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 …

High Commissioner speaks on human rights, resilience and prevention

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

Newly appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, gave a statement at a High-Level Event during the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, marking the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “A Prevention Tool to Achieve Peace and Sustainable Development.” She said: “Human rights are the interlocking elements that build resilient and confident societies – societies …

Anti-corruption and human rights

by H.E. Ambassador Julian Braithwaite, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues

On 1 May this year, MPs from across the major UK political parties, agreed in the UK Parliament to support a ‘Magnitsky’ amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill. The amendment was adopted without a vote and was described by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, as “an important moment” that would “allow the UK to act against those responsible …

NGO advocacy and the Council's prevention mandate

by Nicolas Agostini, Representative to the United Nations for DefendDefenders Blog, By invitation

As the Human Rights Council enters its teenage years, the Council’s ‘prevention mandate’—i.e., its responsibility to ‘contribute, through dialogue and cooperation, towards the prevention of human rights violations and [to] respond promptly to human rights emergencies’ [1] —has become one of the hot topics of discussion. Operationalising the prevention part of the Council’s mandate was the central theme of the last …

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 …

Prevention: operationalization of the Council’s prevention mandate (paragraph 5f GA res. 60/251)

The Human Rights Council’s mandate to respond to human rights violations, including gross and systematic violations – as set down in operative paragraph 3 of GA resolution 60/251 – is well known. Less well known, but equally important, is the Council’s mandate to prevent such violations from happening in the first place and to respond promptly to emerging crises. Firstly, …

2018: the start of a meaningful process of Human Rights Council strengthening and reform?

by Charlotte Marres Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

There is a growing recognition that as the Human Rights Council approaches its twelfth anniversary there is a need to undertake an inclusive, cross regional and structured dialogue to review how States might strengthen the fulfilment of the Council’s mandate and purpose, as set down in GA resolution 60/251 . Following an important event organised by the Netherlands, UK, Latvia, Rwanda and Mexico on …

What are the world’s human rights priorities in 2017 and what to look out for in 2018?

by the URG team Beyond the Council

Human rights analysis of high level speeches at the General Debate at the UN General Assembly  What are the human rights situations and issues that keep world leaders up at night in 2017? What are the human rights priorities of governments for the next twelve months? The best place to get a sense of both is the general debate of …

The missing human rights chapter in Secretary-General Guterres' strategic priorities

by Dr Bertrand G. Ramcharan and Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has set about the modernisation of some sectors of the United Nations and has been fulsome in his recognition of the interrelatedness of the three sectors of the UN: peace and security, development, and human rights. He has made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But, beyond rhetoric, there has so far been no …

Human rights as 'part of the cure'

by Peter Sørensen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the UN, Geneva and Geneva Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

When UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, addressed the Human Rights Council for the first time earlier this year, he did not mince his words: ‘Disregard for human rights is a disease, and it’s a disease that is spreading.’ He appealed to the Council to be ‘part of the cure,’ especially through being ‘pivotal for prevention – sounding early warnings of crises.’ …