Shifting gears? How Cuba-U.S. rapprochement is playing out at the Human Rights Council

by Ashley Miller, Ted Piccone and the URG team Blog, Reflections

The long-overdue shift in U.S.-Cuba relations—formally initiated on December 17, 2014 2014, when both countries agreed at the highest political level to resume formal relations—advances their shared interests and over time may position them to work together toward a more cooperative future. So far, the two countries have made modest progress in advancing this new rapprochement: diplomatic relations were officially restored; bilateral …

2016: a year for celebration, but also reflection

by H.E. Ambassador Choi Kyong-lim, 10th President of the Human Rights Council and the URG team Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

2016 has begun, as all New Years should, with hope and optimism – and a common resolve to build a safer and better world for ourselves and our children. Regrettably though, if we look at the facts on the ground, little seems to have changed since last year, when the human exodus from Syria, terrorist attacks in major world cities, …

Burundi: today a Special Session; tomorrow a Council Member

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders and Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Later today (17th December), the UN Human Rights Council will hold a Special (i.e. emergency) Session on ‘preventing the further deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi.’ The Session comes against a backdrop of escalating violence, political turmoil, and gross and increasingly systematic human rights violations in the central African country. And yet, in just over two week’s time, …

Report on the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The 30th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC30) was held from 14th September to 2nd October 2015. At the opening of the session the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, gave his regular update on the global human rights situation, the text of which can be found here . 6 panel discussions …

Is the UN Human Rights Council delivering on its mandate to mainstream human rights?

by Paul Hunt, University of Essex (UK); University of Waikato (New Zealand) and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke for the last time to the Commission on Human Rights he emphasised that “the era of declaration is now giving way, as it should, to an era of implementation.” [1] In the past, human rights implementation was often narrowly understood to mean passing a law and securing a favourable judicial decision. Of course, laws and …

Report on the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The Human Rights Council held its first enhanced dialogue on the issue of human rights situation of migrants. 4 panel discussions were held during the session. 59 reports under the various items on the Council’s agenda were considered. The outcomes of the UPR working group reports of the following 14 countries were adopted: Armenia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, …

Report on the 28th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick Summary The 28th regular session of the Human Rights Council was held from 2nd to 27th March 2015. Opening the session , the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein drew attention to the the disconnect between the obligations and commitments of states under international law and the alarming regularity with which human rights are disregarded and violated. The high level segment was attended by, …

Report on the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team URG Human Rights Council Reports

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, makes his inaugural address at the opening of the 27th session of the Human Rights Council. Quick Summary The 27th regular session of the Human Rights Council was held from 8th – 26th September 2014. At the opening of the session the new UN High Commissioner for Human …