Report on the 27th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation of the minority Rohingya Muslim population and other minorities in the Rakhine State of 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 …

Reforming the UN Human Rights Council: a call for new leadership

by Peter Splinter, Executive-in-Residence with the Global Fellowship Initiative of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The UN Human Rights Council falls seriously short in its mandate to ensure effective enjoyment by all of all human rights. It needs real reform—not another reform process. With the close of the UN Human Rights Council’s 36th session—the third consecutive session without  substantive engagement by the US—an air of unease continues to hang over the body. The US threat to withdraw from …

Are States racing to the top in the third cycle of UPR? A view from the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission

by Lorna McGregor Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

9th October, London  The third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) began in April of this year and will continue until 2021. At the end of the second cycle, the then President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Choi Kyong-lim, delivered a video message calling on member States to ‘ensure that the third cycle is one of follow-up and implementation’. Earlier this …

Report on the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary  The 36th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC36) was held from Monday 11th September to Friday 29th September 2017. On 11th September, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al- Hussein, presented an oral update on the global human rights situation. A number of high level dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2017 and what to look out for in 2018?

by the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog

Human rights analysis of high level speeches at the General Debate at the UN General Assembly  What are the human rights situations and issues that keep world leaders up at night in 2017? What are the human rights priorities of governments for the next twelve months? The best place to get a sense of both is the general debate of …

Promoting universality of human rights: Participation of LDCs/SIDS in the work of the Human Rights Council

by Fatou Camara Houel Blog, By invitation

The commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of Switzerland’s membership of the United Nations presents an excellent opportunity to recognise the strategic importance of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). Importantly, the Human Rights Council (HRC), the principal UN intergovernmental body mandated to promote and protect human rights globally, and the OHCHR tasked with its support, are both based at …

The missing human rights chapter in Secretary-General Guterres' strategic priorities

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has set about the modernisation of some sectors of the United Nations and has been fulsome in his recognition of the interrelatedness of the three sectors of the UN: peace and security, development, and human rights. He has made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But, beyond rhetoric, there has so far been no …