Microsoft today announced that they have entered a landmark five-year partnership with The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Redmond giant is penning this as an “unprecedented level of support from a private-sector organization,” and notes that under the partnership, they will provide $5 million USD to “support the work of the UN Human Rights Office.”
According to Microsoft, the main focus of the partnership is the “development and use of advanced technology designed to better predict, analyze and respond to critical human rights situations.” Microsoft President Brad Smith commented on the partnership.
“As a global company that sees the problems of the world, we believe that we have a responsibility to help solve them… We have an untapped opportunity to use the power of technology to collect data, analyze that data and equip the United Nations to advance human rights around the world.”
Microsoft and the UN Human Rights Office already share a long-standing partnership, and the grant from Microsoft will further help in the developing and deployment of new technology solutions. Additionally, Microsoft will work with the UN Human Rights Office to help raise awareness of the “role that companies can and should play in driving respect for human rights and to “promote more responsible business conduct across the world.” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein offered his thoughts.
“This could be a truly groundbreaking 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…. I hope this is just the beginning of something much bigger: that it helps stimulate a broad movement by the private sector to stand up for human rights. Increased support from major companies in the technology sector and other fields can clearly make a critical difference.”
The news of this partnership comes as human rights issues are at the forefront of the news, especially in Syria. Interested parties can read more about the partnership by clicking here.Further reading: Microsoft