Council President speaks of centrality of human rights to the  multilateral system, including to peace and security, and sustainable development

by Abigail WEISS, URG Fellow Blog, Blog

On April 21, 2022, Ambassador Federico Villegas of Argentina, the President of the Human Rights Council, gave a lecture at the New School in downtown New York, on the place of human rights in the UN system. Although he touched on a variety of themes, a key point was that human rights is integral to – and should be better …

Report on the 49th session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary  The 49th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC49 ) was held from Monday 28 February to Friday 1 April 2022. As the main annual session of the Council, HRC49 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2022 HLS included speeches by more than 120 world leaders, including six Heads or Deputy Heads of State, five Heads …

Climate change, a threat to international peace and security?

by Joseph Burke, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 13 December 2021, the UN Security Council (UNSC) once again missed the opportunity to assert its leadership in the field of climate security and anchor its ability to more effectively and comprehensively address the global threat posed by climate change. After months of tense negotiations, a draft resolution (first circulated on 23 September by Ireland and Niger), which would have defined …

The Human Rights Council in 2021

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

What were the main developments, achievements and flash-points at the Human Rights Council in 2021? What were the Council’s principle outputs and what kind of impact did the body and its mechanisms have on the on-the-ground enjoyment of human rights? Did members of the Council cooperate with the international human rights mechanisms, and with OHCHR, over the past twelve months? …

Making it real: Why members of the Human Rights Council should make use of their power to conduct ‘good offices’ missions

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

From 23-25 October, members of the Security Council carried out country missions to Mali and Niger, under the auspices of the Kenyan presidency of the body. In Mali, they met with members of the Transitional Government, including the Transitional President and Prime Minister, signatory armed groups, representatives of civil society, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Mali, and representatives …

Sisyphean endeavours and unfinished business: UN Secretary-General Guterres lays out his vision for a second term, including a conference on human rights and renewed focus on prevention

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 8 January 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres notified the General Assembly (GA) President Volkan Bozkir and Security Council President for January Tarek Ladeb of his intentions to run for re-election. On 23 March, Guterres sent his Vision Statement to Bozkir, and on 7 May, engaged in an informal dialogue with the GA. Given that Guterres will likely succeed in securing a second term, his …

Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship – The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes

by the URG team International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Policy reports, Reportes

In her first address to the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Third Committee as High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018, Michelle Bachelet urged States to remember that ‘the human rights system is not a Cassandra, correctly predicting crises yet unable to prevent them. It is a force for prevention. When it is backed by the political will of key …

The Human Rights Council in 2020

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

What were the main developments, achievements and flash-points at the Human Rights Council in 2020? What were the Council’s principle outputs and what kind of impact did the body and its mechanisms have on the on-the-ground enjoyment of human rights? Did members of the Council cooperate with the international human rights mechanisms, and with OHCHR, over the past twelve months? Does …

Coup d’état in Myanmar underlines critical importance of the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda – and the continued failure of the UN to deliver on it

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

The devastating news that Myanmar’s military has again seized power through a coup d’état, after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party, represents the culmination of a five-year cycle of failure on the part of the UN – a failure to put human rights ‘up front’ in its dealings with governments, and …

Safeguarding human rights in places of detention: The role of National Preventive Mechanisms during COVID-19

by Marie Porchet, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions of individuals around the world. As national and supranational authorities have attempted to confront uncertainties raised by the crisis, people have seen their liberties restricted through measures such as social distancing, lockdowns, and bans on various activities. This situation has been especially worrisome for certain vulnerable groups, notably persons deprived of …