Sisyphean endeavours and unfinished business: UN Secretary-General Guterres lays out his vision for a second term, including a conference on human rights and renewed focus on prevention

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

On 8 January 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres notified the General Assembly (GA) President Volkan Bozkir and Security Council President for January Tarek Ladeb of his intentions to run for re-election. On 23 March, Guterres sent his Vision Statement to Bozkir, and on 7 May, engaged in an informal dialogue with the GA. Given that Guterres will likely succeed in securing a second term, his …

Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship – The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes

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

Building a coherent Human Rights Council-Security Council relationship – The prevention of human rights crises, violent conflict and atrocity crimes

In her first address to the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Third Committee as High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2018, Michelle Bachelet urged States to remember that ‘the human rights system is not a Cassandra, correctly predicting crises yet unable to prevent them. It is a force for prevention. When it is backed by the political will of key …

The Human Rights Council in 2020

by Geneva International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Policy reports, Reportes

The Human Rights Council in 2020

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 …

Coup d’état in Myanmar underlines critical importance of the Secretary-General’s prevention agenda – and the continued failure of the UN to deliver on it

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy

The devastating news that Myanmar’s military has again seized power through a coup d’état, after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party, represents the culmination of a five-year cycle of failure on the part of the UN – a failure to put human rights ‘up front’ in its dealings with governments, and …

Safeguarding human rights in places of detention: The role of National Preventive Mechanisms during COVID-19

by Marie Porchet, Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of millions of individuals around the world. As national and supranational authorities have attempted to confront uncertainties raised by the crisis, people have seen their liberties restricted through measures such as social distancing, lockdowns, and bans on various activities. This situation has been especially worrisome for certain vulnerable groups, notably persons deprived of …

The pandemic, prevention and politics: the High Commissioner and HRC President highlight cross-cutting human rights work at the Third Committee

by Tess Kidney Bishop, Universal Rights Group NYC Beyond the Council, Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, New York City, Universal Rights Group NYC

As part of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, both the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council gave statements to the Third Committee. Statements, and the interactive dialogues with member States that followed, were conducted virtually and not without the occasional technological hiccup. Nevertheless, a higher number of states participated than …

Report on the 45th 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 45th regular session of the Human Rights Council (HRC45) was held from Monday 14th September to Wednesday 7th October 2020. On 14th September, H.E. Ms. Michelle Bachelet, presented her oral update on the global human rights situation. In the wake of the violent response by the Belarusian authorities to peaceful demonstrations that occurred in the aftermath of President …

URG welcomes passage of landmark new UN resolution on prevention

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

Wednesday 7th October 2020, Geneva The Universal Rights Group (URG) welcomes today’s passage of an important new Human Rights Council resolution on the prevention of human rights violations and emergencies. The resolution, led by Norway, Sierra Leone, Switzerland and Uruguay, was adopted by vote at the 45th session of the Council with 32 in favour, 11 abstentions and 3 against (Bahrain, Cameroon and Venezuela). …

Is UN Secretary-General António Guterres committed to human rights?

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

Much of the criticism of UN SG Guterres for his “silence” on human rights is misplaced—he is rather making a good faith effort, alongside High Commissioner Bachelet, to balance the public and private diplomacy aspects of his mandate. Is Secretary-General António Guterres really committed to human rights? That’s a question that has been vexing diplomats, civil society representatives and journalists …

Placing human rights at the heart of prevention: Short analysis of the report of the group of experts on ‘the contribution of the Council to prevention’

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

Ever since the establishment of the UN in 1946, the Organisation has recognised the central importance and value of prevention and declared its determination to place the approach at the centre of its work. Indeed, the very first words of the UN Charter make clear that the UN’s overriding mission is to prevent the gross and systematic human rights abuses …