Human rights and elections: a call for coordination and action

by Avery Davis-Roberts, Associate Director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2018 alone, more than 100 electoral events took place around the globe, including in the United States where an estimated 113 million registered US voters turned out to cast ballots in a highly contested mid-term election. This year, elections will take place in every region of the world, including in two of the most populous nations, India and Indonesia. …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: Minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the United Nations

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, By invitation

Part one Almost exactly a hundred years ago today, the Paris Peace Conference adopted the Covenant of the League of Nations and appointed the British diplomat Eric Drummond as the first Secretary-General. The choice was fortuitous. In this article, which will be split into two parts, I will seek to explain how Drummond built the first-ever independent international civil service, …

Mid-way to universality! CTI2024 supporting all States to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture

by Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Guiding States on how to prevent and respond to torturous forms of abuse of power or position is what the UN Convention against Torture is all about. Yet, despite torture being long condemned and the prohibition recognised as a jus cogens international norm, there continue to be grave abuses perpetrated in many countries and in all regions. In others, lack …

UN management system reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the second in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months, and provides an update on perhaps the most opaque series of reforms: changes to the UN management system. Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying …

The UN human rights system and Sudan: a new chapter?

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, Blog, By invitation

In September 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 39/22 , on ‘Technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in the Sudan.’ No one should be fooled by its title: this latest iteration of the Council’s Sudan-focused resolutions was, in the words of Human Rights Watch, ‘an abdication of the Council’s responsibility to human rights victims in Sudan while grave …

Magnitsky acts and the future of accountability for violations of international human rights law: An interview with Bill Browder

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Since the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail cell in 2009, US financier turned anti-corruption activist Bill Browder has led an almost one man crusade to strengthen national legal frameworks and responses to alleged gross violations of human rights and/or cases of grand corruption (which are linked to serious human rights violations ). Over the intervening ten years, Mr Browder’s determination and …

UN Development System reforms: an update

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 31 May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 72/279 , accepting measures for change along the lines of the Secretary General’s recommendations and setting in motion one of the most comprehensive reforms of the UN Development System (UNDS) to date. This post provides an update on these reforms and is the first in a series of blogs produced …

High Commissioner speaks to the Security Council on human rights in Haiti

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On April 3rd the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Security Council on the “Human Rights Situation in Haiti.”  She marked the progress made so far on human rights, highlighted areas of persistent violations, and advised on how the Security Council can strengthen the rule of law, development, and peace during the proposed transition of UN operations in …

How to operationalize the Council’s prevention mandate, and where does it fit within the Secretary-General’s UN ‘prevention agenda’?

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

The following blog is based on a presentation given by Marc Limon, URG Executive Director, during the final panel discussion of the 9-10 April Council inter-sessional meeting, held at the Palais des Nations (UN) pursuant to Council resolution 38/18. The Human Rights Council (Council) this week convened a first inter-sessional seminar on how to operationalize its prevention mandate, as set forth …

The emergence and coming of age of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow-up

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ellis Paterson, Research Assistant, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

One of the most promising yet least-studied and least-understood developments for the universal human rights ‘project’ (as Sir Nigel Rodley coined it) is the emergence and early development over the past three or four years of so-called ‘national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up’ (NMIRFs). These standing bodies, which usually enjoy high-level political backing, are responsible for coordinating the implementation, …