Policy report

Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children’s rights

12 November 2020

The six country case studies presented in this groundbreaking new report by UNICEF and URG, show, beyond question, that the UN human rights compliance mechanisms, complemented by the wider UN system, have had and continue to have a clear and measurable impact on the domestic enjoyment of human rights.

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Policy report

7th meeting of the Istanbul Process

9 September 2020

The report on the 7th meeting of the Istanbul Process seeks to summarise some of the key points made during each part of the meeting, and to collate some of the best practices shared in that context.

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Policy report

A World Made New: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world

13 May 2020

This new policy brief issues a call for governments to leverage economic rescue and stimulus packages to build a better, more socially just, greener and more resilient post-crisis world.

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Inside Track HRC43

21 February 2020

Concise information and insight on the upcoming 43rd session of the Human Rights Council

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Policy report

The Prevention Council: The business case for placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agenda

3 February 2020

The report calls on the international community to learn from past mistakes and place a robust Human Rights Council prevention strategy at the centre of the Secretary-General's revitalised prevention agenda.

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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

Informe de la segunda reunión informal de socios para el desarrollo sobre: Apoyo internacional para la implementación nacional de las recomendaciones de derechos humanos de la ONU, incluyendo como una contribución a los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible

Esta fue la segunda reunión informal sobre cómo podría aprovecharse mejor la cooperación internacional para apoyar la implementación nacional de las obligaciones y compromisos internacionales de derechos humanos...

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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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Policy report

Ocho años del proceso de Estambul para combatir la intolerancia religiosa: un balance

7 October 2019

El principal marco de política intergubernamental para combatir la intolerancia religiosa, la estigmatización, la discriminación, la incitación a la violencia y la violencia contra las personas basadas en la religión o las creencias se establece en la resolución 16/18 del Consejo de Derechos Humanos (Consejo) y su resolución hermana en…

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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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The Prevention Council

3 February 2020
For the UN’s prevention agenda to work, it is vital to build a business case for placing human rights at its heart.

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URG Insights

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

by URG-NYC Team

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 Rights, H.E. Ms. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council, and Ms. Ilze Brands Kehris, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. The full list can be found here. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms.…

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previous URG Insights

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

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 integrity of the polls. They were particularly alarmed when their own boss, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, told reporters there would be a smooth transition, but only to a ‘second Trump administration.’ The reason US diplomats are…

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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

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 last year, with states from the Asia-Pacific Group in particular better represented. Major topics of conversation were the impact of the pandemic on human rights and the functioning of the UN’s human rights system, and the role of the human…

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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

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 revealed to have been cast for his opponent, Joe Biden, Trump and his surrogates launched a torrent of unsuccessful legal challenges and unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. This has continued even after Joe Biden was projected to be the winner…

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

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group

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 of our power, but by the power of our example.” But what did he mean by this? The last line is, in fact, a direct reference to a speech he gave in the summer of 2019 in New York, and…

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latest policy report

November 2020

Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children's rights

Realizing rights, changing lives: The impact of the United Nations human rights system on the enjoyment of children's rights report coverThe international community has invested enormous time and energy in building the international human rights system over the past 70 years. Yet for as long…

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previous policy reports

Guide to the 2020 Human Rights Council Elections

The sixth annual yourHRC.org Guide to the Human Rights Council elections provides comprehensive at-a-glance information on the 2020 Council elections (tentatively scheduled to take place…

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The human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic: A summary of the RightOn web chat series

The COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty it has brought have upended our lives. One consequence has been that many parts of the UN have not…

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7th meeting of the Istanbul Process

On 18-19 November 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with the support of the Universal Rights Group (URG) hosted…

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A World Made New: Beyond COVID-19 to a low-carbon, resilient and inclusive world

In the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency and economic crisis, as we yearn for the social contact and cultural activities that define our…

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URG next event

Dec 03
2020

The Glion Human Rights Dialogue 2020 (‘Glion VII’): ‘Human rights in the digital age: making digital technology work for human rights’

By invitation only

The Glion Human Rights Dialogue is a retreat bringing together around seventy senior policy-makers and other stakeholders in an informal, non-attributable, digital setting designed to promote open, forward-looking and solutions-oriented debate. This year’s Dialogue, which is organised by the Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the URG, in partnership with the Permanent Missions of Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, the Seychelles, and ...

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