Do NGO recommendations matter? A side event by UPR Info and FES

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and UPR Info are organising a side event on 17 September at the occasion of the launch of a new publication by Prof. McMahon on NGO recommendations at the UPR. The side event will take place Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 2.00 - 4.00 pm, room 23, Palais des Nations.

NGO submissions are an integral part of the UPR. In many countries, civil society is picking up this new instrument of participation, hoping to benefit from the UN human rights system for the protection and promotion of their rights. But how important are NGO recommendations really in this process? Is it worth the effort engaging in a lengthy and structured process? And what would the representation of civil society voices mean for the effectiveness and legitimacy of the UPR process itself?

The paper which will be discussed at this meeting examines the extent to which state recommendations made in the UPR reflect draft recommendations proposed by NGOs. It finds that state recommendations significantly encompass NGO recommendations: two-thirds of NGO recommendations are reflected in state recommendations although a majority of them are of a general, rather than specific nature.

In general, this information suggests that NGO engagement in the UPR process is worthwhile and should be accentuated. The high correlation between NGO and overall state recommendations also supports the legitimacy of the UPR process.

Prof. McMahon is a Research Professor at the University of Vermont and member of UPR Info's Advisory Board.

The side event will take place Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 2.00 - 4.00 pm, room 23, Palais des Nations.