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 …

General Assembly reaffirms prerogatives of the Human Rights Council

by Rose Parris Richter, Marc Limon and the URG team 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 …

URG provides testimony at US Congressional hearing on functioning and effectiveness of Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, URG News

On 17th May, Marc Limon, Universal Rights Group’s Executive Director, offered testimony during a US Congressional Hearing (House of Representatives) entitled: ‘Ten Years Later: The Status of the United Nations Human Rights Council.’    The hearing was organised by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and sought to examine the current functioning and effectiveness of the Council, and also look assess …

The 31st session of the Human Rights Council gives cause for cautious optimism

by Peter Sørensen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the UN, Geneva and the URG team Blog, By invitation

In his statement to the 31st session, the High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke of a “growing disarray in many countries.” This is a sad conclusion to be drawn; yet it undoubtedly reflects the reality of today’s world. Around the globe, old conflicts persist and new ones erupt, and despite the hard lessons of the 20th Century, men still commit …

Confessions of a small State on human rights

by Ambassador Foo Kok Jwee, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Size matters in international relations. Small States do not perform any fundamentally irreplaceable role in the international system; yet it is hard to imagine a world without big countries such as the United States, China, India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil, or even without medium-sized States like Japan, South Africa and Germany. The only viable strategic response for small States is …

Reflections on the Human Rights Council: the Way Forward

by H.E. Ambassador WU Hailong, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In October 2013, before taking office as the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva, I led the Chinese delegation that participated in our second cycle review under the Universal Periodical Review (UPR). The review took place, of course, in Room 20 of the Palais des Nations, and I was deeply impressed by the colourful ceiling designed by the …

Challenges and opportunities for the Human Rights Council in 2015

by Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, President of the Human Rights Council Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The work of the Human Rights Council is definitely underestimated. This point immediately struck me when I was elected President of the Council for the year 2015, and international and German media representatives approached me for interviews. “Isn’t the Council a tiger without teeth?” “What can the Council achieve without being able to impose sanctions like the Security Council?” “Looking …

URG launches global media analysis of HRC visibility and relevance

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

To mark Human Rights Day 2014, the Universal Rights Group has commissioned a global media survey analysing the quantity and content of coverage of the Human Rights Council. Such an analysis of media interest in and opinions on the Council and its mechanisms is a useful means of understanding how the body is seen beyond the cantonal boundaries of Geneva, …

URG launches global media analysis of HRC visibility and relevance

by the URG team Uncategorized

To mark Human Rights Day 2014, the Universal Rights Group has commissioned a global media survey analysing the quantity and content of coverage of the Human Rights Council. Such an analysis of media interest in and opinions on the Council and its mechanisms is a useful means of understanding how the body is seen beyond the cantonal boundaries of Geneva, …

The 2015 Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon & Toby Lamarque Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On October 21st the UN General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council. A total of fifteen seats were available across the UN’s five regional groups, with the candidates and results shown in the table below (those elected in bold). The new members will start their three-year terms on 1st January 2015. In the African …