Secretary of State Blinken reaffirms the Biden administration’s commitment to multilateralism, democracy and human rights

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

A key pillar of both Biden’s election campaign and his time in office thus far has been the commitment to re-engage with traditional allies and prioritise a multilateral approach to tackling the greatest global challenges of today, including protecting democracy and promoting universal human rights. While Biden’s rhetoric on the subject has been strong, the wider international community has been …

How do you solve a problem like WhatsApp? The complicated role of messaging apps in the fight against disinformation and for free speech

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

Much of the debate around the spread of misinformation and online harassment has been focused on the biggest social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and, more recently, TikTok. Messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat, and the increasingly popular Telegram and Signal, have nearly as many users as these platforms and are also rife with disinformation, hate …

What do UK violations of its human rights and other international obligations mean for British democracy?

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

In theory, democracy is exceptionally resilient. It is buttressed by the different rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – ICCPR (e.g. freedom of expression, freedom of opinion, protection of minorities, the right to vote and to stand for office, habeas corpus, access to justice, and the independence of the judiciary) and the International Covenant …

Facebook vs. Australia–the latest dispute over the digital space

by Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 18 February, after three years of negotiations over the Australian Media Bargaining Code, Facebook took the controversial decision of implementing a broad ban on all Australian publishers and prevented people in Australia from viewing or posting links to news stories . The ban lasted five days, and was only lifted after the Australian government made concessions. This ongoing disagreement between Facebook and the Australian government is only the latest in …

‘Diplomacy is back’ US President Biden prioritizes diplomacy in his first major foreign policy speech, while his Secretary of State announces ‘robust’ re-engagement with Human Rights Council

by Tess Brennan, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On Thursday 4 February 2021, Biden delivered his first major foreign policy speech . His decision to deliver the speech from the US State Department reflected his rhetoric on reinvesting resources and trust in America’s diplomats, and his words indicated an approach to international policy marked by working with traditional US allies to protect democracy and human rights globally. Promising action …

The confirmation hearing for Biden’s choice for UN Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, indicates a renewed US focus on multilateralism and human rights 

by Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

As United States President Joe Biden has been officially inaugurated, all eyes are on his cabinet nominees, as they are key to carrying out the President’s agenda. His pick for US Ambassador to the UN is Linda Thomas Greenfield, a career diplomat with over three decades of experience, holding previous posts as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African American Affairs as well as US ambassador to Liberia . Her Senate confirmation hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was held on 27 January 2020, covered …

Coup d’état in Myanmar underlines critical importance of the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda – and the continued failure of the UN to deliver on it

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

The devastating news that Myanmar’s military has again seized power through a coup d’état, after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party, represents the culmination of a five-year cycle of failure on the part of the UN – a failure to put human rights ‘up front’ in its dealings with governments, and …

Incitement and insurrection in the US underscore need for universal norms on hate speech and disinformation in the digital age

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Amanda Gu, Universal Rights Group NYC Asuntos contemporáneos y emergentes, Blog, Blog

The attack on the United States Capitol on 6 January was live streamed on every major internet platform , an act of violence recorded and organised online. Digital technology companies quickly suspended related accounts, adding to a global debate on the parameters of freedom of expression in the digital realm. Given the gravity of the situation — the fact that social media was used in the attempted …

Human Rights Council vote to elect new President sets a positive precedent

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Instituciones, procesos y mecanismos de derechos humanos internacionales

There have been suggestions in press coverage about the selection of the 2021 President of the Human Rights Council that the inability of members of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) to settle on a single consensus candidate, and to instead pass the decision to the full Council for vote by secret ballot, was in some way a bad thing – that it was …

41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

A new year’s resolution: placing the Human Rights Council at the vanguard of the global democratic fight-back

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

It is now over thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and excited talk about the ‘end of history’ [i] – the idea that with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991) and the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy, humanity had reached ‘not just […] the passing of a particular period of …