Report on the 75th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 5 October – 20 November at UN Headquarters in New York, and online (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High Commissioner for Human …

The pandemic, prevention and politics: the High Commissioner and HRC President highlight cross-cutting human rights work at the Third Committee

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

As part of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, both the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council gave statements to the Third Committee. Statements, and the interactive dialogues with member States that followed, were conducted virtually and not without the occasional technological hiccup. Nevertheless, a higher number of states participated than …

Report on the 45th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 45th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) was held from Monday 14th September to Wednesday 7th October 2020. On 14th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In the wake of the violent response by the Belarusian authorities to peaceful demonstrations that occurred in the aftermath of President …

URG welcomes passage of landmark new UN resolution on prevention

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

Wednesday 7th October 2020, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG) welcomes today’s passage of an important new Human Rights Council resolution on the prevention of human rights violations and emergencies. The resolution, led by Norway, Sierra Leone, Switzerland and Uruguay, was adopted by vote at the 45th session of the Council with 32 in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against (Bahrain, Cameroon and Venezuela). …

Report of the Council’s urgent debate on the situation of human rights in Belarus during HRC45

by the URG team Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Friday 18 September 2020, in the context of the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, which opened on Monday 14 September, an urgent debate was convened on the ‘situation of human rights in Belarus ’. The urgent debate was requested through an official letter from H. E. Ambassador Michael von Ungern-Sternberg of Germany on behalf of the European Union (EU) and addressed to …

US presidential candidates set out markedly different positions on human rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

With a Presidential election less than 100 days away, over 150,000 American deaths from COVID-19, and a GDP freefall comparable to the Great Depression, the focus of the American voter is very much on domestic, rather than foreign, policy. Yet, a recent draft State Department report contains worrying implications about the human rights foreign (and domestic) policy of a second term Donald …

Putting people at the heart of the human rights treaty body system

by Ashley Bowe, Senior Human Rights Advisor, SPC RRRT and Joshua Cooper, Lecturer, University of Hawai’i, National Universal Periodic Review Task Force Co-Chair, US Human Rights Network Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Samoa held a ground-breaking treaty body session on child rights, evidencing the benefits of extending these sessions beyond Geneva. Calls for treaty body committees to undertake their sessions  on the ground have been made for decades. The first ever such session recently took place in the Pacific, providing empirical evidence of the significant opportunities and slight obstacles of this practice. The genesis of this session can be traced back …

What the ‘US Commission on Unalienable Rights’ gets wrong about the UN

by Ryan Kaminski, Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

On July 16, the US State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights, tasked with providing ‘advice on human rights grounded in [U.S.] founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ released its draft report . Policy, legal, and rights experts have since opined on the Commission’s problematic conceptual approach.  The report’s conclusions on the UN human rights system should …

Report on the 44th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 44th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC44 ) was held from Tuesday 30th June to Friday 17th July 2020. On 30th June, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her global update  on the human rights implications of COVID-19. This provided the basis for an interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner on 30th June – 2nd July. Seven panel …

China and the UN’s human protection agenda

by Rosemary Foot, Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Oxford Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously drew attention to what he saw as a core feature of the late twentieth century – a reinterpretation of State sovereignty. As he put it: ‘When we read the Charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them.’ …