Why Guterres and Haley are set to become the U.N.’s odd couple

by Richard Gowan and Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Are Antonio Guterres and Nikki Haley set to be New York’s new power couple? The future of the United Nations may rest on the duo’s personal and political chemistry.  Guterres has only been U.N. secretary-general since the start of the year, and Haley began work as U.S. representative to the U.N. ten days ago. But diplomats are watching both of …

Lost Covenant: A Story of the Failed 1967 Convention on Elimination of Religious Intolerance

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

2016 witnessed the 50th anniversary for a vital legacy for international human rights work, namely the adoption of the 1966 Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights. I would argue that the legacy from 1967 may be of equal relevance for today. In 2017, we face another highly pertinent 50th anniversary even if it …

Driving domestic implementation and impact: the Georgian Human Rights Council

by Natalia Jaliashvili, Head of the Human Rights Secretariat of the Administration of the Government of Georgia and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

According to the preamble of the Constitution of Georgia, it is the will of all Georgian citizens to establish a democratic social order that guarantees respect for human rights – not in isolation – but through continued cooperation with other peaceful nations. Respect for fundamental human rights therefore represents not only an integral part of Georgia’s legal and political reality, …

NMRFs – A key State structure for effective reporting, coordination and implementation of human rights recommendations

by Beatriz Balbin Chamorro, Shahrzad Tadjbakhsh, Ibrahim Salama and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

The international human rights system has expanded significantly over the past twenty years, both in terms of new human rights treaties, as well as the mechanisms established to monitor and advise States on human rights promotion and protection. It has empowered individuals worldwide, including the most marginalised and disadvantaged, to claim their rights and seek redress. At the same time …

General Assembly reaffirms prerogatives of the Human Rights Council

by Rose Parris Richter, Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

“The decision facing us today is a decision on the relationship between the Council and the UN General Assembly.” — Delegation of Singapore to the UN On Monday 21st November, towards the end of a particularly eventful session of the Third Committee of the General Assembly (see related URG blog ), UN member States took the historically important decision to respect …

Brexit, the US Presidential Election, and ‘Post-Truth’ politics at the UN: a common thread?

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

Friday 18th November 2016, UN headquarters, New York On 15th November Oxford English Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be its international word of the year. Defined by the dictionary as an adjective ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,’ Oxford Dictionaries said use of the …

Decolonization — not western liberals —established human rights on the global agenda

by Steven L. B. Jensen, Researcher at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Human rights scholarship and advocacy claim to be grounded in universality, yet both are anything but in their privileging the Western role in building an international human rights system.  A paradox sits at the heart of the human rights movement. For decades it has made strong claims about the universality of human rights but then proceeded to present a discounted …

Human rights: the basic ingredients of international peace and crisis prevention

by Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation

Basic human rights are universal and integral to human existence and the human experience. They relate to both material concerns such as food, clothing and shelter, and non-material concerns such as dignity, respect and affection. Whether it is denial of economic rights, repression of religious and ethnic identity, or the socio-political exclusion of minority groups, a sustained denial of human …

The race to be Secretary-General: gender, regional balance and human rights

by Mariana Montoya and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog

In January, a new UN Secretary-General will take over from Ban Ki-Moon. As described in URG’s recent policy brief: ‘ Candidates for the post of Secretary-General: where do they stand on human rights?’ the selection process for the new Office-holder has been the most open and transparent since the founding of the UN. Although the formal inter-governmental decision-making process has not changed (for example, the Security Council does not publish the results of …

The Council’s impact on the ground: a view from Jakarta

by Caka A. Awal* and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

5th September 2016, Jakarta  On 2nd August I landed back in Jakarta after three-and-a-half years with the Indonesian team at the Human Rights Council. As well as giving me time to readjust to life back home, the intervening weeks have given me time to reflect on the nature and extent of the ‘on the ground’ impact of my work at …