Action on Decision on the Establishment of a Special Fund for the Participation of Civil Society at Various Fora
In a decision (A/HRC/24/L.16) on the establishment of a Special Fund for the participation of civil society at various fora, adopted without a vote, the Council requests the Secretary-General to establish a Special Fund for the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders at the Social Forum, Forum on Minority Issues, and Forum on Business and Human Rights, to be administered by the Office of the High Commissioner.
The Council decides that the Special Fund should aim at facilitating the broadest possible participation of civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders and to give priority to the participation of local and national level non-governmental organizations active in the relevant fields. The Council calls upon States to support the participation of civil society and other relevant stakeholders and encourages intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other private or public entities to make voluntary contributions to the Special Fund.
Austria, introducing the draft decision L.16 on the establishment of a special fund for the participation of civil society at the Social Forum, Forum on Minority Issues and Forum on Business and Human Rights, said that the decision aimed to set up a fund, within the Office of the High Commissioner and with little administrative effort, to support the participation of civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders at the three United Nations forums on human rights issues. It was the very purpose of the three forums to provide a broad range of civil society organizations with an opportunity to actively participate in the human rights related discussions held at the United Nations. Austria thanked the main co-sponsors, Cuba and Norway, for their excellent cooperation and commended the Office of the High Commissioner for its valuable advice on the drafting of this decision.
Cuba, introducing the draft decision, said that the fund would make it possible to ensure the participation of all stakeholders in the human rights related discussions at the United Nations. The Office of the High Commissioner would be in a position to support financially non-governmental organizations with limited resources. The participation of small non-governmental organizations from developing countries was very important to the work of the Council. Cuba associated itself with Austria in the appeal to all States to contribute to the fund.
Norway, also introducing the decision, was pleased to be a co-sponsor of the decision. The set-up of the fund aimed to be as simple as possible. It was hoped that the new fund would be perceived as an effective means for donors to strengthen participation by civil society and other stakeholders in the fora.
Draft decision L.16 was adopted without a vote.