Special Procedures: Determinants of Influence

Ted Piccone (Brookings Institution), Marc Limon (URG)

This report on the United Nations system of independent human rights experts is the result of a year-long project led by Marc Limon of the Universal Rights Group and Ted Piccone of the Brookings Institution. It reflects primary and secondary research, two policy dialogues (in Geneva and in New York) and nearly fifty interviews with key policymakers, including United Nations Special Procedures mandate-holders, staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, diplomats and human rights NGOs. The project builds upon two previous publications by Ted Piccone – the book Catalysts for Change: How the UN's Independent Experts Promote Human Rights (Brookings Institution Press, 2012) and the Brookings Foreign Policy report Catalysts for Rights: the Unique Contribution of the UN's Independent Experts for Human Rights (October 2010). It analyses the historical underpinnings of the Special Procedures mechanism, assesses the current activities and impact of the mandate-holders, and makes recommendations for strengthening this core component of the United Nations human rights system and its long-term efficacy. The conclusions reached in the report are entirely the authors' responsibility and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions, donors or partners. The authors wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution to this report of Hilary Power of the Universal Rights Group and Ashley Miller of the Brookings Institution. © Universal Rights Group 2014