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UN expert to assess the impact on human rights of Norway’s development cooperation

GENEVA (16 September 2016) – The United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity, Virginia Dandan, will undertake her first official visit to Norway from 19 to 23 September 2016 to assess the impact of the country’s development and humanitarian cooperation on the promotion of human rights.

“When it comes to international solidarity in the form of development aid, we have witnessed ‘dead aid’ whereby huge amounts of money were pumped into developing countries without substantial results, leading to the adoption of the Paris Principles on Aid effectiveness,” Ms. Dandan noted. “We have also witnessed how states have struggled to meet their commitments regarding financing for development.”

“Norway is one of few countries to implement the Monterrey Commitment to dedicate 1% of GNP to Official Development Aid. It is therefore important to assess whether the implementation of the Country’s development cooperation fully integrates a human rights based approach and  fosters conditions for the promotion and realization of human rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights in partner countries,” she said.

During her five-day visit, the Independent Expert expert will evaluate the integration of international human rights principles in Norway‘s development and humanitarian cooperation as well as in its international policy on climate change.  

The human rights expert will meet with representatives of Governmental institutions coordinating development assistance, humanitarian assistance as well as climate change initiatives. She will also meet with civil society organizations working to implement development assistance funded by Norway.

Ms. Dandan will be available for media interviews on Friday 23 September 2016 from 13h30, at the UNDP Oslo Governance Center, Kongens Gate 12, 0153 Oslo, Norway. To arrange an interview, please contact Mr. Trygve Olfarnes: +47 941 56 028

The Independent Expert’s observations and recommendations will be reflected in a report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2017.


Ms. Virginia Dandan (Philippines) was appointed Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. She is currently an independent specialist on human rights in development, focusing on the application of the normative content of economic, social and cultural rights. Ms. Dandan was a member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1990-2010) and served as its Chairperson for eight years (1998-2006). She was also in charge of the Human Rights Community Development Project in Three Philippine Indigenous Peoples’ Communities (2008-2010). Ms. Dandan is independent from any government or organization and serves in her individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Solidarity/Pages/IESolidarityIndex.aspx

Read the Independent Expert’s reports to the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council:

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Norway: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/NOIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
In Geneva (before and after the visit): Ms. Yaye Ba: +41 22 917 9210 / yba@ohchr.org)
In Oslo (during the visit): Mr. Trygve Olfarnes: +47 941 56 028

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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