Beauty and strength lie in diversity

by Geneva and Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC Blog, Blog, By invitation, Uncategorized

Does respecting universal human rights mean that everyone must accept and adopt unified sociocultural values and practices? Clearly the answer is no. Yet at international level we see regular efforts to malign specific countries or societies based on their religious and cultural backgrounds. Despite a general agreement among scholars that present-day human rights are the common heritage of all civilisations, …

2019 Human Rights Council elections: good news overshadowed by complacency and short-termism

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Yesterday’s elections to the Human Rights Council for the three-year membership term (2020-2022) brought some good news, but also served to demonstrate – again – the complacency and short-termism that characterises most States’ approach to these important polls. First, the good news. Overall, the elections strengthened the composition of the Human Rights Council. In the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), for example, …

The Amazon fires: the burning of rights

by URG LAC Team Blog, Blog

On 24th September, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, delivered a high-level speech during the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (GA). In it, he claimed that his Government is firmly committed to environmental protection and conservation, as well as to sustainable development more broadly. Yet, in the same speech, he questioned claims about the …

How can yourHRC.org help voting States navigate the upcoming Human Rights Council elections?

by Grace Kennedy, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC, URG Human Rights Council Reports

When it was established in 2006, the Human Rights Council (Council) was given the mandate to ‘promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.’ In order to assist the Council in realising this mandate, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Universal Rights Group (URG) launched yourHRC.org , an innovative online tool designed …

Rethinking Africa´s role at the Human Rights Council

by Eduard Jordaan, Research Fellow, Rhodes University Blog, Blog, By invitation

In UN human rights forums, African States have a reputation for voting as a bloc, obstructing human rights, and defending the sovereignty of developing countries. Indeed, in 2011, Bertrand Ramcharan, a respected human rights scholar and a former acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, complained that the African and Asian Groups, which together occupy 26 of the Human Rights …

What are the world's human rights priorities in 2019, and what to look out for in 2020?

by Grace Kennedy, Universal Rights Group NYC and Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Human rights analysis of high level speeches during the general debate of the UN General Assembly Each fall, the world leaders descend upon New York to speak at the general debate of the UN General Assembly (GA). The world’s presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and assorted dignitaries are allotted fifteen minutes each to discuss the global crises and trends that …

Report on the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Uncategorized, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 42nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC42) was held from Monday 9th September to Friday 27th September 2019. On 9th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In it she focused extensively on the climate crisis and identified climate change as ‘a rapidly growing and global threat to human rights.’ …

Do digital technologies hurt or support human rights?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 14 May this year, the San Francisco city council voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by local authorities and agencies, including the police. Several other US cities, and even some States, are now considering following suit. These important developments come in the wake of the release of a recent study by Georgetown University, which found that the use …

The UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech: tackling discrimination, hostility and violence

by Rodrigo Saad, Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

‘Hate speech is a challenge from which no country is immune,’ stated Adama Dieng, Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide at the launch event  of the  UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech . The system-wide strategy was launched amid a backdrop of surging levels of xenophobia, racism, and overall intolerance throughout the world. This trend has been amplified by social media and information communication technologies, which have …

Human rights and the 2030 Agenda: key messages from the high level political forum on sustainable development

by Rodrigo Saad, Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

As UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed stated during her address to the Council last March , ‘Human rights are an intrinsic part of sustainable development—and sustainable development is a powerful vehicle for the realisation of all human rights.’ The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 signalled a fundamental shift in the UN’s development paradigm—from one traditionally based on a flawed orthodoxy overemphasising economic growth to a broader understanding of development, which takes into account …