China Rising

by the URG team Blog, Blog

A review of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council The 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (read URG’s report on the session here ), held from the end of February to late March, was, in many ways, like any other session of the Council. The failure of States to agree on modest but important efficiency proposals in …

A new approach to advancing dialogue on human rights

by Yoni Ish-Hurwitz, Executive Director of the Human Rights Likeminded Office Blog, By invitation

Polarisation and politicisation at the United Nations – words on the mind of every diplomat and international activist working on human rights. More often than not in debates and decisions at the Human Right Council, group dynamics come into play, often masking differences or commonalities in national positions. For example, a country that normally supports sexuality education may reverse its …

A new website: enhancing the efficiency of the Human Rights Council?

by Mariana Montoya Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

This week, the Human Rights Council’s Secretariat launched a new and improved website, which offers a ‘ new look & feel and improved navigation ’. But the truth is there is much more than meets the eye. The new features offered by the Council’s new portal represent an effort towards bringing the Council closer to its stakeholders and people on the ground; therefore, it contributes to enhancing …

The Human Rights Council: Cooperation and dialogue for the benefit of all

by H.E. Ambassador Vojislav Šuc, 12th President of the Human Rights Council Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

5 February 2018, Geneva It has been almost seventy years since the nations of the world adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the preamble of which reminds all of us that the ‘recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace …

Reform of the UN human rights petitions system

by Geneva International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Policy reports

Reform of the UN human rights petitions system

In this groundbreaking new policy report on the UN human rights petitions system, Marc Limon offers a first-ever comparative analysis of the visibility, accessibility, responsiveness and effectiveness of all the main international communications procedures (i.e. those provided by the Special Procedures and the Treaty Bodies, and by the Human Rights Council through its Confidential Complaints Procedure). The policy report concludes by offering recommendations for systemic reform of this vital – though often neglected – component of the international human rights protection system.

Reform of the UN human rights petitions system

by Geneva

Reform of the UN human rights petitions system

The human rights communications procedures are central to the purpose, effectiveness and credibility of the United Nations – representing the only direct link between the victims of human rights violations and the international human rights protection system. However, over the past half-century, what was once a vibrant part of the UN’s human rights work has become increasingly neglected and somewhat …

The end of the road for ‘piecemeal’ reform of the Human Rights Council?

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

On 20th October 2017, the President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli, Ambassador of El Salvador, called an extraordinary organisational meeting to try to agree a series of modest changes to the Council’s methods of work and, in turn, to agree on a request to the General Assembly (GA) for more resources and meeting time. This …

Reforming the UN Human Rights Council: a call for new leadership

by Peter Splinter, Human Rights Consultant and Former Representative of Amnesty International to the United Nations in Geneva Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The UN Human Rights Council falls seriously short in its mandate to ensure effective enjoyment by all of all human rights. It needs real reform—not another reform process. With the close of the UN Human Rights Council’s 36th session—the third consecutive session without  substantive engagement by the US—an air of unease continues to hang over the body. The US threat to withdraw from …

Report on the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary  The 34th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC34) was held from Monday 27th February to Friday 24th March 2017. On 8th March, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, presented his annual report on the global human rights situation. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session’s high-level segment, including inter alia, H.E. …

‘No fear, no hate, no wall, no ban:’ the world – and freedom of expression – at a critical juncture

by Dr Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University and Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In Focus: Human rights and religion

In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons crisis’ in 2005, the political, policy and academic world was replete with debates over the benefits or risks of ‘blasphemy laws.’ The debates highlighted a profound gap between those who believed that mocking religion (the faith, the tenets, the sacraments, the symbols, etc.) should not be tolerated and those who argued that …