58 States support the role of NGOs at UPR

58 States made a strong joint statement to support the role of NGOs at the UPR during the item 6 general debate at the 25th session of the Human Rights Council on 21 March.

Reaffirming their support to the UPR, "one of the most important mechanisms of the international system for the promotion and protection of human rights", the statement acknowledged the "positive contribution" and "constructive participation" of civil society at the UPR, notably at national consultations.

The 58 States however expressed "deep concerns for those cases in which the civil society participation in or follow-up to the UPR process has been threatened in various ways." Reiterating the "right to unhindered access to and communication with the United Nations", States emphasised "the need for all States to ensure a safe and enabling environment" in which human rights defenders could work "free from insecurity" and called on States to "refrain from or prevent, and prosecute as needed, any act of intimidation or reprisals against those who cooperate" with the UN.