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UN human rights expert to assess Sweden’s international solidarity and development agenda

GENEVA (20 April 2018) – UN human rights expert Obiora C. Okafor will undertake his first official visit to Sweden from 23 to 27 April 2018 to assess how the country is working toward promoting international solidarity and development cooperation with respect to human rights.

“I am particularly interested in Sweden’s engagement and practices with regard to international solidarity and aim to assess how these actions are utilized by the State to address global challenges, such as climate change, cross-border migration, humanitarian crisis and peace and security, while promoting human rights worldwide,” said Mr. Okafor, the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity.

“As one of the few countries in the world to dedicate one percent of its Gross National Income to Official Development Aid, it is important to assess whether the implementation of Sweden’s development cooperation and its other solidarity actions fully integrate a human rights based approach and advance the promotion and realisation of human rights, in partner countries and worldwide.”

During his five-day visit, the Independent Expert will visit the cities of Stockholm and Malmö where he will meet local and national Government officials, representatives from the UN system, civil society organizations and academics working to implement the concept of human rights-based international solidarity in Sweden and to coordinate Swedish international development assistance.

Mr. Okafor will hold a press conference to share his preliminary observations and recommendations on Friday, 27 April at midday at the Foreign Press Association of Sweden, Pressrummet, Fredsgatan 4-6, Stockholm. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

The Independent Expert’s observations and recommendations will be reflected in a report to be presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2019.


Mr. Obiora C. Okafor was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the independent expert on human rights and international solidarity in June 2017. He assumed his functions on 1 August 2017. He is professor at the York Research Chair in International and Transnational Legal Studies (Senior Tier) and a tenured Full Professor of Law at the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Toronto, Canada. He is also a former Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. 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 – Sweden: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/SEIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Claire Mathellié: +41 22 917 91 51 (in Geneva, before and after the visit) / cmathellie@ohchr.org) or iesolidarity@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact
Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)