Increased monitoring and assessment in follow-up to UPR recommendations

UPR Info recently monitored the adoptions of the Final Working Group Reports for the 26th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
14 States gave their final responses to any recommendations they had left pending since their review in November 2016. These adoptions, which took place on 16 – 17 March 2017, formally closed the second cycle of the UPR.

On Friday 17 March, the HRC Agenda Item 6: General Debate was opened by the Vice President. Numerous States and CSOs took the floor and UPR Info used this opportunity to deliver the following statement:

Mr President,

We took the floor in June 2014 to congratulate States on the increasing number of mid-term reports that were being submitted by States. Back then, mid-term reports were seen favourably as an opportunity to take stock at mid-term of the progress made and share with the international community the challenges to overcome. In the 1st cycle, 55 reports had been presented. Today, 14 countries, which had submitted a report at mid-term in the 1st cycle did not in the 2nd. This is a worrying trend, we therefore commend the states which joined the UK-Morocco-Brazil-Paraguay statement today, and we applaud the voluntary commitment that can reverse such a trend and increase monitoring and assessment of the follow-up on UPR recommendations. Now that the UPR cycle lasts for 5 years, reporting through this long period has become all the more important. We notably believe that the UPR should follow the lead of treaty bodies which have official reporting procedures. We strongly encourage States to report, orally during the item 6 general debate, 1 year after their review, on a selected number of recommendations, and not wait for the mid-term point.

Mr. President,

The UPR recommendations that States make in this room are essential. Most of the time, they accurately reflect the situation on the ground. But we must not forget that the diplomatic aspect of the UPR is only one part of the process. The other part, the national implementation, leads to concrete human rights changes. Such changes should be better supported in-country by the international community, which regularly here in Geneva commits to do so. We have a unique occasion, with the beginning of the third UPR cycle, to improve human rights on the ground. We therefore urge states to translate words into actions, and fully support all stakeholders on the ground, starting today!

I thank you.

UPR Info's statement is available to download here.