Is digital technology rotting British and American democracy from the inside out

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group Blog, Blog, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In focus: democracy

The rapid evolution and spread of digital technology are already having a major impact on the enjoyment of civil and political rights around the world, and on the ways in which democracies function. Some of those impacts are undoubtedly positive. Digital technology, for example, allows citizens to scrutinise the actions and decisions of government officials (e.g. in the context of …

For 18% of Americans social media is their main source of news – what does this mean for the presidential elections?

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, In focus: democracy, Universal Rights Group NYC

On 30 July, the Pew Research Center released a report that revealed that one in five Americans use social media for their primary source of news. This report comes at a time of both an intense news cycle, dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a fast approaching US presidential election, and when social media usage is at an all-time high . It …

US presidential candidates set out markedly different positions on human rights, the Human Rights Council and the UN

by Danica Damplo, Universal Rights Group NYC Blog, Blog, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

With a Presidential election less than 100 days away, over 150,000 American deaths from COVID-19, and a GDP freefall comparable to the Great Depression, the focus of the American voter is very much on domestic, rather than foreign, policy. Yet, a recent draft State Department report contains worrying implications about the human rights foreign (and domestic) policy of a second term Donald …

What the ‘US Commission on Unalienable Rights’ gets wrong about the UN

by Ryan Kaminski, Security Fellow, Truman National Security Project Blog, Blog, By invitation, International human rights institutions, mechanisms and processes, Universal Rights Group NYC

On July 16, the US State Department Commission on Unalienable Rights, tasked with providing ‘advice on human rights grounded in [U.S.] founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ released its draft report . Policy, legal, and rights experts have since opined on the Commission’s problematic conceptual approach.  The report’s conclusions on the UN human rights system should …

Report of the Council’s urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests during HRC43

by the URG team Blog, Blog, URG Human Rights Council Reports

On Wednesday 17 June, in the context of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, which resumed on Monday 12 June following its suspension to comply with COVID-19 health measures, an urgent debate was convened on the ‘current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests.’ The urgent debate was requested …

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 NYC 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. …

China Rising

by the URG team Blog, Blog

A review of the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council The 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (read URG’s report on the session here ), held from the end of February to late March, was, in many ways, like any other session of the Council. The failure of States to agree on modest but important efficiency proposals in …

Why Guterres and Haley are set to become the U.N.’s odd couple

by Richard Gowan and Geneva Beyond the Council, Blog, By invitation

Are Antonio Guterres and Nikki Haley set to be New York’s new power couple? The future of the United Nations may rest on the duo’s personal and political chemistry.  Guterres has only been U.N. secretary-general since the start of the year, and Haley began work as U.S. representative to the U.N. ten days ago. But diplomats are watching both of …

Brexit, the US Presidential Election, and ‘Post-Truth’ politics at the UN: a common thread?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and the URG team Beyond the Council, Blog

Friday 18th November 2016, UN headquarters, New York On 15th November Oxford English Dictionaries declared ‘post-truth’ to be its international word of the year. Defined by the dictionary as an adjective ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,’ Oxford Dictionaries said use of the …