICOM region became the first of the three regions – the others are Africa and Asia and the Pacific – to reach the milestone of universal, 100 per cent participation in the work of the Human Rights Council due to support by the Trust Fund.
As of 1 October 2018, the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund has supported the participation of 23 Beneficiary Delegates and Fellows, 18 women and 5 men, from CARICOM countries in the work of the Council.
The workshop is being organized by the Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the work of the Human Rights Council, of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Government of Guyana, and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.