China and the UN’s human protection agenda

by Rosemary Foot, Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Oxford Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously drew attention to what he saw as a core feature of the late twentieth century – a reinterpretation of State sovereignty. As he put it: ‘When we read the Charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them.’ …

Placing human rights at the heart of prevention: Short analysis of the report of the group of experts on ‘the contribution of the Council to prevention’

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

Ever since the establishment of the UN in 1946, the Organisation has recognised the central importance and value of prevention and declared its determination to place the approach at the centre of its work. Indeed, the very first words of the UN Charter make clear that the UN’s overriding mission is to prevent the gross and systematic human rights abuses …

The UN human rights treaty system: Getting closer to the ground?

by Christof Heyns, Professor of Human Rights Law, Univeristy of Pretoria and Member of the UN Human Rights Committee and Willem Gravett, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In a 2017 post on this site (and drawing on an idea advanced 20 years ago by Christof Heyns and Frans Viljoen ), we argued that the current process of reform of the human rights treaty system should include efforts to “bring the treaty system closer to the people on the ground.” More specifically, treaty bodies should not only conduct their work in Geneva, but also hold meetings away from their home base, in particular in the …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2020?

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

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council , held from 24 to 26 February 2020, saw the active participation of more than a 100 world leaders, including, four heads of States, around 90 ministers or vice-ministers, and a number of principals of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to …

The Human Rights Council in 2020 – Views of the 14th President of the Human Rights Council H.E. Ms. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger

by H.E. Elisabeth TICHY-FISSLBERGER, President of the UN Human Rights Council Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Geneva, 20 February 2020 It is a very special honour for me to preside over the Human Rights Council during this year, and I am fully aware of the responsibility I have assumed from my predecessor. The Human Rights Council is unique in many ways. Unlike many other UN bodies, the Council provides a place where States and civil society …

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 …

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, …

41st Session of the Human Rights Council.

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 human rights implications of the new UN Resident Coordinator system

by Rodrigo Saad, former Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: domestic implementation of universal norms, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, 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 …