Council President speaks of centrality of human rights to the  multilateral system, including to peace and security, and sustainable development

by Abigail WEISS, URG Fellow Blog, Blog

On April 21, 2022, Ambassador Federico Villegas of Argentina, the President of the Human Rights Council, gave a lecture at the New School in downtown New York, on the place of human rights in the UN system. Although he touched on a variety of themes, a key point was that human rights is integral to – and should be better …

#TheTimeIsNow – UN recognition of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment: Past developments and future prospects

by Abigail WEISS, URG Fellow Blog, Blog

Last week, the URG, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Dr. David Boyd, in partnership with New York University, held an expert seminar to look ahead towards the possible UN General Assembly recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (R2HE). Over the course of the …

Report on the 49th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary  The 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC49 ) was held from Monday 28 February to Friday 1 April 2022. As the main annual session of the Council, HRC49 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2022 HLS included speeches by more than 120 world leaders, including six Heads or Deputy Heads of State, five Heads …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2022?

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council , held from February 28 to March 3 2022, saw the active participation of more than 120 world leaders, including six heads or deputy heads of State, five heads or deputy heads of Government, and 107 ministers or vice-ministers. In the statements delivered …

Report of the Council’s urgent debate on the situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression during HRC49

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On 3 and 4 March 2022, in the context of the 49th session of the Human Rights Council, which opened on Monday 28 February, an urgent debate was convened on the ‘situation of human rights in Ukraine stemming from the Russian aggression’. The urgent debate was requested through an official letter from H. E. Ms Yevheniia Filipenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine, addressed to the President …

Climate change, a threat to international peace and security?

by Joseph Burke, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 13 December 2021, the UN Security Council (UNSC) once again missed the opportunity to assert its leadership in the field of climate security and anchor its ability to more effectively and comprehensively address the global threat posed by climate change. After months of tense negotiations, a draft resolution (first circulated on 23 September by Ireland and Niger), which would have defined …

The state of democracy in Europe 2021: Overcoming the impact of the pandemic

by Nana Kalandadze, Programme Manager, Regional Europe Programme, International IDEA and Alexander Hudson, Democracy Assessment Specialist, International IDEA Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: democracy

Are European democracies in peril? How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected them? And is the prevailing sense of crisis justified? ‘The Global State of Democracy,’ International IDEA’s biennial report last released in November 2021, is a health-check of democracies across the globe (including a chapter on Europe), designed to provide both a current snapshot of vital democratic attributes, an analysis …

All eyes turn to the European Court of Human Rights to assess future of rights-based climate litigation

by Louis Mason, Universal Rights Group and Sarah Vigne, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

On 16 December 2021, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) communicated to the government of Norway its request for observations on the application filed on 15 June 2021 by six young climate activists, together with Greenpeace Nordic and Young Friends of the Earth Norway, alleging that continued oil exploration by the Norwegian State is in breach of their fundamental human …

The Human Right Council in 2022: Vision, challenges and a call for action

by H.E. Federico Villegas, 16th President of the UN Human Rights Council, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Challenges for the coming year As Permanent Representative of Argentina, I am grateful and honoured for having been elected to preside over the Human Rights Council for 2022. 2021 was very challenging, but my predecessor, Ambassador Khan, guided us through the year and kept the Council functioning during an unprecedented pandemic. The year ahead will also present particular challenges for the Council, …

Maine becomes the first US state to recognize the Right to Food in a Constitutional amendment

by Tess Brennan, Former URG NYC fellow Blog, Blog

On 2 November 2021, in a significant development for the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) in the United States, voters in Maine approved an amendment to the state Constitution that recognizes the right to food. The amendment , which 60% of Mainers voted in favor of, declares that “all individuals have the right to grow, raise, harvest, …