Report on the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, the UNGA Committee tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 1 October 2019 through 21 November 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High …

Prevention first and foremost: speaking at the UN General Assembly, the High Commissioner and HRC President highlight cross-cutting human rights work

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

As part of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council (Council) gave statements to the Third Committee at UN Headquarters in New York City and engaged in an interactive dialogue with member States. These interactions provided an opportunity for a discussion of cross-cutting human rights …

‘Unfriending’ online hate: The contribution of the World Jewish Congress

by Leon Saltiel, WJC’s Representative in Geneva and Project Manager on Countering Antisemitism and Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

There is little doubt that one of the modern world’s principal political challenges is the rise of hate speech, particularly in the cyber arena. Such hateful and intolerant expression, especially when widely circulated via the internet, promotes populism, extremism and radicalisation and deplorably leads to violence and murderous attacks. This incitement tears societies apart, threatens democracy and the rule of …

Given UN failings in Myanmar, where is Human Rights up Front?

by Jennifer Norris, Lawyer and human rights advocate Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

What happened to the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative?  This is a question many human rights advocates have asked since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office in 2016.  A recent report on the UN’s failings in Myanmar during the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in 2017 has put this question in stark relief. The independent review , conducted by Gert Rosenthal, …

Universal rights : beauty and strength lie in diversity.

Beauty and strength lie in diversity

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

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

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, …

URG Insights - The Amazon fires: the burning of rights.

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 … innovative online platform designed to strengthen the visibility, relevance and impact of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).

How can 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 , 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 …