Report on the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary  The 35th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC35) was held from Tuesday 6th June to Friday 23rd June 2017. On 6th June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented an oral update on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr Tabaré Vazquez, …

Report on the 40th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC40) was held from Monday 25 February to Friday 22 March 2019. As it is the main annual session of the Council, HRC40 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2019 HLS included speeches by 97 State and other dignitaries, including: H.E. Béji Caïd Essebi, President of Tunisia; H.E. …

The history of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders: its genesis, drafting and adoption

by Petter Wille, Special Adviser to the National Human Rights Institution of the Kingdom of Norway and JANIKA SPANNAGEL, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Introduction Human rights defenders have been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) for several decades. After more than 13 years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998 . This was a historic achievement. It was the first UN instrument to particularly recognise the importance and legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders, as well as their …

The nature of power and influence at the Human Rights Council: a membership network analysis

by Anatoly Boyashov, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Why do States run for membership of the Human Rights Council? All UN Member States are, in principle, able to participate in and contribute to the work of the Council, either as a member or an observer. So why do some States choose to ‘go the extra mile’ and campaign for a seat on the body? The answer is that …

Human rights and the 2030 Agenda: Leveraging synergies to achieve the SDGs

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 16 January, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the Human Rights Council will convene an inter-sessional meeting on the interlinkages between human rights and sustainable development, and on how States can harness the complementarities of international human rights obligations and the SDG commitments to power progress in both areas. The meeting, entitled ‘Human rights and the 2030 Agenda: Empowering …

ICC States Parties give hope to supporters of humanitarian intervention and the ‘Responsibility to Protect’

by Jorge Crespo García, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

On 17 July 2018, the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over the ‘crime of aggression’ – its fourth ‘core’ crime – was formally activated . This followed the historic decision of States Parties to the Rome Statute on 15 December last year to adopt a resolution amending the instrument. Although States Parties ultimately decided, when adopting the resolution, that the Court’s jurisdiction (in …

Report on the 73rd session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary The Third Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (GA) was held 2 October 2018 through 20 November 2018, at the UN Secretariat in New York. This Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) for human …

Crunch time for Human Rights Council efficiency reforms

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

After four years of discussions in and around the Human Rights Council about improving the body’s efficiency, discussions that have culminated, over the past ten months, in intensive Bureau-led negotiations to secure agreement on a meaningful (though still rather modest) set of reform measures; States are now entering the final stretch, with the contours of a deal clearly discernible in …

'The human rights system is not a Cassandra:' The High Commissioner addresses the Third Committee

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 15 October, the newly appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, and then answered questions, concerns, and complaints from member States. The High Commissioner underlined the importance of human rights for the achievement of sustainable development and peace, and in that regard drew States’ attention to the critical …

High Commissioner speaks on human rights, resilience and prevention

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Newly appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave a statement at a High-Level Event during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, marking the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “A Prevention Tool to Achieve Peace and Sustainable Development.” She said: “Human rights are the interlocking elements that build resilient and confident societies – societies …