OHCHR takes steps to focus on implementation

The third cycle of the UPR began in May 2017, with the 27th Session of the UPR Working Group. By now, each UN Member State has undergone a minimum of two reviews in Geneva and, with various levels of success, States have worked to implement the human rights recommendations they received. 

Building on the work of the last 10 years, at the local, national, and international level, the third UPR cycle must ensure sustainable implementation of UPR recommendations. UPR Info understands this is a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of all UPR Stakeholders and therefore is happy to share the latest initiative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) aimed at reaffirming the cooperative spirit of the mechanism and further emphasising the need to focus on follow up and implementation. 

The High Commissioner for Human Rights has made public 14 letters, addressing each Member State reviewed during the 27th Session of the UPR Working Group in May 2017, namely: Algeria; Bahrain; Brazil; Ecuador; Finland; India; Indonesia; Morocco; Netherlands; Philippines; Poland; South Africa; Tunisia; and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Each letter calls on the State under Review to “develop a national human rights action plan in order to achieve concrete results” regarding UPR recommendations and encourages the strengthening of “the national mechanism for comprehensive follow up and reporting in relation to international and regional human rights mechanisms and treaty obligations”.

These letters, and the publication of the matrices of recommendations prior to the Other Stakeholders submission deadlines, are positive steps taken by the High Commissioner which UPR Info warmly welcomes. These initiatives can be utilised by all UPR Stakeholders, such as Governments, CSOs, parliamentarians, NHRIs, UN agencies, and the media, to enable constructive multi-stakeholder dialogues on implementation. We will continue to incorporate them in our activities to strengthen national ownership, and implementation, of UPR recommendations.