CEB addressed the issue of human rights at its fall 2011 session and, subsequently, took concrete steps to strengthen the integration of human rights into its work and that of its subsidiary bodies at its spring 2012 session. In addition to peace and security and economic and social progress, human rights is one of the three pillars and core areas of work of the Organization as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The 2005 World Summit and all major conferences since had reaffirmed the interlinkages among the three pillars and supported further integration of human rights into the work of the United Nations system. In its resolution 62/208 on the triennial comprehensive policy review on operational activities for development of the United Nations system, the General Assembly further underscored the importance of human rights for United Nations operational activities for development.

While good progress towards integrating human rights into the work of the United Nations system has been achieved, CEB recognized that there was a need for more regular, policy-level discussions on human rights to further strengthen policy coherence and integrity across the United Nations system, based on the norms and standards of the Organization. CEB supported a more systematic consideration of human rights issues in its work to advance policy coherence and inter-agency coordination by regularly including human rights themes in the deliberations of its High-level Committee on Programmes. The United Nations Development Group is working to strengthen coordinated United Nations responses to requests from Member States for support in their efforts to fulfil international human rights commitments. It aims to strengthen system-wide policy coherence and collaboration towards the integration of relevant human rights principles and international standards into United Nations operational activities for development.