Commonwealth supports Grenada in their journey to establish an NHRI
The Commonwealth Secretariat, in partnership with Grenada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is convening a dialogue in St George’s with local Ministries and institutions on the establishment of a national human rights institution.
The presence of a national institution compliant with the United Nations Paris Principles on human rights is one of the indicators for a country’s attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 16 on good governance.
The aim of the two-day dialogue between 28-29 June 2016 is to raise awareness of the benefits of establishing a national human rights institution, to demystify the establishment process and encourage adherence to international best practices, while garnering support to participate in the NHRI establishment process.
The dialogue, attended by senior Government Ministers alongside the Commissioner of Police, Commissioner for Prisons, Chief Medical Officer and President of the Bar Association, among others, also seeks to strengthen understanding of the Paris Principles and the importance of crafting enabling legislation for a national human rights institution (NHRI) that is compliant with the Paris Principles.
The dialogue comes after Grenada, in January 2015, accepted several recommendations relating to the establishment of an NHRI under the Universal Periodic Review process – a peer review process for reviewing the human rights records of all UN member states under the auspices of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The Commonwealth Secretariat, through the Commonwealth Small States Office in Geneva, provided technical assistance to Grenada as it was preparing for and going through its review, and is now providing support for the implementation of accepted recommendations. In 2020, when Grenada undergoes its next review under the Universal Periodic Review, it will have to first report on how it has implemented the recommendations from the previous reporting cycle.
We are appreciative of the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat before, during and after our Universal Periodic Review process. As a small island developing state we face particular challenges in engaging with and reporting to international human rights mechanisms. The Commonwealth Secretariat has a unique appreciation and salient expertise to understand our national context and how to support us as we engage with these challenges.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Clarice Modeste-Curwen
We are pleased to be supporting Grenada on this journey since our constructive partnership for human rights has been in place since 2010 when we jointly convened Universal Periodic Review training sessions for the region. We look forward to a strengthened partnership over the next few years as we work towards ensuring an effective national human rights protection system becomes a reality.
Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Karen McKenzie