[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] is seeking USD $130.4 million in donations to compensate for a budget shortfall that has been ongoing for three years, according to a recent statement [text] by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile]. “Our budget for 2013 has already been reduced by 12 percent—some US $17 million—to cope with the lack of funds,” Pillay said on Thursday. “As a result, 46 posts have been cut or frozen, a decision which will affect our ability to respond to ongoing challenges, such as discrimination, climate change, HIV-related issues, protection of human rights defenders and support for various key human rights bodies.” In her statement, Pillay also noted this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the OHCHR’s work and presented the OHCHR’s Annual Appeal [UN materials], which describes the Office’s budget and planned activities for this year. According to this document, “In recent years, voluntary contributions to [Pillay’s] Office have stagnated at around US $110 million. Yet requests for [the Office’s] assistance, from governments, civil society and the international community at large, continue to grow.”
Recently the OHCHR, among other work, has released a statement on the turmoil in Mail, and expressed concern about the ongoing violence in Syria and Colombia’s proposed constitutional reform to their military justice system [JURIST reports]. According to the OHCHR’s Annual Report for 2011 [text, PDF], the OHCHR had 58 field presences: 13 country/stand-alone offices, 15 human rights components of peace missions, 12 regional offices and 18 human rights advisers within United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs). OHCHR’s 2012 report will be available in May 2013.