The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the UN – Part 2

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, Blog, By invitation

In part one of this blog post, which can be read here , I described the origins of the independent international civil service, created in 1919. I also highlighted the importance of the adoption, as part of the overall Treaty of Versailles, of a set of treaties on minorities (i.e. the minority treaties). Part two will look at how the secretariat …

Human rights and elections: a call for coordination and action

by Avery Davis-Roberts, Associate Director of the Democracy Program at the Carter Center Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

In 2018 alone, more than 100 electoral events took place around the globe, including in the United States where an estimated 113 million registered US voters turned out to cast ballots in a highly contested mid-term election. This year, elections will take place in every region of the world, including in two of the most populous nations, India and Indonesia. …

The independence of the international civil service, 1919-2019: Minority rights at the League of Nations and human rights at the United Nations

by John Burley, Formerly UNDP; Office of the Director-General; UNCTAD between 1972-2004. Blog, By invitation

Part one Almost exactly a hundred years ago today, the Paris Peace Conference adopted the Covenant of the League of Nations and appointed the British diplomat Eric Drummond as the first Secretary-General. The choice was fortuitous. In this article, which will be split into two parts, I will seek to explain how Drummond built the first-ever independent international civil service, …

Mid-way to universality! CTI2024 supporting all States to ratify and implement the UN Convention against Torture

by Dr. Alice Edwards, Head of the CTI Secretariat Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

Guiding States on how to prevent and respond to torturous forms of abuse of power or position is what the UN Convention against Torture is all about. Yet, despite torture being long condemned and the prohibition recognised as a jus cogens international norm, there continue to be grave abuses perpetrated in many countries and in all regions. In others, lack …

The UN human rights system and Sudan: a new chapter?

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, Blog, By invitation

In September 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 39/22 , on ‘Technical assistance and capacity-building to improve human rights in the Sudan.’ No one should be fooled by its title: this latest iteration of the Council’s Sudan-focused resolutions was, in the words of Human Rights Watch, ‘an abdication of the Council’s responsibility to human rights victims in Sudan while grave …

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 …

The UDHR and universal participation at the Human Rights Council: Two sides of the same coin ?

by Fatou Camara Houel, Coordinator of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund for LDCs & SIDS, OHCHR Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Ms. Fatou Camara Houel is the Coordinator of the Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to Support the Participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights Council, administered by the Human Council Branch of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Do you know why the number 512 is associated with universality and …

Ethiopia secures important advances for human rights, including women’s rights

by Yibza Aynekullu Tesfaye, Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the UN & Other Organizations in Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation

“…Our government’s stand on the rights of women and their equality is not out of favour to them but rather for our common good” Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia There is a growing public sense, promoted by the Western press and NGOs, that human rights are in retreat around the world. It is true that in some countries, including …

The 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration and the contemporary human rights emergency of climate change

by David R. Boyd - UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Monday 10th December 2018, Geneva, New York and Katowice Two concurrent news stories, seemingly unrelated. First, the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a moment in history reflecting humanity’s ambition for a more just and equal world. Second, world leaders gathered in Katowice, Poland, to finalise the rules for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. …

Turning the Implementation Agenda into Reality: IMPACT OSS – the latest in human rights technology

by Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, By invitation, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms

The ‘implementation agenda’ called for in the lead up to the next review of the Human Rights Council in 2021 is a lofty yet largely unrealized ambition. On February 28 this year, almost three years on from its conception, a High Level Panel convened at the Human Rights Council to discuss how this agenda might work in practice, suggesting that it has yet to achieve meaningful change. [1] The emergence …