The right to a healthy environment gives rise to a growing wave of climate change litigation

by Renata Politi, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

In an amicus curiae brief submitted in the Norwegian Artic Oil case currently pending before the Norwegian Supreme Court, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment , David R. Boyd, and UN Special Rapporteur on hazardous substances and wastes , Marcos A Orellana, argued that “the justiciability of the right to a healthy environment empowers citizens and civil society, strengthening democratic decision-making and fostering accountability for political decisions. Access to justice is itself a fundamental human right, including in the …

Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales, Universal Rights Group NYC

In recent years, many have begun to take a closer look to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. As we near the end of 2020 now is an apt time to review the work done by both bodies this year and the level of efficiency achieved. Do these two key human …

Swiss Responsible Business Initiative rejected despite securing a majority of the popular vote

by Zaineb Ali, Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

On Sunday 29 November, the day of the referendum for the contentious and hard-fought Swiss Responsible Business Initiative (RBI), human rights expert Dick Marty stated , ‘if victory doesn’t come today, it will certainly come tomorrow.’ In the end, although the RBI won a majority of the popular vote, 50.7%, it failed to secure the majority of cantonal votes required to pass …

“Vaccine Multilateralism” – Singapore’s approach towards fair and equitable access for COVID-19 vaccines

by Ambassador Umej Bhatia, Permanent Mission of Singapore Blog, Blog, By invitation, Uncategorized @lac

Just a year ago the threat of a global pandemic was treated as a theoretical possibility, the subject of scenario planning or fiction. Pandemic preparedness was expressed in words but not as much in deeds. Today after taking over 1.5 million lives globally, COVID-19 has become a brutal reality-check for us all. It has transformed our societies, impacted the world …

EU adopts ‘Magnitsky’ style individual sanctions regime for grave human rights violations

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Uncategorized @lac

Today, 7 December 2020, the EU formally adopted a decision and regulation establishing its new ‘Magnitsky-style’ individual sanctions regime for serious human rights, only a couple days ahead of 10th December – UN Human Rights Day. The step, coming 77 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is expected to make a significant contribution towards global human …

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

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales, 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 …

Time for the Human Rights Council to strengthen its focus on democracy and free and fair elections

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Bajo la lupa: democracia, Blog, Blog

16 November 2020, Geneva US diplomats are said to be horrified by the refusal of President Donald Trump, and senior Republicans from inside and outside the administration, to recognise the results of the 3 November 2020 presidential elections, their refusal to sign off on – for the moment – a smooth transition, and, more broadly, their efforts to sow doubts about …

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 Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales, Más allá del Consejo, 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 …

The dangers of Trump’s attacks on American democracy – and the need to reinvigorate that democracy based on rights

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Bajo la lupa: democracia, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On the night of the US Presidential election, as predicted, no winner could be called, with millions of ballots yet to be counted in key battleground states. An impatient President Donald Trump began tweeting that he had won and that his win was being taken from him. As the days crawled by, and more and more votes were counted and …

What will US foreign policy look like under President Joe Biden?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Bajo la lupa: democracia, Blog, Blog

Those listening to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech over the weekend would have heard him make a fleeting reference to his vision for resetting US foreign policy and renewing America’s global leadership. “Tonight,” he said , “the whole world is watching America. I believe at our best, America is a beacon for the globe. And we lead not by the example …