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The Human Rights Council in 2019

6 December 2019

A written analysis of the main events and development at the Council in 2019, as well as data on the quantitative evolution of the Council’s work since the body’s establishment in 2006.

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Policy report

OSLO+1

13 November 2019

Report of the second informal meeting of development partners on : ‘International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals’

This was the second informal meeting on how international cooperation could be better leveraged to support the national implementation of international human rights obligations and commitments...

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Policy report

Policy or aspiration: Shedding light on the Human Rights Up Front initiative

29 October 2019

The question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft-repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent and clear information has been provided by the UN secretariat on the status of the initiative...

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The Inside Track NY

30 September 2019

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2019 Election guide

27 September 2019

The report is the fifth annual yourHRC.org Guide to the UN Human Rights Council Elections. It provides general information on the 2019 Council elections (scheduled for 16 October at the GA in New York), when States will compete to win seats for new three-year terms (2020-2022)...

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Policy report

Is the global situation of human rights improving or deteriorating? Making the case for the empirical measurement of human rights change

7 October 2019

Measuring human rights performance is not straightforward. Yet it is as important as it is challenging. In the context of the global human rights ‘implementation gap’ that has caught the attention of United Nations (UN) member States, and human rights organisations, professionals and advocates, this policy brief sets out the…

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Policy report

Vision 2021

14 February 2019

Between 2021 and 2026 the UN General Assembly is scheduled to review the status of the Human Rights Council (i.e. should i remain a subsidiary body or become a main body of the UN). URG’s new policy brief provides background information on the 2021-2016 review, and offers thoughts on how…

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You are not alone
20 November 2019
Learn more about environmental human rights defenders (EHRDs) working at the interface of human rights and environmental protection - often at great personal risk.

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URG Insights

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

by URG-NYC Team

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 Commissioner for Human Rights; Mr. Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights; and H.E. Mr. Coly Seck, President of the Human Rights Council. The full list can be found here. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Bachelet, now…

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previous URG Insights

Prevention first and foremost: speaking at the UN General Assembly, the High Commissioner and HRC President highlight cross-cutting human rights work

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC

As part of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council (Council) gave statements to the Third Committee at UN Headquarters in New York City and engaged in an interactive dialogue with member States. These interactions provided an opportunity for a discussion of cross-cutting human rights work and priorities, as well as ideas for cooperation between Geneva and New York. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet On 15 October, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Third Committee and then responded to…

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‘Unfriending’ online hate: The contribution of the World Jewish Congress

by Leon Saltiel, WJC’s Representative in Geneva and Project Manager on Countering Antisemitism, Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs

There is little doubt that one of the modern world’s principal political challenges is the rise of hate speech, particularly in the cyber arena. Such hateful and intolerant expression, especially when widely circulated via the internet, promotes populism, extremism and radicalisation and deplorably leads to violence and murderous attacks. This incitement tears societies apart, threatens democracy and the rule of law. No population group is immune to such hatred. In recent years, the combination of hate speech and the power and reach of online media platforms as well as social media, have created a toxic mix which the international community…

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Given UN failings in Myanmar, where is Human Rights up Front?

by Jennifer Norris, Lawyer and human rights advocate

What happened to the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative?  This is a question many human rights advocates have asked since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office in 2016.  A recent report on the UN’s failings in Myanmar during the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in 2017 has put this question in stark relief. The independent review, conducted by Gert Rosenthal, a Guatemalan diplomat with expertise on the UN and conflict prevention, concluded that the UN could have done more to avoid or mitigate the horrific events in Myanmar. Rosenthal’s report offers a sobering lesson on how the organisation has…

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Beauty and strength lie in diversity

by Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC

Does respecting universal human rights mean that everyone must accept and adopt unified sociocultural values and practices? Clearly the answer is no. Yet at international level we see regular efforts to malign specific countries or societies based on their religious and cultural backgrounds. Despite a general agreement among scholars that present-day human rights are the common heritage of all civilisations, we continue to witness policies and actions in some quarters that tend to reject diversity and impose one set of rules and ideas on the rest of the world. These actions are more pronounced at multilateral forums, where certain countries…

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latest policy report

November 2019

OSLO+1 - International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

OSLO+1 - International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals report coverOn 10 May 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Sida), in cooperation with the Universal…

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previous policy reports

Policy or aspiration: shedding light on the current status of the UN's Human Rights Up Front initiative

The question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent,…

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Eight years of the Istanbul process on combatting religions intolerance: Taking stock

The main intergovernmental policy framework for combatting religious intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief is set…

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URG next event

Dec 13
2019

First expert-level dialogue on the creation of an HRC Membership Contact group in NYC

By invitation only

The Human Rights Council Membership Contact Group in Geneva is an informal cross-regional group of friends supported by the Geneva office of Universal Rights Group. The contact group endeavours to strengthen universality, inclusivity and diversity at the Council by encouraging States with a demonstrable commitment to human rights and democracy, especially Small States that have ...

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