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The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was established in 1993 by the General Assembly following the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Plan of Action of the same year, with the goal of strengthening the coordination and effectiveness of the UN bodies involved in the promotion and protection of human rights. OHCHR is based in Geneva and it also acts as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council and as the Secretariat of the many Committees (“Treaty Bodies”) established by the main human rights treaties. OHCHR also provides support to the Human Rights Council Special Procedures (Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts, Commission of Inquiry, etc.).

Over the years, the Office of the High Commission has consolidated its presence on the ground by setting up 12 regional offices at the end of 2014 and 14 national offices, sending its own officers to UN peacekeeping missions, as well as integrating the human rights component into the activities of numerous UN Country Teams. In addition, the OHCHR manages many technical cooperation projects in all regions of the world, aimed at creating or strengthening national systems for the protection of human rights and the rule of law. From 17 October 2022, the High Commissioner for Human Rights is Volker Türk, former Under-Secretary-General for Policy in the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General.

Italy supports the action of OHCHR and is committed to protecting its independence and to affirming its coordinating role on human rights issues within the United Nations system.

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