Reflections on the Human Rights Council: the Way Forward

by H.E. Ambassador WU Hailong, Permanent Representative of China to the UN Office at Geneva and the URG team Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In October 2013, before taking office as the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office in Geneva, I led the Chinese delegation that participated in our second cycle review under the Universal Periodical Review (UPR). The review took place, of course, in Room 20 of the Palais des Nations, and I was deeply impressed by the colourful ceiling designed by the …

Challenges and opportunities for the Human Rights Council in 2015

by Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, President of the Human Rights Council Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The work of the Human Rights Council is definitely underestimated. This point immediately struck me when I was elected President of the Council for the year 2015, and international and German media representatives approached me for interviews. “Isn’t the Council a tiger without teeth?” “What can the Council achieve without being able to impose sanctions like the Security Council?” “Looking …

URG launches global media analysis of HRC visibility and relevance

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

To mark Human Rights Day 2014, the Universal Rights Group has commissioned a global media survey analysing the quantity and content of coverage of the Human Rights Council. Such an analysis of media interest in and opinions on the Council and its mechanisms is a useful means of understanding how the body is seen beyond the cantonal boundaries of Geneva, …

URG launches global media analysis of HRC visibility and relevance

by the URG team Blog

To mark Human Rights Day 2014, the Universal Rights Group has commissioned a global media survey analysing the quantity and content of coverage of the Human Rights Council. Such an analysis of media interest in and opinions on the Council and its mechanisms is a useful means of understanding how the body is seen beyond the cantonal boundaries of Geneva, …

The 2015 Human Rights Council

by Marc Limon & Toby Lamarque Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

On October 21st the UN General Assembly held its annual election for seats on the Human Rights Council. A total of fifteen seats were available across the UN’s five regional groups, with the candidates and results shown in the table below (those elected in bold). The new members will start their three-year terms on 1st January 2015. In the African …

Human Rights Council President, Bureau and Member States must respect the role and rights of NGOs

by Phil Lynch, Director of the International Service for Human Rights Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

The right, and indeed the responsibility, of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to critique governments, expose and pursue accountability for human rights violations, and advocate for changes in law, policy and practice should be uncontroversial and uncontested. This is particularly the case at the UN Human Rights Council, the world’s apex body for human rights debate and dialogue, the mandate of which …

Living up to our own standards?

by H.E. Ambassador Hanns Heinrich Schumacher, Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The United Nations Human Rights Council emerged in response to the failures of the former Commission on Human Rights to effectively implement the rich normative framework of human rights standards that most members of the international community have committed themselves to. Our human rights architecture in 2014 appears to be both solid and comprehensive: The Universal Declaration on Human Rights …

Giving Small States a Level Playing Field at the Human Rights Council

by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

The principle of sovereign equality of States, enshrined in the UN Charter, recognises that all States are equal irrespective of their size, wealth, population or strength. Article 4 of General Assembly resolution 60/251, establishing the Human Rights Council, makes clear that the work of the Council shall be guided by ‘the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity, constructive international …

Report on the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council

by the URG team Uncategorized

The Human Rights Council concluded its twenty-fifth session on Friday 28rd March 2014 after taking action on forty-two texts. Its high-level segment saw the participation of around 94 dignitaries, including the President of Tunisia and Vice President of Colombia. Key-note statements were delivered by the United Nations Secretary General, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations High …

LDC-SIDS Trust Fund is key to promoting universalism

by Subhas Gujadhur Blog

On 27th March 2014, H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations delivered a cross regional statement on the operationalisation of Human Rights Council resolution 19/26 on ‘The Voluntary Technical Assistance Trust Fund to support the participation of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in the work of the Human Rights …