At 75 years old, global survey indicates that the UN has plenty of room for growth on the human rights agenda

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

This year, the United Nations turns 75. Secretary-General António Gutteres has made clear that the anniversary should not simply be about celebrating the UN’s successes but a ‘global reality check’ focused on listening to the public. So, it is being marked with a global consultation on international cooperation and the priorities of the world’s citizens, as well as a series …

Human rights and the UN Charter: NGOs made the difference

by Felice Gaer, Director, AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights Blog, Blog, By invitation

June 26, 2020 At the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, there is a plaque on the wall of the Garden Room that reads: 25 April – 26 June 1945 In this room met the Consultants of forty-two national organizations assigned to the United States Delegation at the Conference on International Organizations in which the United Nations Charter was drafted. Their …

China and the UN’s human protection agenda

by Rosemary Foot, Senior Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Oxford Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

In 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan famously drew attention to what he saw as a core feature of the late twentieth century – a reinterpretation of State sovereignty. As he put it: ‘When we read the Charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them.’ …

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, Prensa

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 …

Human rights in a reformed UN

This project will allow URG to continue its pioneering work on UN support for and follow-up to the domestic implementation of universal human rights norms, including via reform of the Council’s work under agenda item 10 and the Oslo+ process; and how to link this with the Secretary-General’s ongoing reform of the UN’s security pillar and development system. Regarding the …

The UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech: tackling discrimination, hostility and violence

by Rodrigo Saad, former Universal Rights Group - NYC Blog, Blog, Universal Rights Group NYC

‘Hate speech is a challenge from which no country is immune,’ stated Adama Dieng, Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide at the launch event  of the  UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech . The system-wide strategy was launched amid a backdrop of surging levels of xenophobia, racism, and overall intolerance throughout the world. This trend has been amplified by social media and information communication technologies, which have …

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 …

UN management system reform: an update

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

This post is the second 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, and provides an update on perhaps the most opaque series of reforms: changes to the UN management system. Objectives All of the reforms are intended, to varying …