Raising the fight against corruption to the top of the international agenda: A proposal for a new Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

The collapse of democracy is Afghanistan, after 20 years and billions of dollars of international engagement; the collapse of democracy in Myanmar following February’s coup d’état and ouster of Aung San Suu Kyi; the collapse of democracy in Sudan following October’s coup d’état and the detention of the civilian government. What do each of these salutary tales of democratic roll-back …

Making it real: Why members of the Human Rights Council should make use of their power to conduct ‘good offices’ missions

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

From 23-25 October, members of the Security Council carried out country missions to Mali and Niger, under the auspices of the Kenyan presidency of the body. In Mali, they met with members of the Transitional Government, including the Transitional President and Prime Minister, signatory armed groups, representatives of civil society, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Mali, and representatives …

Report of the 32nd Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the human rights implications of the ongoing situation in the Sudan

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

On Friday 5 November 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a Special Session to address the ‘human rights implications of the ongoing situation in the Sudan’. The Special Session was requested via an official letter dated 1 November 2021 and signed by H.E. Simon Manley, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN in Geneva. This letter, addressed to …

Cop 26 and Beyond: A Human Rights-Based Response to Climate Change and Scotland’s Contribution

by Professor Alan Miller, Professor of Practice in Human Rights Law at the University of Strathclyde Blog, Blog, By invitation

Introduction The science and living experience of climate change is no longer for debate. Its current and future impact upon our lives, livelihoods and ways of life represent the greatest 21st Century threat to the enjoyment of human rights. The UN Secretary-General is right to state we are at “Code Red” for humanity. There is hope and it needs COP 26 to …

Human Rights Council elections: Are GA delegations basing their votes on human rights or diplomatic considerations?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

When UN member State diplomats sat down, in 2005, to discuss the size, shape, prerogatives and responsibilities of the new Human Rights Council, including how the new body would be different from its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, it is fair to say that the issues of elections and membership were at the forefront of their minds. The Commission …

Superpower rivalry ‘captures’ the Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

As argued in the Universal Rights Group’s end of session report , the recently concluded 48th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC48) was one of the most acrimonious gatherings in the fifteen-year history of the Council, with heightened contemporary geopolitical tensions spilling over into, and in many ways ‘capturing,’ the critical wider work of the UN’s main human rights body. Much of the …

Report on the 48th session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The 48th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC48 ) was held from Monday 13 September to Monday 11 October 2021. On 13 September, H.E. Michelle Bachelet presented her global update on the human rights situation around the world, followed by her report on Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and oral updates on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Sri Lanka. An enhanced …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2021, and priorities to look out for in 2022?

by Courtney Halverson, URG NYC and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

Human rights analysis of high-level speeches during the general debate of the UN General Assembly In the pre-pandemic world, each fall world leaders would descend upon New York City to speak at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly (UNGA). Last year, this tradition was disrupted (as so many others) by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of migrating to Turtle …

Report of the 31st Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Serious Human Rights Concerns and Situation in Afghanistan

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

On Tuesday 24 August 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a special session to address the ‘serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan’. The special session was requested via an  official letter  dated 17 August 2021 and signed by H.E. Khalil Hashmi, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the UN in Geneva, in his capacity as …

Can President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill help the US build back better on economic, social and cultural rights?

by Daniela Kyle, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 10 August, the United States Senate approved the $1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that had been proposed and supported by President Biden as the first phase in his Build Back Better agenda. The bill will be the largest long-term investment in American infrastructure in nearly a century, and is expected to make the American economy ‘more sustainable, resilient and just.’ The White House stated that …