I am delighted to mark the start of 2014 by introducing Geneva’s new human rights think tank: the Universal Rights Group (URG).
The URG is a small, independent think tank dedicated to analysing and strengthening global human rights policy. It is the only such institution in Geneva and the only think tank in the world focusing exclusively on human rights. Our goal is to provide rigorous yet accessible and timely policy research, analysis and recommendation, a forum for discussion and dialogue, and a window onto the work of the international human rights system.
The strategy and work of the Group is developed in consultation with Board of Trustees made up of eminent human rights experts from all regions of the world. And an Advisory Committee of respected scholars, civil society leaders and journalists advises the secretariat on substantive content. The Group’s programme of work is implemented by a small secretariat based in Geneva. It also has an Africa office and next year will open small offices in Asia and North America. All parts of the URG strive for geographic and gender balance.
We have already begun to implement many of the projects outlined in the biennial programme of work, and have organised a number of policy roundtables in Geneva and New York. Our first policy reports are due in February 2014.
I hope in the months and years to come, you will find the URG to be a useful and accessible resource. You can follow our work via our website, Twitter and Facebook. We will also send regular email notifications.
Chairperson of the Board of Trustees
UN Special Rapporteur
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