UN reforms and human rights: A civil society policy dialogue
On Wednesday 27th March, the Universal Rights Group New York City office at CUNY is organising a policy dialogue discussing the UN reforms and human rights. The panel consists of experts in the field of UN reforms, both from the United Nations and civil society.
The purpose of this Policy Dialogue is to give civil society representatives the opportunity to discuss the UN reforms, with a particular focus on implications and opportunities for human rights work.
The Secretary General’s reforms focus on three key areas: management (secretariat), as well two of the three UN pillars; the development system, and the peace and security architecture. The human rights pillar has been conspicuously ignored. Jens Wandel, Special Advisor on UN reforms, said at a December 2018 URG event that these are not human rights reforms, but that “a more efficient UN will be better for human rights.” A similar argument has been made for human rights being mainstreamed through the process, though mainstreaming comes with the risk of “disappearing.”
This is an opportunity for civil society to discuss opportunities for the promotion of human rights in the UN system during this period of reform implementation and with the resulting structures. This is not intended to duplicate conversations speculating on why human rights is absent from the reform proposals, but rather a forward-looking exercise for information sharing, and identifying possibilities for human rights strengthening.
Christian Burckhardt Peace and Security Transition Team Executive Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
Mary Kalemkerian Peace Mission Support Section Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) NYC
Danica Damplo Universal Rights Group NYC
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