Ban's attempt to place human rights as a pillar in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Blog

World leaders have called for an ambitious long-term sustainability agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2015. The post-2015 development agenda is expected to address the unfinished business of the MDGs. Requested by UN Member States to pull together inputs from all strands on the post-2015 development agenda, the UN Secretary General presented on 4 …

Syria calls for greater UN intervention in domestic human rights situations…

by Professor Susan Waltz Blog, Blog, By invitation

…or at least, it did. In the early 1950s, as diplomats in New York sat down to negotiate what would become the two international human rights covenants, Syria’s delegation to the General Assembly’s Third Committee was in the vanguard of efforts to arm the UN’s human rights machinery with stronger implementation mechanisms to ‘pierce the veil of national sovereignty’* that …

Failing To Protect: Systemic weaknesses within the UN human rights machinery

by Dr. Rosa Freedman Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On 20th March 2014 the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) attempted to hold a minute of silence in the UN Human Rights Council’s chamber in memory of Cao Shunli. Ms Cao was arrested on 14th September 2013 as she attempted to board a flight to Geneva. A human rights defender in China, Ms Cao was en route to the …

A call for measurable human rights targets in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

        “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”         – Albert Einstein   This week UN Member States will consider the “zero draft” of goals and targets entitled ‘Introduction and Proposed Goals and Targets on Sustainable Development for the Post 2015 Development Agenda” which has been …

The environment is the new battleground for human rights – we must protect those on the frontline

by Oliver Courtney Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Imagine waking up one morning to be told by a man from the government that new laws mean the street your family has lived on for generations is being sold to developers. Your land is to be ‘converted’ into flats in the name of national economic development; bulldozers will soon be moving in to flatten your house and rip up …

Human rights norms: it’s the implementation, stupid

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The development of international human rights norms has been one of the great success stories of the UN. The first major achievement was the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948 – “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. Building on this first step, the UN went …

The emerging law of environmental human rights is clearer than ever before

by Professor John Knox, Independent Expert on human rights and the environment Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues Leave a Comment

On the last day of its 25th session in March 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a historic resolution on human rights and the environment. For the first time, the Council explicitly recognised that ‘human rights law sets out certain obligations on states which are relevant to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.’ This …

UN General Assembly Concludes its Review of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies

by Christen Broecker Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes Leave a Comment

The United Nations General Assembly today (9th April) completed a two-year review of a key part of the UN’s human rights architecture: the human rights treaty bodies. The review occurred in the context of and built on ideas generated from a broader effort by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ‘strengthen’ the treaty bodies. The outcome of the …

The Emerging Struggle over the Council's Prerogatives

by Marc Limon & Toby Lamarque Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes Leave a Comment

It seemed innocuous enough. In December last year, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a short resolution taking note, as per normal practice, of the annual report of the Human Rights Council, but deferring consideration of one particular Council resolution ‘in order to allow time for further consultations thereon’. This additional wording, which was subsequently endorsed by the General …

Post 2015 Development Agenda – Global Governance and the Right to Food

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues Leave a Comment

In 2000, the U.N. Millennium Summit declared that halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger between 1990 and 2015 is a key Millennium Development Goal. Also in 2000, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food in order to “respond fully to the necessity for an integrated and coordinated approach in …