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 …

A Geneva Spring? Why civil society needs North-South solidarity

by Louise Arbour and the URG team Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In the last decade, the international human rights framework has become addicted to norm-setting, devoting far too much effort to refining norms, tools and protocols, and not enough to their actual implementation. There have certainly been some important new normative initiatives, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But now the challenge is that the international …

Le Conseil des droits de l’homme: trop de paroles, pas assez d’action?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Subhas Gujadhur Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

En 2016, le Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU célèbrera son dixième anniversaire. Bien que celui-ci ne sera pas accompagné d’un examen formel de son travail et de son fonctionnement, contrairement au cap des 5 ans d’existence du Conseil, il représente une importante opportunité de faire le point sur l’organe des Nations Unies et sur ses accomplissements et échecs. …

The Human Rights Council at 10: too much talk, too little action?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Subhas Gujadhur Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 2016 the UN Human Rights Council will celebrate its tenth birthday. Although the anniversary—unlike the Council’s five-year mark—will not be accompanied by any formal review of its work and functioning, it represents an important opportunity to take stock of the UN body’s achievements and failures. And what is immediately clear is that although the Council is good at debating …

HRC28 and the Special Procedures: celebrating three steps forward, and avoiding one step back

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The 28th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC28) saw a number of developments with highly significant implications for the future of the Special Procedures mechanism, the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the UN’s human rights protection system. Some of these developments were undoubtedly positive and in line with the recommendations put forward in the recent  Universal Rights Group-Brookings Institution policy report on Special Procedures . Others, with potential implications …

The JIU report: what’s all the fuss about?

by Subhas Gujadhur and Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Casual observers of the Human Rights Council may have been forgiven, in the run up to the body’s 28th session (2nd to 27th March), for a degree of bafflement at repeated and sometimes quite excitable references to a three letter acronym: JIU. The reason for all the excitement was the publication of a  report by the JIU  (Joint Inspection Unit – the UN system’s independent external oversight …

Challenges and opportunities for the Human Rights Council in 2015

by Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, President of the Human Rights Council Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The work of the Human Rights Council is definitely underestimated. This point immediately struck me when I was elected President of the Council for the year 2015, and international and German media representatives approached me for interviews. “Isn’t the Council a tiger without teeth?” “What can the Council achieve without being able to impose sanctions like the Security Council?” “Looking …