Philippines’ request for deferral of UPR rejected

The Permanent Mission of the Philippines issued a Note Verbale on 23 January 2017 addressed to all Permanent Missions and to the President of the Human Rights Council requesting to defer its examination under the UPR Working Group, which was to take place on 8 May, to 2017. The official motive of the request was for “administrative considerations” due to the new administration’s agenda focused on governance and development. The Philippines also took the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In response to the request the President of the Human Rights Council, Mr Maza Martelli from the Permanent Mission of El Salvador, met with the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to recommend the Delegation contact the OHCHR in order to discuss alternative solutions while maintaining the established order of review, as postponing it would “not be positively received by States”.

On February 6th, the Philippines issued another Note Verbale retracting the request formulated on its previous one. On this new Note, the Philippines mentions again the efforts needed to undergo the examination by the UPR, but due to the high “value the Philippines places on the HRC and its UPR mechanism”, and after some consultations, agreed to proceed as convened.

UPR Info welcomes the final decision of the Philippines to continue with the examination as scheduled, and thanks the President of the Human Rights Council for his efforts to safeguard the universality of the mechanism and equal treatment among States.