On May 1, 2023 the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had the honour of welcoming the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mr. Volker Türk and his team from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva and in Addis Ababa. Noting that it was the High Commissioner’s first visit to a National Human Rights Institution (NHRI) in Africa since his appointment to the office in October 2022, EHRC Chief Commissioner Daniel Bekele said that, the visit is a signal of the strong partnership between the two organizations and marks the unique nature of the joint work that they did in the investigation of the conflict in Northern Ethiopia.

Mr. Volker Türk (left) | Dr. Daniel Bekele (right)

During the meeting, OHCHR EARO Representative Mr. Marcel C. Akpovo and EHRC Chief Commissioner also briefed Mr. Volker Türk of the progress on the transitional justice process and ongoing preparations for the upcoming joint monitoring work that is planned in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. The UN High Commissioner on his part also acknowledged the collaboration between his office and EHRC and expressed his office’s continued commitment in supporting EHRC in this work and going forward.

Mr. Marcel C. Akpovo (left) | Mr. Volker Türk (right)

Mr. Türk also expressed his office’s strong belief in the importance of credible and independent national human rights institutions in monitoring such nationwide processes as transitional justice and ensuring accountability for gross violations and abuses as well as a backbone in countries’ progress towards democracy and respect for human rights. The meeting also discussed the ongoing human rights concerns in the country and in particular the current alarming developments regarding civic and media space in the country. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also received an update on the preparations for a planned joint EHRC- OHCHR initiative to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).