Between Principles and Pragmatism: How African states vote at the UN Human Rights Council

by Hassan Shire, Executive Director of DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) and the Chairperson of AfricanDefenders (the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network), based in Kampala, Uganda and Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, Blog, By invitation

What would a comprehensive analysis of the voting record of African states at the UN Human Rights Council look like? The question isn’t easy, but we hope that the answer DefendDefenders and AfricanDefenders formulated will quench the thirst of those—diplomats, human rights advocates, or mere Council observers—who pay attention to the African Group… or worry about its voting patterns. As African human …

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 …

#TheTimeIsNow – UN recognition of the right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment: Past developments and future prospects

by Abigail WEISS, URG Fellow Blog, Blog

Last week, the URG, the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, Dr. David Boyd, in partnership with New York University, held an expert seminar to look ahead towards the possible UN General Assembly recognition of the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment (R2HE). Over the course of the …

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 …

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? …

Human Rights Day: From recognition to action on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment

by Dr Justin Pettit, Human Rights Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat and Dr Shavana Haythornthwaite, Head, Human Rights Unit, Commonwealth Secretariat Blog, Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

This blog was first published on the Commonwealth website The critical state of the environment, the acceleration of climate change, the serious impacts of pollution and the increasing loss of biodiversity are undeniable. They jeopardise food security, weaken public health, exacerbate conflict and displacement, deepen inequalities, undermine development, threaten achievement of the SDGs, and impede economic growth – all whilst …

Report on the 48th 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 48th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC48 ) was held from Monday 13 September to Monday 11 October 2021. On 13 September, H.E. Michelle Bachelet presented her global update on the human rights situation around the world, followed by her report on Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and oral updates on Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Sri Lanka. An enhanced …

Report of the 30th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

by the URG team Blog, Blog, Reportes, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Thursday 27th May 2021, the Human Rights Council convened a Special Session to address ‘the grave human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem’. The Special Session was requested via an official letter dated 19 May 2021 and signed by H.E Mr. Khalil Hashmi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Pakistan, and Coordinator of the Organization of …

Report on the 46th 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 46th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC46) was held from Monday 22nd February to Wednesday 24th March. As it is the main annual session of the Council, HRC46 began with a High-Level Segment (HLS). The 2021 HLS included speeches by 130 States and other dignitaries, including: H.E. Mr Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr …

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 …