Inside Track HRC43
21 February 2020
Concise information and insight on the upcoming 43rd session of the Human Rights Council
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.
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.
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...
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...
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…
The Inside Track NY
30 September 2019
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)...
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…
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…
What are friends for?: ‘Groups of Friends’ and the UN system
by David Joseph Deutch, Universal Rights Group NYC
Having arisen out of the post Cold War period, the concept of ‘Groups of Friends’ represented a newly found faith and belief in the power of multilateralism as a means of global problem solving. Groups of friends are coalitions of United Nations (UN) member states, who band together in order to further and actualise particular goals and outcomes related to specific issues or situations. While this model started in the realm of mediation and peacekeeping, over the past few years, there has been an explosion of ‘Groups of Friends’ that seek to leverage multilateralism to address issues as diverse as…
previous URG Insights
Is UN Secretary-General António Guterres committed to human rights?
by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group
Much of the criticism of UN SG Guterres for his “silence” on human rights is misplaced—he is rather making a good faith effort, alongside High Commissioner Bachelet, to balance the public and private diplomacy aspects of his mandate. Is Secretary-General António Guterres really committed to human rights? That’s a question that has been vexing diplomats, civil society representatives and journalists ever since he started the job in January 2017. Many have concluded the answer is ‘no.’ A narrative has developed in which Guterres - faced with the rise of populist leaders in many key UN member States – has chosen…
Placing human rights at the heart of prevention: Short analysis of the report of the group of experts on ‘the contribution of the Council to prevention’
by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group
Ever since the establishment of the UN in 1946, the Organisation has recognised the central importance and value of prevention and declared its determination to place the approach at the centre of its work. Indeed, the very first words of the UN Charter make clear that the UN’s overriding mission is to prevent the gross and systematic human rights abuses and violent conflicts that had so scarred the world during the early 20th century: ‘We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...’ The last four UN Secretaries-General have each prioritised turning…
The UN human rights treaty system: Getting closer to the ground?
by Christof Heyns, Professor of Human Rights Law, Univeristy of Pretoria and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee, Willem Gravett, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
In a 2017 post on this site (and drawing on an idea advanced 20 years ago by Christof Heyns and Frans Viljoen), we argued that the current process of reform of the human rights treaty system should include efforts to "bring the treaty system closer to the people on the ground." More specifically, treaty bodies should not only conduct their work in Geneva, but also hold meetings away from their home base, in particular in the South. This blog entry was accompanied by entries discussing the experience in the African system and the Inter-American system, where meetings away from headquarters…
What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2020?
by the URG team
An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, held from 24 to 26 February 2020, saw the active participation of more than a 100 world leaders, including, four heads of States, around 90 ministers or vice-ministers, and a number of principals of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to the Council they addressed both domestic human rights concerns, developments and achievements, as well as their countries international priorities in the human rights sphere for 2020 and beyond. As such, the participation of…
Hard copies policy or URG Reports can be ordered here.
latest policy report
The Prevention Council: The business case for placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agendaUN efforts over the past thirty years to shift its approach to crises and conflicts from reaction to prevention have largely failed for two main…
previous policy reports
OSLO+1 - International support for the national implementation of UN human rights recommendations, including as a contribution to the Sustainable Development GoalsOn 10 May 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Sida), in cooperation with the Universal…
Policy or aspiration: shedding light on the current status of the UN's Human Rights Up Front initiativeThe question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent,…
URG next event
POSTPONED – The Glion Human Rights Dialogue 2020 (‘Glion VII’): ‘Human rights in the digital age: making digital technology work for human rights’
By invitation onlyThe Glion Human Rights Dialogue is a retreat bringing together around sixty senior policy-makers and other stakeholders in an informal, non-attributable 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 Botswana, Fiji, Iceland, Mexico, Senegal, and Thailand, will ...
08 Apr 2020
26 Mar 2020
02 Mar 2020
25 Feb 2020
11 Feb 2020
07 Feb 2020
Environmental Human Rights Defenders
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