A general view of participants during 28th Session at the Human Rights Council. 16 March 2015. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

The role of the next Secretary-General in revitalising the UN’s ‘neglected pillar’

by Marc Limon Beyond the Council, Blog

This article originally appeared in New World magazine, published by the United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK) Human rights – alongside peace and security, and development – constitutes one of the three pillars of the United Nations. Their interconnected nature is clear: without steps to promote and protect human rights, the international community will be unable to achieve peace and …


The race to be Secretary-General: gender, regional balance and human rights

by Mariana Montoya Beyond the Council, Blog

In January, a new UN Secretary-General will take over from Ban Ki-Moon. As described in URG’s recent policy brief: ‘Candidates for the post of Secretary-General: where do they stand on human rights?’ the selection process for the new Office-holder has been the most open and transparent since the founding of the UN. Although the formal inter-governmental decision-making process has not …


The Council’s impact on the ground: a view from Jakarta

by Caka A. Awal* Blog, By invitation

5th September 2016, Jakarta  On 2nd August I landed back in Jakarta after three-and-a-half years with the Indonesian team at the Human Rights Council. As well as giving me time to readjust to life back home, the intervening weeks have given me time to reflect on the nature and extent of the ‘on the ground’ impact of my work at …


Mapping global business opinions on human rights

by Marc Limon Blog, Uncategorized

The UN Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011. Though an important milestone, the debate continues on the scope, content, and legal status of companies’ responsibility to respect human rights asserted in those Principles. To gain closer insights into this debate, between 2014 and 2015, the Universal Rights Group, together with partners including …

Between 26 July and 6 August, 1982, a special UN-sponsored World Assembly on Aging will be held in Vienna to discuss the long-range future of the world's elderly.  Issues on the agenda include health, housing and the environment, social welfare, income security, education and the family, and the role of the elderly in development.
An old lady at her window in a Nepalese village.

As the world ages, more must be done to protect the rights of older persons

by Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons Blog

The world is currently experiencing an unprecedented demographic revolution to an ageing population, and no regions are exempt. Globally, there are approximately 700 million persons aged 60 years old and over, and this figure will double by 2025. By 2050, older persons will constitute 20%of the global population—higher than it has ever been. In light of these projections, in 2013 …


End the attacks—protecting the rights of persons with albinism

by Ikponwosa Ero, United Nation Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Blog

“Albinos are being hunted in Africa!” Headlines like these are not uncommon these days. They sound sensationalist but in fact reflect a grim reality: that in some countries, people with albinism are being attacked—usually with machetes and knives—for the purpose of obtaining their body parts.  These attacks are based on a witchcraft-led belief that the body parts of people with …

Choi Kyong-lim ( seventh from the left) President of the Human Rights Council pose with the eight former présidents of the Human Rights Council during opening day of the 32nd session of the Human Right Council. 13 June 2016. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Report on the 32nd 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 32nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC32) was held from 13 June 2016 to 8 July 2016. HRC32 marked the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Council.  At the opening of the session, statements were delivered by Mr Choi Kyonglim, President of the Human Rights Council, Mr Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign …

A general view of participants during opening day of the 32nd session of the Human Right Council. 13 June 2016. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

The Rights Minded Group

by Bob Last, Permanent Mission of the UK to the UN in Geneva, Gisele Fernandez Ludlow, Permanent Mission of Mexico to the UN in Geneva and Bakary Bamba Junior, Permanent Representation of OIF Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

  The Council blew out the candles on its 10th birthday cake in June. As delegates working from different perspectives, who were there at the birth, who saw the Council take its first baby steps, and who have seen it grow and develop, here’s a shared view on how far we’ve come.   Ten years ago there was optimism that …

A general view of participants at the 16th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

URG holds second global media HRC engagement programme

by Hilary Power URG News

During the last week of the 32nd session of the Council, the URG, with the support of the Government of Germany and the Canton of Geneva, brought 7 journalists – from Afghanistan, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Ecuador and Kenya – to Geneva to follow developments, especially during voting.    During their time in Geneva, the journalists benefited from briefing sessions with URG analysts, key diplomats, …


The World Bank: a human rights-free zone?

by Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Blog

This article first appeared on openGlobalRights, and has been reproduced with their kind permission. The existing approach taken by the World Bank to human rights is incoherent, counterproductive and unsustainable. It is based on an out-dated legal analysis and shaped by deep misperceptions of what a human rights policy would require. In its operational policies in particular, the Bank treats …