Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN

by Geneva and Yang Yue, Deputy Director and Associate Professor of Institute of Asian Studies, China Foreign Affairs University Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

More than two decades have passed since the concept of an ASEAN ‘Socio-Cultural Community’ (ASCC) emerged for the first time. The idea first appeared in proposals for a ‘Community of Caring Societies,’ adopted by ASEAN countries in their ‘Vision 2020’ (adopted in 1997). Six years later, ASEAN proposed to build an ASCC in its ‘Declaration of ASEAN Concord II’ (Bali …

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 …

UN human rights mechanisms proving effective SDGs monitor

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation

The SDGs are mostly aligned with human rights objectives — to emphasise this, the UN human rights mechanisms are showing a willingness to hold states accountable to their SDG commitments. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are renewing the debate on the relationship between human rights and development. In 2005, Philip Alston famously described the relationship between the Millennium Development Goals …

Monitoring the SDGs? Find out how Human Rights Measurement Initiative data can help

by Susan Randolph, Co-Founder & Economic and Social Rights Metrics Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) and Anne-Marie Brook, Co-founder and Development Lead, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

There are strong connections between human rights monitoring and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ‘seeks to realise the human rights of all.’ So it should not come as a surprise to learn that the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI)’s metrics tracking country performance on the provisions of the core human rights treaties [1] are …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the UN – Part 2

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, Blog, By invitation

In part one of this blog post, which can be read here , I described the origins of the independent international civil service, created in 1919. I also highlighted the importance of the adoption, as part of the overall Treaty of Versailles, of a set of treaties on minorities (i.e. the minority treaties). Part two will look at how the secretariat …

Human rights and elections: a call for coordination and action

by Avery Davis-Roberts, Associate Director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2018 alone, more than 100 electoral events took place around the globe, including in the United States where an estimated 113 million registered US voters turned out to cast ballots in a highly contested mid-term election. This year, elections will take place in every region of the world, including in two of the most populous nations, India and Indonesia. …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: Minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the United Nations

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, By invitation

Part one Almost exactly a hundred years ago today, the Paris Peace Conference adopted the Covenant of the League of Nations and appointed the British diplomat Eric Drummond as the first Secretary-General. The choice was fortuitous. In this article, which will be split into two parts, I will seek to explain how Drummond built the first-ever independent international civil service, …

Mid-way to universality! CTI2024 supporting all States to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture

by Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Guiding States on how to prevent and respond to torturous forms of abuse of power or position is what the UN Convention against Torture is all about. Yet, despite torture being long condemned and the prohibition recognised as a jus cogens international norm, there continue to be grave abuses perpetrated in many countries and in all regions. In others, lack …

The UN human rights system and Sudan: a new chapter?

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, Blog, By invitation

In September 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 39/22 , on ‘Technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in the Sudan.’ No one should be fooled by its title: this latest iteration of the Council’s Sudan-focused resolutions was, in the words of Human Rights Watch, ‘an abdication of the Council’s responsibility to human rights victims in Sudan while grave …

The history of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders: its genesis, drafting and adoption

by Petter Wille, Special Adviser to the National Human Rights Institution of the Kingdom of Norway and JANIKA SPANNAGEL, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Introduction Human rights defenders have been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) for several decades. After more than 13 years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998 . This was a historic achievement. It was the first UN instrument to particularly recognise the importance and legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders, as well as their …