URG Tools: A contribution to improved transparency, inclusiveness and impact at the UN Human Rights Council

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

In order to contribute to more informed and efficient policymaking at the Human Rights Council, and thereby to contribute to more effective UN interventions and greater on-the-ground impact, the URG is pleased to present a series of new online tools. It is our hope that these tools will help diplomats, civil society representatives, UN staff and independent experts to more …

Economic, social and cultural rights: exploding myths and building consensus

by Lucy McKernan, Geneva Representative of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the URG team Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Beyond matters touching upon religion or belief, or on so-called ‘traditional values,’ it is difficult to think of an issue that divides members of the Human Rights Council (the Council) as much as the perceived disconnect between the importance placed on civil and political rights on the one hand, and economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) on the other. Twenty …

Reflections on the new EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy

by Peter Sørensen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the UN, Geneva and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The weeks after a Human Rights Council session are a good time for reflection, a moment to take a step back and refocus. It is now almost one year since I took over as Head of the European Union Delegation to the UN here in Geneva, and much has happened during that time. For me, Geneva represents many things, but …

Report on the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The 30th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC30) was held from 14th September to 2nd October 2015. At the opening of the session the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, gave his regular update on the global human rights situation, the text of which can be found here . 6 panel discussions …

Confessions of a small State on human rights

by Ambassador Foo Kok Jwee, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Size matters in international relations. Small States do not perform any fundamentally irreplaceable role in the international system; yet it is hard to imagine a world without big countries such as the United States, China, India, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil, or even without medium-sized States like Japan, South Africa and Germany. The only viable strategic response for small States is …

Is the UN Human Rights Council delivering on its mandate to mainstream human rights?

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke for the last time to the Commission on Human Rights he emphasised that “the era of declaration is now giving way, as it should, to an era of implementation.” [1] In the past, human rights implementation was often narrowly understood to mean passing a law and securing a favourable judicial decision. Of course, laws and …

The Human Rights Council’s failings should lead to reassessment

by Brett D. Schaefer and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

‘By Invitation’ URG Insights blogs aim to offer an inclusive platform for all stakeholders to express and share information and opinion. The views expressed are the authors’ own, and do not necessarily represent the position of the URG.     The 2015 edition of Freedom House’s Freedom in the World reported that observance of civil and political rights saw a decline for the ninth …

Reflections on the Human Rights Council: the Way Forward

by H.E. Ambassador WU Hailong, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In October 2013, before taking office as the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva, I led the Chinese delegation that participated in our second cycle review under the Universal Periodical Review (UPR). The review took place, of course, in Room 20 of the Palais des Nations, and I was deeply impressed by the colourful ceiling designed by the …

Report on the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The Human Rights Council held its first enhanced dialogue on the issue of human rights situation of migrants. 4 panel discussions were held during the session. 59 reports under the various items on the Council’s agenda were considered. The outcomes of the UPR working group reports of the following 14 countries were adopted: Armenia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, …

URG welcomes advent of new informal Council briefings with High Commissioner

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

Wednesday 27th May 2015, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG) today welcomed the holding of the first informal Human Rights Council briefing with the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a new work format discussed and developed through inclusive talks during the 2015 Glion Human Rights Dialogue . The informal Council briefings, organised in cooperation with and following a request by the UN High Commissioner …