Is UN Secretary-General António Guterres committed to human rights?

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

Much of the criticism of UN SG Guterres for his “silence” on human rights is misplaced—he is rather making a good faith effort, alongside High Commissioner Bachelet, to balance the public and private diplomacy aspects of his mandate. Is Secretary-General António Guterres really committed to human rights? That’s a question that has been vexing diplomats, civil society representatives and journalists …

Placing human rights at the heart of prevention: Short analysis of the report of the group of experts on ‘the contribution of the Council to prevention’

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

Ever since the establishment of the UN in 1946, the Organisation has recognised the central importance and value of prevention and declared its determination to place the approach at the centre of its work. Indeed, the very first words of the UN Charter make clear that the UN’s overriding mission is to prevent the gross and systematic human rights abuses …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2020?

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

An independent analysis of the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council The High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council , held from 24 to 26 February 2020, saw the active participation of more than a 100 world leaders, including, four heads of States, around 90 ministers or vice-ministers, and a number of principals of international organisations. In the statements they delivered to …

URG’s verdict on the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Call to Action’: a missed opportunity

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

On Monday 24 February, the first day of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC43), UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched a new ‘Call to action for human rights.’ Rumours of a ‘major announcement’ from the Secretary-General had been circulating since late last year, and were confirmed by Guterres himself in a keynote speech to the General Assembly on 22 January. In it, he identified four key contemporary challenges facing humanity (he called …

Placing human rights at the heart of the UN’s prevention agenda would reduce suffering and save world governments over US$35 billion per year

by the URG team Blog, Blog, News, Press

UN efforts over the past thirty years to shift its approach to crises and conflicts from reaction to prevention have largely failed for two main reasons, according to a new report by the Universal Rights Group (URG) think tank. First, because it is far easier for world governments to invest political and financial capital in responding to humanitarian disasters (especially …

Given UN failings in Myanmar, where is Human Rights up Front?

by Jennifer Norris, Lawyer and human rights advocate Blog, Blog, By invitation, Universal Rights Group NYC

What happened to the UN’s Human Rights up Front initiative?  This is a question many human rights advocates have asked since UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took office in 2016.  A recent report on the UN’s failings in Myanmar during the atrocities committed against the Rohingya in 2017 has put this question in stark relief. The independent review , conducted by Gert Rosenthal, …

Shedding light on the current status of the UN's Human Rights Up Front initiative.

Policy or aspiration: shedding light on the current status of the UN’s Human Rights Up Front initiative

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC and Rodrigo Saad, former Universal Rights Group - NYC Beyond the Council, Policy reports, Universal Rights Group NYC

Policy or aspiration: shedding light on the current status of the UN’s Human Rights Up Front initiative

The question of ‘what happened to Human Rights up Front’ is an oft repeated refrain in meetings with New York civil society. However, little consistent, clear information had been offered on the status of the initiative within the UN secretariat. This led to many inside and outside that system to believe that the initiative was dead, or reconfigured beyond recognition. …

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN.

Building a ‘Culture of Prevention’ in ASEAN

by Yang Yue, Deputy Director and Associate Professor of Institute of Asian Studies, China Foreign Affairs University Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

More than two decades have passed since the concept of an ASEAN ‘Socio-Cultural Community’ (ASCC) emerged for the first time. The idea first appeared in proposals for a ‘Community of Caring Societies,’ adopted by ASEAN countries in their ‘Vision 2020’ (adopted in 1997). Six years later, ASEAN proposed to build an ASCC in its ‘Declaration of ASEAN Concord II’ (Bali …

Report of the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council

Report on the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Uncategorized @nyc, URG Human Rights Council Reports

Quick summary The 42nd regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC42) was held from Monday 9th September to Friday 27th September 2019. On 9th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In it she focused extensively on the climate crisis and identified climate change as ‘a rapidly growing and global threat to human rights.’ …

UN peace and security reform: an update

by URG-NYC Team Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This post is the third in a series of blogs produced by the URG-NYC team to take stock of the implementation of the UN reforms, which were adopted in the past 18 months. This post covers reforms to the peace and security pillar.  Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying degrees, to modernise the UN, to streamline and …