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Latest policy reports

URG’s new Policy Report on ‘The march of universality?’ by Başak Çalı and Mariana Montoya presents the findings of a two-year project to map and analyse the implications of all reservations to the core human rights conventions, and to better understand the extent and nature of these key checks on the universality of human rights.…

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Environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs): risking their today for our tomorrow

by John H. Knox, Special Rapporteur on the human rights and the environment

URG today launches a new Policy Brief on the situation of ‘environmental human rights defenders’ (EHRDs), individuals working, often at great personal risk, at the interface of human rights and…

6th meeting of the Istanbul Process

by The URG team

On 20-21 July 2016, the Government of Singapore hosted the sixth meeting of the Istanbul Process, organised in collaboration with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). The meeting…

Media coverage of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2016

Global human rights crises and concerns are never far for the front pages of the world’s major newspapers, nor far from the screens of our TVs and iPads. Yet this…

The Human Rights Council in 2016

by The URG team

The ‘Human Rights Council in 2016’ report provides a critique of the main events, developments, successes and failures of the Human Rights Council in 2016. The review includes:  – A quantitative…

URG Insights

“Human rights are part and parcel of every SDG”

by Michael Møller, UN Under-Secretary General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

It was there from the beginning. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s a foundational text for the United Nations. A document that has been translated into more than 500 languages and displayed on countless classroom walls worldwide. Its drafters had the revolutionary – at the time…

Previous URG Insights

“There exists a harmony that is almost musical between the concepts of development and human rights”

by H.E. Ambassador Maza Martelli, 11th President of the Human Rights Council

The convergence between human rights and the 2030 Agenda is a topic of great importance for the entire United Nations system as well as for each individual State, and especially for developing countries. I very much welcome the opportunity that I have been given this morning to express to you my vision not only as…

The United Nations should create freedom from corruption as a human right

by Matthew H. Murray*

Matthew Murray is an international lawyer who was a senior advisor in the Obama Administration on anti-corruption issues from 2012-2017.  He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2012-2015 and Senior Advisor on Governance and Rule of Law for the US Agency for…

Modernising the United Nations human rights system

by Dr. Bertrand G. Ramcharan

In its weekend edition of 15-16 February 2014, the Financial Times serialised extracts from a recent book: ‘In 100 years: Leading Economists Predict the Future,’ edited by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta and published by MIT Press. In one of the extracts, Nobel Laureate for economics, Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University, wrote that the next…

Time to scrap the world’s remaining blasphemy laws

by Joelle Fiss

Last May, Ireland woke up to the strange news that the Irish police were investigating remarks made by actor Stephen Fry, which, it was alleged, might be considered blasphemous. In a 2015 television interview, Fry had accused God of being a selfish maniac, and asked: ‘why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who…