The UN General Assembly and the Strengthening of the United Nations Human Rights Treaty Body System

by Professor Michael O'Flaherty International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On 11th February, the 3rd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on “strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system”. Although the matter still needs to be considered by those who control the purse strings in the General Assembly’s 5th Committee, the resolution’s adoption can be said to mark a defining …

Human Rights and the Post 2015 Development Agenda

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Despite the many achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the MDG framework has been deficient in some important respects, not least in terms of how it deals with equity and the protection of human rights (civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural). This deficiency is important because without human rights, sustainable development cannot be realized. That …

General Assembly

The Emerging Struggle over the Council's Prerogatives

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

It seemed innocuous enough. In December last year, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a short resolution taking note, as per normal practice, of the annual report of the Human Rights Council, but deferring consideration of one particular Council resolution ‘in order to allow time for further consultations thereon’. This additional wording, which was subsequently endorsed by the General …

Mr Baudelaire Ndong Ella

The President of the Human Rights Council looks ahead to 2014

by H.E. Mr. Baudelaire Ndong Ella, President of the Human Rights Council and Permanent Representative of Gabon to the United Nations Office at Geneva Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

2014 will be another important and eventful year for the Human Rights Council. Seen against the long history of human rights at the United Nations, the Council is still a young body, and yet it has achieved a remarkable amount in its relatively short life. Everyone who has contributed to the body’s work since 2006, whether representatives of States, NGOs, independent …

September Resolution Effects

UN Human Rights Resolutions: Do they matter?

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

United Nations resolutions, short documents designed to present the will of the international community, are a basic building block of the work of the human rights system. Each session of the Human Rights Council ends with state diplomats voting on a raft of new resolutions covering a variety of thematic or country-specific issues. In preparation for this moment, those same …


New Human Rights Think Tank Opens its Doors

by the URG team Prensa

20th January 2014, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG), a new think tank focused on international human rights policy, was officially launched on 20 January 2014 in the presence of over one hundred and twenty human rights policy-makers, including around fifty Permanent Representatives and ambassadors, senior UN officials from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International …

A message from the Chair

by the URG team Prensa

I am delighted to mark the start of 2014 by introducing Geneva’s new human rights think tank: the Universal Rights Group (URG). The URG is a small, independent think tank dedicated to analysing and strengthening global human rights policy. It is the only such institution in Geneva and the only think tank in the world focusing exclusively on human rights. …

Post 2015 Development Agenda – Global Governance and the Right to Food

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In 2000, the U.N. Millennium Summit declared that halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015 is a key Millennium Development Goal. Also in 2000, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in order to “respond fully to the necessity for an integrated and coordinated approach in …

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'Clean slate' elections threaten the future of the Human Rights Council

by Toby Lamarque Blog

It is fair to say that the results of the latest Human Rights Council elections came as no surprise to most observers. This is not because the winning States had engaged in more dynamic and compelling campaigns than their opponents. Rather, in three of the five regional groups, the number of candidates exactly equalled the number of vacant seats, making …

Human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals: The global governance architecture and its impact on human rights in Africa

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

In January 1941, the late President FD Roosevelt delivered a speech which led to the Atlantic Charter, a joint declaration with the late Sir Winston Churchill which contained their vision of a peaceful world order after the war. This new world order was to rest on four pillars,trade and finance, on the one hand peace and human rights on the …