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, …

Report on the 41st session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC41) was held from Monday 24th June to Friday 12th July 2019. On 24th June, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her oral update  on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr. Rumen Radev, President of Bulgaria; H.E. Ms. Hilda C. Heine, President …

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 …

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 nature of power and influence at the Human Rights Council: a membership network analysis

by the URG team Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Why do States run for membership of the Human Rights Council? All UN Member States are, in principle, able to participate in and contribute to the work of the Council, either as a member or an observer. So why do some States choose to ‘go the extra mile’ and campaign for a seat on the body? The answer is that …

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 …

Council efficiency drive ends with important changes, but also disappointments

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

On Monday 3 December, H.E Mr Vojislav Šuc presided over his last meeting as the twelfth President of the UN Human Rights Council. The purpose of the meeting was twofold. Firstly, to formally elect the next President of the Council and his Bureau. In this regard, the Council elected Senegal’s Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr Coly Seck, as its thirteenth President. …

Time for High Commissioner to publish annual ‘Global state of human rights’ report?

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

Much has been written over recent months, including in Foreign Policy  magazine, OpenGlobalRights and URG Insights , about the multifaceted mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the acute challenges involved in asking one person to fulfil all parts of that mandate, some of which appear to exist in mutual-tension. In particular, these articles argued that the expectation that the High Commissioner …

Report on the 39th 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 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC39 ) was held from Monday 10th September to Friday 28th September 2018. On 10th September, H.E. Ms Michelle Bachelet, presented her first oral update on the global human rights situation as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the …