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 …


Human rights financing: the UN’s little pillar

by Professor Michael O’Flaherty and Marc Limon Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 2005, the then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, presented plans for United Nations reform which elevated human rights to be one of the three pillars of the UN system – alongside economic and social development, and peace and security. This represented an acknowledgement of the centrality of human rights to the work and ideals of the UN …

Universal Rights Group begins work

by the URG team Prensa

2nd April 2013, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG), a new policy think tank dedicated to international human rights, began work on 2nd April 2013 after moving into its new offices in Versoix, Switzerland. The past decade has seen enormous change both in terms of the centrality of human rights within the United Nations (UN) and in terms of the …

Strengthening policy through dialogue

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

So much depends on the Human Rights Council and the people who work there.As the world’s pre-eminent human rights body, the Council sits atop one of the three thematic pillars of the UN system. And yet talk to most diplomats, the people who draft and negotiate resolutions, vote on vital human rights questions, establish new treaties and new protection mechanisms, …

Why a human rights think tank?

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

Geneva is one of the world’s most important political and diplomatic hubs. Its importance is particularly pronounced in the area of human rights. It is home to the Human Rights Council, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the international human rights Treaty Bodies, the Universal Periodic Review process, and forty-nine human rights Special Procedures. There are …