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.’ …

Modernising the United Nations human rights system

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

In its weekend edition of 15-16 February 2014, the Financial Times serialised extracts from a recent book: ‘In 100 years: Leading Economists Predict the Future,’ edited by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta and published by MIT Press. In one of the extracts, Nobel Laureate for economics, Robert Shiller, Professor of Economics at Yale University, wrote that the next century carries with important risks …

Building on past success and dealing with the challenges: ideas for strengthening technical cooperation at the Human Rights Council

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

The central importance of the Council’s mandate, as set down in GA resolution 60/251, to provide ‘advisory services, technical assistance and capacity-building … in consultation with and with the consent of Member States concerned,’ is, I believe, self-evident. For many developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the task of engaging, in a meaningful …

Eliminating ‘selectivity’ at the Council as a contribution to effective prevention: the practical application of the 'Irish Principles'

by Marc Limon, Olivia Bebe and Isabella Mosselmans and Geneva Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes

UN Member States have long recognised the importance, under certain circumstances, of addressing country-specific human rights situations. Where a given country’s government is unable or unwilling to protect the rights of its people, or indeed, where a government is actively complicit in serious human rights violations; then the international community must be ready to step in. This principle, first introduced …