Morse Coageas Flores

Human Rights Officer with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Active in Country: Originally from the Philippines, work in Geneva

DTP Alumnus – 2005 15th Annual Program, Timor-Leste & DTP Trainer

 I attended the 15th Annual Program in East Timor in 2005. At the time, I was working mainly on indigenous peoples' rights with grassroots and national indigenous youth organizations in the Philippines

I am currently serving as the Technical Secretariat of the newly created United Nations Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP)-   a collaboration between the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to work together to promote the rights of indigenous peoples. UNIPP will be the first global inter-agency initiative with a programmatic focus on indigenous peoples at the country level, supported and complemented by strategic interventions at regional and international levels.

The DTP training program helped a great deal in my work. It’s the variety of the technical subjects and themes that were discussed, the quality of facilitators, trainers, participants and the methodology used. I like the fact that the training combined information dissemination, awareness raising on specific thematic issues and at the same time, it involves learning skills to ensure that the knowledge learned and acquired are shared to others. The institutional visits and meeting with key human rights defenders and leaders is also very inspiring. For me, meeting both Jose Ramos Horta & Xanana Gusmao was just inspiring, listening to their stories and their own experiences, struggles and lessons learned was just phenomenal!

Finally, I should add that DTP’s Programme was developed in a way that anyone who joins the course will be able to train others in their own communities and organizations.

In the end, I would end up meeting my batch mates in other human rights meetings in the region (Asia Pacific) but not as participants anymore but trainers, a great progress from what we have started. Most recently, I have met a couple of others in my batch in the UN, especially within the various procedures connected with the Human Rights Council, either as part of the Government delegation, NGO representatives and Academicians. Such occasions provide us the opportunity to look back our common experience in the DTP Programme and recognized the fact that we were truly lucky to have the opportunity of being a part of the ever-expanding DTP Family.

For example, while I was on mission to Jakarta a couple of weeks ago, I met one of my batch mates from Indonesia, Ms. Yuyun Wahyuningrum, who is now serving as the Senior Advisor on ASEAN and Human Rights at the Indonesia’s NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy (or Human Rights Working Group – HRWG) in Jakarta, Indonesia. During our short meeting, Yuyun managed to update me on the latest developments of the recently adopted ASEAN Human Rights Declaration and the role that NGO plays in its adoption despite the criticisms that has followed its adoption.

While monitoring the UPR Session of Australia in July 2012 in the UN, I met with another batch mate, Ms. Katie Kiss who is currently serving as the Principal Adviser - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Team, Australian Human Rights Commission. It’s interesting to know how many of us have switch hats, other who used to work with NGOs are now in Government and vice versa. But one thing that has not change is our passion for human rights!

I would like to continue working with human rights in general and Indigenous peoples’ rights in particular in the UN for a couple of years more, then move back to the region, either in Asia (Bangkok) or Pacific (Suva) to give back from where I started. I also need to finish my PhD and teach International and Human Rights in the University.

 -Statement given in 2012

 

Morse was the Technical Secretariat of the United Nations Indigenous Peoples Partners (UNIPP), the first global inter- agency collaboration among five UN agencies (ILO, OHCHR, UNDP, UNICEF & UNFPA) on Indigenous issues. For over 5 years, Morse has also worked as an Expert on Indigenous Peoples Rights and Development with the ILO (Geneva) and Consultant with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (Geneva) on Promoting Inclusive Parliament to Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, a joint project between IPU and UNDP. Morse is now the Human Rights Officer at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). He is also the Coordinator of OHCHR Indigenous Fellowship Programme and the same time, serves as the Secretariat of the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples. Morse Flores recently trained in 2017 DTP’s Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, The Private Sector and Development in Malaysia.

 

Profile written June 2017 and it has been amended to reflect his recent work at OHCHR