Magnitsky acts and the future of accountability for violations of international human rights law: An interview with Bill Browder

by Ben Greenacre, Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Since the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail cell in 2009, US financier turned anti-corruption activist Bill Browder has led an almost one man crusade to strengthen national legal frameworks and responses to alleged gross violations of human rights and/or cases of grand corruption (which are linked to serious human rights violations ). Over the intervening ten years, Mr Browder’s determination and …

UN Development System reforms: an update

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

On 31 May 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 72/279 , accepting measures for change along the lines of the Secretary General’s recommendations and setting in motion one of the most comprehensive reforms of the UN Development System (UNDS) to date. This post provides an update on these reforms and is the first in a series of blogs produced …

High Commissioner speaks to the Security Council on human rights in Haiti

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

On April 3rd the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, addressed the Security Council on the “Human Rights Situation in Haiti.”  She marked the progress made so far on human rights, highlighted areas of persistent violations, and advised on how the Security Council can strengthen the rule of law, development, and peace during the proposed transition of UN operations in …

How to operationalize the Council’s prevention mandate, and where does it fit within the Secretary-General’s UN ‘prevention agenda’?

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

The following blog is based on a presentation given by Marc Limon, URG Executive Director, during the final panel discussion of the 9-10 April Council inter-sessional meeting, held at the Palais des Nations (UN) pursuant to Council resolution 38/18. The Human Rights Council (Council) this week convened a first inter-sessional seminar on how to operationalize its prevention mandate, as set forth …

The emergence and coming of age of National Mechanisms for Implementation, Reporting and Follow-up

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and Ellis Paterson, Research Assistant, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

One of the most promising yet least-studied and least-understood developments for the universal human rights ‘project’ (as Sir Nigel Rodley coined it) is the emergence and early development over the past three or four years of so-called ‘national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up’ (NMIRFs). These standing bodies, which usually enjoy high-level political backing, are responsible for coordinating the implementation, …

Report on the 40th session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 40th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC40) was held from Monday 25 February to Friday 22 March 2019. As it is the main annual session of the Council, HRC40 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2019 HLS included speeches by 97 State and other dignitaries, including: H.E. Béji Caïd Essebi, President of Tunisia; H.E. …

The Gender Parity Strategy and UN reforms

by Jane Murray Blog, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

The United Nations System-wide Gender Parity Strategy sets targets for equal representation of men and women in the United Nations, and also advises on recruitment and retention practices. All secretariat units have developed their own implementation plans for the strategy, setting objectives for themselves to achieve parity at all levels. This strategy is being implemented alongside wider UN reforms that deal with the UN’s management system, and reconstituting …

The human rights implications of the new UN Resident Coordinator system

by Rodrigo Saad, Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2017, Secretary General António Guterres unveiled extensive plans to reform the United Nations Development System (UNDS). His proposal, which coincides with parallel measures to restructure the UN’s peace and security architecture and revise its management paradigm, is part of a broader agenda to make prevention a cross-pillar priority. More specifically, the repositioning of the UNDS seeks to foster an …

High Commissioner discusses human rights, justice, and prevention at the Security Council

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Uncategorized @nyc, Universal Rights Group NYC

On March 11th, at UN headquarters in New York City, High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet gave her first address to the Security Council in her capacity as High Commissioner for Human Rights. She spoke at an Arria-Formula meeting, on the topic of “human rights, accountability, and justice: contributions to international peace and security” (watch it here ). The High Commissioner briefed the Security …

The history of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders: its genesis, drafting and adoption

by Petter Wille, Special Adviser to the National Human Rights Institution of the Kingdom of Norway and JANIKA SPANNAGEL, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, GLOBAL PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Introduction Human rights defenders have been on the agenda of the United Nations (UN) for several decades. After more than 13 years of negotiations, the UN General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in 1998 . This was a historic achievement. It was the first UN instrument to particularly recognise the importance and legitimacy of the work of human rights defenders, as well as their …