What are friends for?: ‘Groups of Friends’ and the UN system

by David Joseph Deutch, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, New York City, 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 …

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 Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

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 …

URG’s verdict on the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Call to Action’: a missed opportunity

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

On Monday 24 February, the first day of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC43), UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a new ‘Call to action for human rights.’ Rumours of a ‘major announcement’ from the Secretary-General had been circulating since late last year, and were confirmed by Guterres himself in a keynote speech to the General Assembly on 22 January. In it, he identified four key contemporary challenges facing humanity (he called …

Towards a new accountability? EU adds to growing momentum behind ‘Magnitsky acts’

by the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 9th December, the day before International Human Rights Day, EU foreign ministers took the historic decision to begin work on an EU-wide ‘Magnitsky act.’ The decision came just over a year after the Dutch Foreign Minister, Stef Blok, gave a landmark speech to his European counterparts in which he drew attention to the crucial importance of accountability for serious human …

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 Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, New York City, 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 …

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN.

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN

by Yang Yue, Deputy Director and Associate Professor of Institute of Asian Studies, China Foreign Affairs University Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

More than two decades have passed since the concept of an ASEAN ‘Socio-Cultural Community’ (ASCC) emerged for the first time. The idea first appeared in proposals for a ‘Community of Caring Societies,’ adopted by ASEAN countries in their ‘Vision 2020’ (adopted in 1997). Six years later, ASEAN proposed to build an ASCC in its ‘Declaration of ASEAN Concord II’ (Bali …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2019, and what to look out for in 2020?

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC and Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Human rights analysis of high level speeches during the general debate of the UN General Assembly Each fall, the world leaders descend upon New York to speak at the general debate of the UN General Assembly (GA). The world’s presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and assorted dignitaries are allotted fifteen minutes each to discuss the global crises and trends that …

UN peace and security reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the third in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months. This post covers reforms to the peace and security pillar.  Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying degrees, to modernise the UN, to streamline and …

Mid-way to universality! CTI2024 supporting all States to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture

by Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Guiding States on how to prevent and respond to torturous forms of abuse of power or position is what the UN Convention against Torture is all about. Yet, despite torture being long condemned and the prohibition recognised as a jus cogens international norm, there continue to be grave abuses perpetrated in many countries and in all regions. In others, lack …

UN management system reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the second in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months, and provides an update on perhaps the most opaque series of reforms: changes to the UN management system. Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying …