Spotlight on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights at the UN

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

In Michelle Bachelet’s address at the 74th session of the Third Committee at the UN General Assembly (GA) she highlighted recent ‘pushbacks on women’s equality’ and the need for a ‘pushback to the pushback.’ Indeed, over the last several years, women’s rights, and especially women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), have been a point of contention at the UN. …

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 …

Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Grace Kennedy, former Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

In recent years many have begun to take a closer look to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. As we near the end of 2019 now is an apt time to review the work done by both bodies this year and the level of efficiency achieved. Do these two key human …

Report on the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly

by URG-NYC Team Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

Quick summary During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Third Committee, the UNGA Committee tasked with addressing human rights issues and concerns, ran from 1 October 2019 through 21 November 2019, at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s Third Committee featured presentations by a number of senior UN officials, including Ms. Michelle Bachelet, the High …

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 …

‘Unfriending’ online hate: The contribution of the World Jewish Congress

by Leon Saltiel, WJC’s Representative in Geneva and Project Manager on Countering Antisemitism and Yfat Barak-Cheney, WJC’s Director of International Affairs Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

There is little doubt that one of the modern world’s principal political challenges is the rise of hate speech, particularly in the cyber arena. Such hateful and intolerant expression, especially when widely circulated via the internet, promotes populism, extremism and radicalisation and deplorably leads to violence and murderous attacks. This incitement tears societies apart, threatens democracy and the rule of …

Given UN failings in Myanmar, where is Human Rights up Front?

by Jennifer Norris, Lawyer and human rights advocate Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

What happened to the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative?  This is a question many human rights advocates have asked since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office in 2016.  A recent report on the UN’s failings in Myanmar during the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in 2017 has put this question in stark relief. The independent review , conducted by Gert Rosenthal, …

Universal rights : beauty and strength lie in diversity.

Beauty and strength lie in diversity

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

Does respecting universal human rights mean that everyone must accept and adopt unified sociocultural values and practices? Clearly the answer is no. Yet at international level we see regular efforts to malign specific countries or societies based on their religious and cultural backgrounds. Despite a general agreement among scholars that present-day human rights are the common heritage of all civilisations, …

2019 Human Rights Council elections

2019 Human Rights Council elections: good news overshadowed by complacency and short-termism

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

Yesterday’s elections to the Human Rights Council for the three-year membership term (2020-2022) brought some good news, but also served to demonstrate – again – the complacency and short-termism that characterises most States’ approach to these important polls. First, the good news. Overall, the elections strengthened the composition of the Human Rights Council. In the Asia-Pacific Group (APG), for example, …

URG Insights :

The Amazon fires: the burning of rights

by URG LAC Team Blog, Blog

On 24th September, the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, delivered a high-level speech during the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (GA). In it, he claimed that his Government is firmly committed to environmental protection and conservation, as well as to sustainable development more broadly. Yet, in the same speech, he questioned claims about the …