Can President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill help the US build back better on economic, social and cultural rights?

by Daniela Kyle, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, HRC, Human Rights Council, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, New York City, SDGs, Universal Rights Group NYC, UPR

On 10 August, the United States Senate approved the $1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Bill that had been proposed and supported by President Biden as the first phase in his Build Back Better agenda. The bill will be the largest long-term investment in American infrastructure in nearly a century, and is expected to make the American economy ‘more sustainable, resilient and just.’ The White House stated that …

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

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Special Procedures, Third Committee, 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, Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Human Rights Council, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Prevention, Prevention, accountability and justice, Third Committee, 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 …

The impact of the 2020 US presidential elections on human rights and international institutions

by Melissa Hooper, Sophia Swanson, Anna van Niekerk, Human Rights First Blog, Blog, By invitation, By invitation, Democracy, Human Rights Council, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, New York City, Thematic human rights issues

The United States has always had a somewhat contentious relationship with the international human rights project. It has never ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (which today has over 150 states parties) or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (which has 185). It became the sole holdout on the Convention …

Reinvesting in rights: Why the next US administration must prioritize multilateralism to protect human rights

by Grace Anderson, Stanford University Ford Fellow in Philanthropy Blog, Blog, By invitation, By invitation, New York City

October 21, 2020 Over the past four years, the Trump Administration has slowly abdicated its role as a leader in multilateralism and as one of the top promoters of human rights at the UN specifically. At this year’s UN General Assembly (UNGA), President Donald Trump touted a narrow view of human rights, citing priorities of “religious liberty, opportunity for women, the …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2020, and what to look out for in 2021?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, New York City, UNGA, Universal Rights Group NYC

Human rights analysis of high-level speeches during the general debate of the UN General Assembly Each fall, world leaders descend upon New York to speak at the general debate of the UN General Assembly (GA). This year, because of the COVID-19  pandemic , world leaders were invited to send in pre-recorded videos of their speeches which were broadcast ‘as live.’ The …

UN Secretary-General report puts human rights at centre of COVID-19 response

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, New York City

Today the UN Secretary-General (SG) Antonio Guterres launched a report on how human rights can and should guide coronavirus response and recovery. This report is intended to be read in conjunction with the SG’s Call to Action on Human Rights (launched this February) and the SG’s other reports and statements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including his report ‘ Shared responsibility, global solidarity: responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 ’, his appeal for governments to …

What are friends for?: ‘Groups of Friends’ and the UN system

by David Joseph Deutch, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Having arisen out of the post Cold War period, the concept of ‘Groups of Friends’ represented a newly found faith and belief in the power of multilateralism as a means of global problem solving. Groups of friends are coalitions of United Nations (UN) member states, who band together in order to further and actualise particular goals and outcomes related to …

‘When the weapons fall silent’: UN Security Council discusses transitional justice

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Accountability, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, Justice, New York City, Prevention, Prevention, accountability and justice, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 13 February the Security Council held its first ever discussion on transitional justice as a thematic issue, with States from every region offering first-hand accounts and calling for the UN to play a supportive role. Belgium, Security Council President for the month of February, initiated and presided over the open debate on ‘ transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situations ,’ under the Peacebuilding and Sustaining …

Report on the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, General Assembly, HRC, Human rights implementation and impact, Human rights institutions and mechanisms, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, the UNGA Committee tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 1 October 2019 through 21 November 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High …