The UN Secretary General has appointed Morten Kjaerum, the director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund, Sweden, to the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation (VFTC) in the Field of Human Rights and of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Trust Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance. The funds are administered by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mr Kjaerum was chosen as an independent expert with a wide experience in the field of human rights and technical cooperation. The Fund was established in 1987 by the Secretary General of the United Nations. A Board of Trustees was created in 1993 to assist in fundraising and to provide expert advice and support for the Voluntary Fund.
The functions of the Board include assisting the Secretary-General in streamlining and rationalizing the working methods and procedures of the VFTC; developing long-term policy guidelines; reviewing specific projects; reviewing all financial aspects of the VFTC with regard to project evaluation and follow-up; and reviewing implementation of decisions of the Board of Trustees and reporting.
Through the Fund, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has facilitated efforts made at the country level to incorporate international human rights standards into national laws, policies and practices. Furthermore, the Fund contributes to the establishment and strengthening of national structures, institutions and capacities to ensure adherence to these standards.
The Voluntary Fund also supports strengthening of the administration of justice, including support in increasing access capacities for individuals and groups facing discrimination and exclusion. It also helps to increase capacities to promote gender equality and women’s rights.
Morten Kjaerum is appointed for three years and occupies the seat of the Western and Other Group (WEOG)