Council efficiency drive ends with important changes, but also disappointments

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

On Monday 3 December, H.E Mr Vojislav Šuc presided over his last meeting as the twelfth President of the UN Human Rights Council. The purpose of the meeting was twofold. Firstly, to formally elect the next President of the Council and his Bureau. In this regard, the Council elected Senegal’s Permanent Representative, H.E. Mr Coly Seck, as its thirteenth President. …

Crunch time for Human Rights Council efficiency reforms

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

After four years of discussions in and around the Human Rights Council about improving the body’s efficiency, discussions that have culminated, over the past ten months, in intensive Bureau-led negotiations to secure agreement on a meaningful (though still rather modest) set of reform measures; States are now entering the final stretch, with the contours of a deal clearly discernible in …

Is the US flirting with the Human Rights Council?

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

Friday 9th November 2018, New York and Geneva Events over the past week hold out the tantalizing possibility that the US, which walked away from the Human Rights Council in June, is now, if not yet fully regretting its decision, at least flirting with the Council and its mechanisms and, more importantly, flirting with the idea of getting back together. …

Human Rights Council Elections: clean slates continue to undermine the Council

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

On 12 October 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will hold elections for 18 seats on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) for a three-year term starting on 1 January 2019.  All five UN regional groups have clean slates – in which the number of candidates is equal to the number of vacant seats. [1]   These clean slates turn the election into …

The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations (Glion V)

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

The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations (Glion V)

The fifth Glion Human Rights Dialogue (Glion V), held in Chardonne, Switzerland, from 30-31 May 2018, considered the place of human rights in a modern, reformed United Nations. In particular, the Glion V retreat and its preparatory policy dialogues, looked at the human rights implications, of the ongoing UN reform process, launched in 2017 by the Secretary-General, António Guterres; and the parallel efforts of …

Is the Human Rights Council finally becoming efficient?

by Felix Luginbuhl, Universal Rights Group Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The 38th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC38) in June saw the largest drop in the number of adopted resolutions since the body’s establishment in 2006. This came against a backdrop of almost uninterrupted growth in the Council’s output over the past decade. Beyond providing an interesting talking point for Council delegates, the decrease (from 35 texts adopted one …

Why the US left the UN Human Rights Council – and why it matters

by Dr. Rosa Freedman Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The US’s announcement that it is  leaving the UN Human Rights Council  should not surprise anyone, since the Trump administration has long made clear its disdain for many parts of the United Nations. But the damage that the decision is likely to cause could nonetheless topple an increasingly wobbly house of cards. When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006, the US (then under the …

US departure from the Human Rights Council: what really happened and what will happen next?

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

On 19th June, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, flanked by the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, announced that the US would resign its membership of the UN Human Rights Council. The news rocked the Council and the wider UN, with many delegations, especially Western delegations, visibly shaken by the news and its implications for the international human rights system. Yet should they – or anyone else – really be …

The place of human rights in a reformed United Nations

by H.E. Mr Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights Blog, By invitation

Note: This article is based on a keynote address delivered by H.E. Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Wednesday 30th June 2018, at the opening plenary of the fifth Glion Human Rights Dialogue, hosted by the Government of Switzerland and supported by the Universal Rights Group.  First, let me make a few points about the Secretary General’s ongoing plans for reforming …

What are the human rights priorities of world governments in 2018?

by the URG team Blog

An independent analysis of the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council  At the opening of the 37th session of the Human Rights Council, nearly one hundred world leaders (e.g. presidents, prime ministers, ministers) delivered high level speeches commenting on the state of global human rights in 2018, and presenting their country’s priorities for the year ahead. The Universal Rights …