May 09 2014
Past event

The outcome of the treaty body strengthening process: Lessons learnt, implications and implementation

On 9th May 2014, the Permanent Missions of Switzerland, Poland, Ireland, Morocco, South Korea together with the Universal Rights Group and the Geneva Academy organised an panel meeting on ‘the outcome of the Treaty Body strengthening process: lessons learnt, implications and implementation’. Around a hundred and ten representatives from UN Permanent Missions, international governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations attended the event.

The meeting began with introductory remarks by H.E. Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Permanent Representative of Switzerland, H.E Ambassador Mr Remigiusz Henczel, Permanent Representative of Poland, representatives from the delegations of Ireland, Morocco and South Korea and Mr Bacre Ndiaye, Director of Human Rights Council and Special Procedures Division of the Office of the High Commissioner.

There was then an interactive dialogue with an expert panel featuring Professor Claudio Grossman, Chair of the UN Committee against Torture and Chair of the Meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies, Professor Malcolm Evans, Chair of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture and incoming Chair of the Meeting of Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies, Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Vice Chair of the Boards of Trustees of the Universal Rights Group, Dr Ibrahim Salama, Director Human Rights Treaties Division, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Tania Baldwin Pask, International Advocacy Program, Amnesty International and Ms Christen Broecker, Jacob Institute for Advancement of Human Rights.

The panellists offered a detailed analysis of the outcome of the Treaty Body strengthening process, a process that resulted in the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/68/268 in April 2014. They offered thoughts on the implications of the outcome for Treaty Body experts, reporting states, OHCHR, NGOs and victims. The resolution on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights Treaty Body system is considered a major advance for this key part of the international human rights system. Panelists also offered thoughts on the effective implementation of the resolution, including through a harmonization of working methods and capacity building upon the request of reporting states.

During the ensuing dialogue, interventions were made amongst others by the delegations of Russia, Indonesia and Tunisia, Treaty Body members, and NGOs.

In the coming months, URG intends to work closely with all relevant stakeholders to contribute to the implementation of resolution 68/268 and to help support the effective functioning of the Treaty Body system.