UPR Info is concerned by the many challenges raised by the second UPR cycle. Among them, cases of "non-cooperation" and "persistent non-cooperation" have to be addressed as soon as possible by the Human Rights Council (the Council), as presented by UPR Info in a joint statement with the International Service for Human Rights at the Council on 15 March 2013.
UPR Info regrets indeed the response of the Council to the case of non cooperation of Israel. Simply postponing the review because the country is absent could make it too easy for other countries to refuse to cooperate with UPR. The steps developed in decision A/HRC/OM/7/1 adopted by the Council on 29 January 2013 were not satisfactory and should not be the basis for next cases of non-cooperation. Instead, the Council should develop a robust mechanism to deal with "persistent non cooperation" in any case.
Persistent non-cooperation - non participation
In order to define "persistent non cooperation", we note that participation in the UPR includes many different steps such as:
1/ submitting a national report;
2/ selecting its own troika;
3/ participating in the interactive dialogue;
4/ submitting an addendum; and
5/ presenting updates at mid-term on implementation.
Failing to engage in three or more of those steps should be fully considered as persistent case of non cooperation cases.
In addition, in order to have its UPR postponed, a country should submit an official request containing the "extraordinary circumstances" leading to this request and a tentative date for the next review.
Failing to appear to its own UPR without a preliminary decision by the Council to postpone should bare consequences, such as referral to the General Assembly, nomination of a Special Envoy to resume cooperation, and also to schedule an additional follow-up meeting within the HRC and before the next UPR.
Persistent non-cooperation - non implementation of UPR recommendations
Non cooperation is not limited to non participation. Non implementation is another important aspect. The Council should also address this as, according to national reports submitted by States at the 14th session, a worrisome 22% of the recommendations and pledges received by those countries in 2008 were not even reported on by those countries and only 26% were fully implemented. We recently published data on implementation according to national reports of the 14th UPR session.
Persistent non-cooperation - other cases
Finally, other cases of non-cooperation should be mentioned and further discussed such as non acceptance of recommendations and reasons given to reject a recommendation such as being contrary to the national laws / customs / culture or falling outside of the universally accepted human rights.
Moreover, UPR Info underlines again that according resolution 5/1, recommendations are either "accepted" or "noted", and that rejection was not envisaged. States should therefore use this option with caution.