UN human rights office signs deal to establish presence in Guatemala

1 December 2003

The United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today signed an agreement with the Guatemalan Government to set up a formal field presence in the Central American country.

A UN spokesman told a press briefing in New York that the agreement, signed in Guatemala City, anticipates the scheduled withdrawal of the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) by December next year.

The agreement, which will allow OHCHR to monitor any human rights abuses, means Guatemala is the 42nd country in the world to host such a presence from the OHCHR. The office will focus mostly on the overall human rights situation, rather than on individual cases.

The field presence will try to uphold "the full enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Guatemalan people in general," according to a statement issued by OHCHR last week.


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