Report on the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary  The 34th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC34) was held from Monday 27th February to Friday 24th March 2017. On 8th March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented his annual report on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session’s high-level segment, including inter alia, H.E. …

‘No fear, no hate, no wall, no ban:’ the world – and freedom of expression – at a critical juncture

by Dr Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In Focus: Human rights and religion

In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons crisis’ in 2005, the political, policy and academic world was replete with debates over the benefits or risks of ‘blasphemy laws.’ The debates highlighted a profound gap between those who believed that mocking religion (the faith, the tenets, the sacraments, the symbols, etc.) should not be tolerated and those who argued that …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2017?

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

‘Discrimination’ (racism, xenophobia and religious intolerance); ‘human rights, the Sustainable Development Goals and the right to development;’ the rights of migrants and refugees; prevention; the ‘Implementation Agenda;’ violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism; and women’s rights; among most frequently referenced subjects during 2017 high-level segment of the Human Rights Council High-level segments (HLS) of the UN Human Rights Council (Council), held …

Sibling rivalry? Measuring and understanding the uneasy relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the GA

by the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

A comparative analysis of Council and Third Committee resolutions The relationship between the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council sometimes appears not dissimilar to that of two brothers. Like brothers, for the most part, these two key UN human rights bodies get on well, with both understanding that they are part of the same family …

Why Guterres and Haley Are Set to Become the U.N.’s Odd Couple

by Richard Gowan Beyond the Council, By invitation

Are Antonio Guterres and Nikki Haley set to be New York’s new power couple? The future of the United Nations may rest on the duo’s personal and political chemistry.  Guterres has only been U.N. secretary-general since the start of the year, and Haley began work as U.S. representative to the U.N. ten days ago. But diplomats are watching both of …

Statement from URG Chair

by URG Chair Blog, Press, URG News

A statement from the Chair of the URG Board of Trustees:  ‘It is with deep sadness that I have the duty to inform you that Sir Nigel Rodley has passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, 25 January. Nigel will be remembered as a founding father of the global human rights movement, a champion of human rights whose efforts touched …

Eliminating ‘selectivity’ at the Council as a contribution to effective prevention: the practical application of the 'Irish Principles'

by Marc Limon, Olivia Bebe and Isabella Mosselmans Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

UN Member States have long recognised the importance, under certain circumstances, of addressing country-specific human rights situations. Where a given country’s government is unable or unwilling to protect the rights of its people, or indeed, where a government is actively complicit in serious human rights violations; then the international community must be ready to step in. This principle, first introduced …

URG launches new UN Human Rights Resolutions Portal, now including GA Third Committee texts

by the URG team Blog, Press, URG News

One of the key missions of the Universal Rights Group (URG) is to improve the transparency and accessibility of the work of the Human Rights Council and the wider international human rights system. By providing a window onto the work and decisions of the human rights system, the URG hopes to contribute to better, more accountable and more efficient policymaking; …

Lost Covenant: A Story of the Failed 1967 Convention on Elimination of Religious Intolerance

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

2016 witnessed the 50th anniversary for a vital legacy for international human rights work, namely the adoption of the 1966 Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights. I would argue that the legacy from 1967 may be of equal relevance for today. In 2017, we face another highly pertinent 50th anniversary even if it …