Special Procedures mandate-holders: the new intake

by the URG team Blog BORRAR, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Human rights institutions and mechanisms BORRAR, Special Procedures

After weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the member states of the Human Rights Council yesterday moved to appoint 17 new Special Procedure mandate-holders. This was a critical moment for the Special Procedure mechanism, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the international human rights system, because the mechanism’s effectiveness is heavily reliant on the quality, expertise and reputation of those individuals who …

The emerging law of environmental human rights is clearer than ever before

by Professor John Knox, Independent Expert on human rights and the environment Blog BORRAR, By invitation, By invitation BORRAR, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues BORRAR

On the last day of its 25th session in March 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a historic resolution on human rights and the environment. For the first time, the Council explicitly recognised that ‘human rights law sets out certain obligations on states which are relevant to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.’ This …

UN General Assembly Concludes its Review of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies

by Christen Broecker Blog BORRAR, By invitation, By invitation BORRAR, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Human rights institutions and mechanisms BORRAR, Treaty Bodies

The United Nations General Assembly today (9th April) completed a two-year review of a key part of the UN’s human rights architecture: the human rights treaty bodies. The review occurred in the context of and built on ideas generated from a broader effort by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ‘strengthen’ the treaty bodies. The outcome of the …

Chair of Coordination Committee presented with URG-Brookings Institution report on the future of the Special Procedures

by the URG team Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Special Procedures

9th April 2014, Washington DC Ted Piccone from the Brookings Institution (pictured, right) today presented a copy ofthe new URG-Brookings Institution policy report on Special Procedures to the Chair of the Coordination Committee, Professor Chaloka Beyani. The policy report, entitled ‘ Special Procedures: Determinants of Influence ‘ analyses the emergence and the contemporary effectiveness of the UN’s system of independent human rights experts, and presents …

As number of Special Rapporteur mandates passes the 50 mark, new study highlights need for renewed support and reform

by the URG team Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Prensa BORRAR, Special Procedures

Wednesday 19th March 2014, Geneva The United Nations’ (UN) independent human rights experts – otherwise known as ‘Special Procedures’ – are considered by many to be, in the words of then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the ‘crown jewel’ of the international human rights system. From their first appearance in 1967 when the Commission on Human Rights established an Ad Hoc …

Report on the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Human Rights Council reports, Regular session

The Human Rights Council concluded its twenty-fifth session on Friday 28rd March 2014 after taking action on forty-two texts. Its high-level segment saw the participation of around 94 dignitaries, including the President of Tunisia and Vice President of Colombia. Key-note statements were delivered by the United Nations Secretary General, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations High …

LDC-SIDS Trust Fund is key to promoting universalism

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog BORRAR, HRC BORRAR, Human rights institutions and mechanisms

On 27th March 2014, H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations delivered a cross regional statement on the operationalisation of Human Rights Council resolution 19/26 on ‘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 …

URG welcomes cross-regional statement on strengthening effectiveness of Human Rights Council resolutions

by the URG team Blog BORRAR, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues BORRAR, HRC BORRAR, Human rights institutions and mechanisms

Improving the effectiveness of Human Rights Council resolutions is one of the Universal Rights Group’s current projects, and in that regard we are pleased to have contributed, through our empirical and qualitative research, policy dialogues, and side events with delegations from all regions and political groups, to the delivery of the following consensus based cross-regional statement led by Norway and …

Building the ‘Cooperative Council’: Recalling the Universal Spirit of 1946-48

by Professor Susan Waltz Blog BORRAR, HRC BORRAR, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Human rights institutions and mechanisms BORRAR

Many observers are expecting the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, which opened this week, to be a particularly bumpy ride. The combination of latent ill-feeling leftover from the General Assembly’s 2013 decision to only partially accept the Council’s annual report, significant changes to the Council’s composition, and the presence of a number of difficult and sensitive issues on …

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

by Professor Michael O'Flaherty Human rights institutions and mechanisms, Human rights institutions and mechanisms BORRAR, Treaty Bodies

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 …