Moving from pledge to practice – Australia’s efforts to support civil society at the Human Rights Council

by Ms Elizabeth Wilde, Deputy Permanent Representative of Australia to the UN in Geneva Blog, Blog, By invitation

When Australia presented its candidacy for election to the Human Rights Council in 2015, we acknowledged the crucial role that a strong and robust civil society plays in preserving and advancing human rights. We pledged that, if elected, we would promote civil society participation opportunities at the Council, and advocate for the protection of journalists, human rights defenders and civil society …

Duplication or complementarity? A comparative analysis of Human Rights Council and Third Committee resolutions

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group Beyond the Council, Blog, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

There has been considerable attention paid, over recent years, to the relationship between the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the General Assembly. Do these two key human rights bodies form a coherent whole, with each playing a clearly-defined and logical role in the overall UN human rights system? Or is the relationship more characterised by incoherence, duplication …

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. …

At UNGA73 Third Committee Discusses HRC Report & Votes on HRC Report Resolution

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

Thursday, 15th November 2018, New York On 3 November 2018 the Human Rights Council President presented the Report of the Human Rights Council A/73/53 to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly; on 13 November 2018, the Third Committee tabled the Africa Group co-sponsored Resolution A/C.3/73/L.56 on the Report of the Human Rights Council. Both the Council President’s presentation and interactive …

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. …

Time for High Commissioner to publish annual ‘Global state of human rights’ report?

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

Much has been written over recent months, including in Foreign Policy  magazine, OpenGlobalRights and URG Insights , about the multifaceted mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the acute challenges involved in asking one person to fulfil all parts of that mandate, some of which appear to exist in mutual-tension. In particular, these articles argued that the expectation that the High Commissioner …

Report on the 39th session of the Human Rights Council

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

Quick summary The 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council ( HRC39 ) was held from Monday 10th September to Friday 28th September 2018. On 10th September, H.E. Ms Michelle Bachelet, presented her first oral update on the global human rights situation as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A number of dignitaries delivered statements during the session, including inter alia, H.E. Mr. Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the …

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 …

High Commissioner Bachelet charts a new course

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

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, marked the start of her tenure on 10th September with an inaugural address to the Human Rights Council (at the start of its 39th session). As with all inaugural speeches by new High Commissioners, the statement was closely watched by States, NGOs and the media for clues as to Ms Bachelet’s …