URG launches global media analysis of HRC visibility and relevance

by the URG team Blog

To mark Human Rights Day 2014, the Universal Rights Group has commissioned a global media survey analysing the quantity and content of coverage of the Human Rights Council. Such an analysis of media interest in and opinions on the Council and its mechanisms is a useful means of understanding how the body is seen beyond the cantonal boundaries of Geneva, …

The UPR Mechanism: Delivering Real Change

by Roland Chauville, Executive Director of UPR Info Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism was one of the main innovations introduced by UN member states at the time of the creation of the Human Rights Council in 2006. The first cycle of this global review mechanism saw all 193 UN members have their human rights records reviewed by their peers and receive recommendations for improvement. There was broad …

The 2015 Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon & Toby Lamarque Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On October 21st the UN General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council. A total of fifteen seats were available across the UN’s five regional groups, with the candidates and results shown in the table below (those elected in bold). The new members will start their three-year terms on 1st January 2015. In the African …

UN Human Rights Council – The Case for Hybrid Resolutions

by Subhas Gujadhur and Toby Lamarque Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When in March 2005 former Secretary General Kofi Annan proposed in his report “In larger Freedom: toward development, security and human rights for all” the creation of the Human Rights Council to address the “credibility deficit” of the Commission on Human Rights, the aim was first and foremost to “create an organ that would be better placed to meet the …

Human Rights Council appoints seven new Special Procedures Mandate-Holders

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The Council today moved to appoint seven new Special Procedures mandate-holders, including for the new mandate of Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities (created in June 2014). These mandate-holders should have been appointed in September, during the 27th session, but the Council decided (as already happened earlier in 2014 with another batch of new mandate-holders) to postpone their …

Comment promouvoir efficacement aujourd’hui l’abolition universelle de la peine de mort?

by S.E. M. Nicolas Niemtchinow, Ambassadeur, Représentant permanent de la France auprès des Nations unies à Genève et des organisations internationales en Suisse Blog

10 Octobre 2014, Journée mondiale contre la peine de mort La peine de mort est un acte cruel, inhumain et dégradant : elle n’est en rien utile à la lutte contre la criminalité et elle est toujours le signe de l’échec de la justice. En ce 25ème anniversaire de l’adoption du Protocole international visant à abolir la peine de mort, …

The Secretary-General’s Budget Outline and the human rights pillar: responding to a “global scandal”

by the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Next month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will release his Budget Outline for the biennium 2016-2017. This will provide a preliminary estimate of the resources required for each of the fourteen parts of the UN’s regular budget. The Budget Outline is a crucial moment in the long process that will eventually end with the General Assembly’s adoption of the programme budget …

Human Rights Council President, Bureau and Member States must respect the role and rights of NGOs

by Phil Lynch, Director of the International Service for Human Rights Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The right, and indeed the responsibility, of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to critique governments, expose and pursue accountability for human rights violations, and advocate for changes in law, policy and practice should be uncontroversial and uncontested. This is particularly the case at the UN Human Rights Council, the world’s apex body for human rights debate and dialogue, the mandate of which …

​Priorities and opportunities for the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

by the URG team Blog

As the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, begins his term in office, H.E. Ambassador Alexandre Fasel, Catarina de Albuquerque, H.E. Ambassador Triyono Wibowo, Ted Piccone, H.E. Ambassador Carsten Staur, Professor Sir Nigel Rodley, Harriet Berg, Phil Lynch, H.E. Ambassador Mehmet Ferden ÇarikçI, Professor John Knox, H.E. Ambassador Jorge Lomónaco, Roland Chauville, Dr. Rosa …

Syria calls for greater UN intervention in domestic human rights situations…

by Professor Susan Waltz Blog, By invitation

…or at least, it did. In the early 1950s, as diplomats in New York sat down to negotiate what would become the two international human rights covenants, Syria’s delegation to the General Assembly’s Third Committee was in the vanguard of efforts to arm the UN’s human rights machinery with stronger implementation mechanisms to ‘pierce the veil of national sovereignty’* that …