What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2019?

by the URG team Blog, Blog

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council At the opening of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council , (Council) one hundred world leaders, including presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and heads of international organisations, delivered high level speeches commenting on the state of global human rights in 2019. They presented both their own countries’ recent developments and achievements as well as their priorities for …

The human rights implications of the new UN Resident Coordinator system

by Rodrigo Saad Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2017, Secretary General António Guterres unveiled extensive plans to reform the United Nations Development System (UNDS). His proposal, which coincides with parallel measures to restructure the UN’s peace and security architecture and revise its management paradigm, is part of a broader agenda to make prevention a cross-pillar priority. More specifically, the repositioning of the UNDS seeks to foster an …

High Commissioner discusses human rights, justice, and prevention at the Security Council

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Uncategorized, Universal Rights Group NYC

On March 11th, at UN headquarters in New York City, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet gave her first address to the Security Council in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights. She spoke at an Arria-Formula meeting, on the topic of “human rights, accountability, and justice: contributions to international peace and security” (watch it here ). The High Commissioner briefed the Security …

The history of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders: its genesis, drafting and adoption

by Petter Wille, Special Adviser to the National Human Rights Institution of the Kingdom of Norway and JANIKA SPANNAGEL, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Introduction Human rights defenders have been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) for several decades. After more than 13 years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998 . This was a historic achievement. It was the first UN instrument to particularly recognise the importance and legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders, as well as their …

The nature of power and influence at the Human Rights Council: a membership network analysis

by Anatoly Boyashov, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Why do States run for membership of the Human Rights Council? All UN Member States are, in principle, able to participate in and contribute to the work of the Council, either as a member or an observer. So why do some States choose to ‘go the extra mile’ and campaign for a seat on the body? The answer is that …

Does the UN already have the tools to prevent violent extremism? The newly discovered role of social exclusion and discrimination in violent extremism

by Samuel Gordon, URG Blog, Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

When the United Nations was established in 1945 one of its fundamental ambitions was to create a world that wasn’t plagued by religious and racial persecution and discrimination. In the aftermath of WW2, the mantra of never again, was continuously used to represent the new commitment to the protection of religious and minority rights. This immediately began to manifest itself …

The UDHR and universal participation at the Human Rights Council: Two sides of the same coin ?

by Fatou Camara Houel, Coordinator of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund for LDCs & SIDS, OHCHR Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Ms. Fatou Camara Houel is the Coordinator of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council, administered by the Human Council Branch of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Do you know why the number 512 is associated with universality and …

Ethiopia secures important advances for human rights, including women’s rights

by Yibza Aynekullu Tesfaye, Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN & Other Organizations in Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

“…Our government’s stand on the rights of women and their equality is not out of favour to them but rather for our common good” Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia There is a growing public sense, promoted by the Western press and NGOs, that human rights are in retreat around the world. It is true that in some countries, including …

The Arc of the Covenant: The unfinished business of UN efforts to combat religious intolerance

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

A ‘Lost Covenant’ The combating of religious discrimination is one of the oldest thematic topics of discussion within the UN human rights system. Originally bound closely with discussions on racial discrimination, particularly in the context of resurgent anti-Semitism in the aftermath of World War 2, it harks back to the mandate first handed the Commission on Human Rights by the …