The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday announced a “landmark” five-year partnership with Microsoft.
It said that Microsoft would provide a grant of five million U.S. dollars to support the work of the UN Human Rights Office.
“This represents an unprecedented level of support from a private sector organisation,’’ a statement issued by the OHCHR said.
The statement said that a particular area of focus for the partnership would be the development and use of advanced technology designed to better predict, analyse and respond to critical human rights situations.
“We have an untapped opportunity to use the power of technology to collect data, analyse that data, and equip the UN to advance human rights around the world,’’ Brad Smith, President of Microsoft said.
OHCHR pointed out that one example that Microsoft may help to establish was Rights View (RV).
RV is an information dashboard that will allow UN human rights staff to aggregate large quantities of internal and external data on specific countries and types of rights violations in real time.
“It will also help to facilitate analysis, ensure early warning of emerging critical issues and provide data to guide responses,’’ OHCHR said.
According to their agreement, Microsoft will also work with the UN Human Rights Office to raise awareness of the role that companies can and should play in driving respect for human rights.
The partnership would also promote more responsible business conduct across the world.
“This could be a truly ground-breaking agreement.
“We live in a rapidly evolving age, where technology can either be used to solve human rights problems or misused to erode human rights.
“Similarly, companies can infringe people’s rights, or they can be a major progressive force.
“The private sector has an essential role to play in advancing human rights, and this partnership with Microsoft demonstrates how we can join forces in a constructive way,’’ UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Hussein said.