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FOCUS June 2002 Volume 28

Regional Human Rights Forum


Governments, human rights/non-governmental organizations, and national human rights institutions comprise the major players in the field of human rights today. Their partnership towards human rights protection, promotion and realization is becoming indispensable.

It is crucial that this partnership be based on a critical collaboration mode. Human rights/non-governmental organizations and the national institutions should not lose their independence nor their role of taking governments to task whenever warranted.

This partnership is sustained only with sincere dialogue and resolute joint action in addressing human rights concerns.

The UN has the role of further enhancing this partnership through national projects as well as regional interactions. The UN-organized annual Asia-Pacific workshop on regional cooperation on human rights is a forum for discussing how the commitments made by governments in previous conferences and workshops are translated into action at the national level. It is in this area that human rights/non-governmental organizations and the national institutions can provide support.

The annual regional workshop has reached the stage of facilitating regional and national level program implementation. It is now ready to make "regional cooperation on human rights" translate into concerted steps on concrete measures -- something that will impact on the regional human rights situation.

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