The Human Rights Council at 10: Improving relevance, strengthening impact
On 8th September 2015, the Governments of Norway and Switzerland, supported by the Universal Rights Group, held a panel discussion in Geneva on “the Human Rights Council at 10: Improving relevance, strengthening impact,” at which an informal document containing a non-exhaustive summary of some of the key themes, discussions and ideas from the 2015 Glion Human Rights Dialogue and the three preceding policy dialogues was presented.
As the Council looks towards its 10th anniversary in 2016, it is important for stakeholders to reflect on the body’s achievements but also to work together, through dialogue and cooperation, to address its shortcomings. The Council remains a young body and the first decade of its existence will make a major contribution towards determining its future relevance, effectiveness and impact. Like those policymakers who steered the adoption of resolution 60/251, the Council’s institution-building package, and the outcome of the body’s five-year review, the current generation of diplomats, NGO representatives and other stakeholders bear an important responsibility to use the milestone of the Council’s 10th anniversary as an opportunity to step back and make an honest appraisal of the nascent body’s achievements and challenges, and identify new and innovative solutions to equip it to better meet those challenges in the decades to come.
In this spirit, on 5th and 6th May 2015, the Governments of Norway and Switzerland, supported by the Universal Rights Group (URG), hosted a second two-day retreat in Glion, Switzerland, designed to provide an informal, non-attributable platform for forward-looking and solutions-focused discussion on how to strengthen the Council’s relevance and impact.
This year, the Glion retreat was preceded by three informal policy dialogues designed to promote an inclusive discussion with the participation of a wide range of States, NGOs, UN officials and experts. The dialogues allowed for an initial consideration of key challenges and the provisional identification of possible solutions.
The informal outcome document does not represent the position of Norway or Switzerland, nor any of the participants, but rather is an informal collection of ideas generated during the aforementioned meetings. It is the hope of the organisers that these ideas and proposals will encourage and contribute to wider consideration by all stakeholders from all regions, thus making the Glion Dialogue a starting point for a fruitful and inclusive process. It is also the hope that, where appropriate, States and other stakeholders will take forward useful ideas generated in Glion and thus contribute to an improvement in the Council’s relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and impact.
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