Is being the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights an Impossible Job?

by Marc Limon Blog

A response to David Petrasek’s article in OpenGlobaRights  entitled ‘ Another one bites the dust ’ (8 February 2018). David Petrasek’s recent article on the early departure of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, provides an extremely timely insight into the under-the-surface tensions and dynamics that help explain Zeid’s decision to step down. The article also offers clues as to what needs to happen …

Statement from URG Chair

by URG Chair Blog, News, Press, URG News

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff of the Universal Rights Group, I would like to express our deep shock and sorrow at the passing of our esteemed founding Board Member, Asma Jahangir. Asma had been a major source of guidance and wisdom in our work over the past five years. She has also, of course, been an …

Another one bites the dust — what future for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights?

by David Petrasek Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The early departure — yet again — of a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights suggests it’s time to re-think the office’s priorities and strengthen its mandate. The announcement in December 2017 by Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein of Jordan that he would not seek a second term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights—leaving the post in the middle of 2018—came …

Ending the stigma and persistence of leprosy requires governments to step up

by Alice Cruz, Special Rapporteur on the elimination of discrimination against persons affected by leprosy and their family members Blog, By invitation

On World Leprosy Day, organizations across the world must come together to raise awareness and work towards the implementation of concrete goals to end discrimination around leprosy. Elton (alias) was born in 1980 in Rio de Janeiro. He was born in a favela, without access to education or to the formal labor market, and he had to depend on manual …

The Human Rights Council: Cooperation and dialogue for the benefit of all

by H.E. Ambassador Vojislav Šuc, 12th President of the Human Rights Council Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

5 February 2018, Geneva It has been almost seventy years since the nations of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the preamble of which reminds all of us that the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace …

2018: the start of a meaningful process of Human Rights Council strengthening and reform?

by Charlotte Marres Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

There is a growing recognition that as the Human Rights Council approaches its twelfth anniversary there is a need to undertake an inclusive, cross regional and structured dialogue to review how States might strengthen the fulfilment of the Council’s mandate and purpose, as set down in GA resolution 60/251 . Following an important event organised by the Netherlands, UK, Latvia, Rwanda and Mexico on …

Report of Council Special Session on the situation of the Rohingya and other minorities in Myanmar

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

On Tuesday 5th December, the Human Rights Council (Council) held a special session on the ‘human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of Myanmar’. The special Session was requested on 28 November 2017, via two official letters written by H.E Mr Shameem Ahsan, Ambassador of Bangladesh; and H.E Dr Abdulaziz Alwasil, Ambassador of Saudi …

Strengthening coherence between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee

by Olivia Bebe Beyond the Council, Blog

One consequence of the General Assembly’s decision, in 2006, not to make the new Human Rights Council a main body of the UN, on par with the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); and of its 2011 decision to maintain that subsidiary status; has been significant institutional confusion about the relationship between the Council and the GA, …

The UN Secretary-General’s Reform Agenda: what is it, why is it important, what does it address, and where is the human rights pillar?

by the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog

A short explainer Almost immediately after taking Office in January this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced his intention to introduce wide-ranging reforms to the way the UN works and how its delivers on its mandate. By and large, those reforms have been warmly received by States, civil society, and the press. Indeed, on 18 September, during a high-level event …

The end of the road for ‘piecemeal’ reform of the Human Rights Council?

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

On 20th October 2017, the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, Ambassador of El Salvador, called an extraordinary organisational meeting to try to agree a series of modest changes to the Council’s methods of work and, in turn, to agree on a request to the General Assembly (GA) for more resources and meeting time. This …