NMRFs – A key State structure for effective reporting, coordination and implementation of human rights recommendations

by Beatriz Balbin Chamorro, Shahrzad Tadjbakhsh and Ibrahim Salama Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

The international human rights system has expanded significantly over the past twenty years, both in terms of new human rights treaties, as well as the mechanisms established to monitor and advise States on human rights promotion and protection. It has empowered individuals worldwide, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged, to claim their rights and seek redress. At the same time …


General Assembly reaffirms prerogatives of the Human Rights Council

by Rose Parris Richter and Marc Limon Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

“The decision facing us today is a decision on the relationship between the Council and the UN General Assembly.” — Delegation of Singapore to the UN On Monday 21st November, towards the end of a particularly eventful session of the Third Committee of the General Assembly (see related URG blog), UN member States took the historically important decision to respect …

The General Assembly held a special meeting today to observe International Anti-Apartheid Year. In the course of the special meeting, gold medals were presented to seven persons for distinguished service against apartheid. 
Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim presenting the awards. 11/Oct/1978. UN Photo/Saw Lwin.

Brexit, the US Presidential Election, and ‘Post-Truth’ politics at the UN: a common thread?

by Marc Limon Beyond the Council, Blog

Friday 18th November 2016, UN headquarters, New York On 15th November Oxford English Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be its international word of the year. Defined by the dictionary as an adjective ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,’ Oxford Dictionaries said use of the …

Human Rights Council

UN takes important strides to build new human rights ‘Implementation Agenda’

by Mariana Montoya and Marc Limon Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

As is well known, since 1948 the UN has debated and set a wide canopy of universal human rights norms. Through the Universal Declaration, the two Covenants, and various human rights conventions, optional protocols, guidelines, and resolutions, the international community has produced thousands of words across hundreds of documents, stipulating, in some detail, what States should do to better promote …

SG delivers remarks at the closing ceremony of COP21

COP22 begins in Marrakech – UN leaders call for human rights principles to guide implementation of Paris Agreement

by H.E. Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez, Marc Limon and Olivia Bebe Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

7th November 2016, Geneva The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) begins today in Marrakech, Morocco. After the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change on 4 November this year, the Marrakech meeting will also represent the first Meeting of the Parties to the Paris …


UN event marks official launch of URG New York

by the URG team Blog, URG News

On Friday 4th November, during an event held on the margins of the UN General Assembly, the Universal Rights Group (URG) officially launched its New York Office. The decision to establish a permanent presence in New York reflects the key role of UN headquarters, especially the General Assembly’s Third Committee, the Security Council and the UN Development Group, in formulating …


Pacific workshop pushes for universal ratification of UNCAT

by Marc Limon and Olivia Bebe Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, News, Press, URG News

Friday 28th October 2016, Fiji  On 27-28 October 2016, the Universal Rights Group supported the organisation of a Convention against Torture Initiative (CTI) workshop for Pacific Island States in Natadola, Fiji. The regional workshop, entitled ‘Benefits of, and challenges to, the ratification and implementation of the UN Convention against Torture in the Pacific region: sharing experiences and building capacity,’ represented …


Are we seeing a shift from ‘the era of declaration’ to the ‘era of implementation’ at the Human Rights Council?

by Mr. Eric Tistounet, Chief, Human Rights Council Branch, OHCHR Blog, By invitation

Note: This article is based on a speech delivered by Mr. Eric Tistounet, Chief of the OHCHR Human Rights Council Branch, on Monday 17th October 2016, at an event hosted by the Governments of Norway and Switzerland, supported by the Universal Rights Group, to mark the launch of the report of the third Glion Human Rights Dialogue. The views expressed …


Does the UPR give a Voice to the Voiceless?

by Edward R. McMahon, University of Vermont, USA Blog, By invitation

One of the leading human rights defender organisations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is called ‘Voice of the Voiceless.’ And those who lack the influence and resources to resist oppression are, in fact, those who need the protection of the international community the most. The Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established to promote human rights, …

A general view of particiapants during of Special Session on the deterioration of the human rights situation in Aleppo of Syria of the Human Right Council. 21 october 2016. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

Report on the 25th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent situation in Aleppo

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

On 21 October 2016, in view of the on-going human rights crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic – and in particular – the recent deteriorating situation in Aleppo, the Human Rights Council convened a special session on ‘the deteriorating situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, and the recent situation in Aleppo.’   The meeting was requested, via an official …