The role of the next Secretary-General in revitalising the UN’s ‘neglected pillar’

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog

This article originally appeared in New World magazine , published by the United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK)  Human rights – alongside peace and security, and development – constitutes one of the three pillars of the United Nations. Their interconnected nature is clear: without steps to promote and protect human rights, the international community will be unable to achieve peace and security, while …

The race to be Secretary-General: gender, regional balance and human rights

by Mariana Montoya, Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog

In January, a new UN Secretary-General will take over from Ban Ki-Moon. As described in URG’s recent policy brief: ‘ Candidates for the post of Secretary-General: where do they stand on human rights?’ the selection process for the new Office-holder has been the most open and transparent since the founding of the UN. Although the formal inter-governmental decision-making process has not changed (for example, the Security Council does not publish the results of …

The World Bank: a human rights-free zone?

by Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

This article first appeared on openGlobalRights , and has been reproduced with their kind permission. The existing approach taken by the World Bank to human rights is incoherent, counterproductive and unsustainable. It is based on an out-dated legal analysis and shaped by deep misperceptions of what a human rights policy would require. In its operational policies in particular, the Bank treats human rights more …

Reflections on the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy

by Peter Sørensen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the UN, Geneva and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The weeks after a Human Rights Council session are a good time for reflection, a moment to take a step back and refocus. It is now almost one year since I took over as Head of the European Union Delegation to the UN here in Geneva, and much has happened during that time. For me, Geneva represents many things, but …

Is the UN Human Rights Council delivering on its mandate to mainstream human rights?

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke for the last time to the Commission on Human Rights he emphasised that “the era of declaration is now giving way, as it should, to an era of implementation.” [1] In the past, human rights implementation was often narrowly understood to mean passing a law and securing a favourable judicial decision. Of course, laws and …