On Friday 10 June, the Human Rights Council (HRC) President organised a second informal consultation on the follow-up to the HRC Review on the Universal Periodic Review.
This consultation followed the one held on 27 May during which States and other stakeholders discussed the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: timetable for each Working Group session, the order of review, the list of speakers, the general guidelines for the three documents and the Funds.
In preparation for this second consultation, the following documents had been circulated:
- New version of the draft decision to be adopted by the HRC at its current 17th session
- New option for the Working Group timetables.
This new version of the draft decision introduced a few changes from the previous version:
- Paragraph II. B: the word "new" was taken, as many States asked during the first informal;
- Paragraph III. The duration of each Working Group Review was set on 3.5 hours;
- Paragraph V: The Secretariat was requested to present annual written reports to the HRC on the operations of the funds and the resources available to it.
According to this option D, seven States would be reviewed per week and the Working Group adoptions would be held on Thursday and Friday afternoon of each week and not throughout the week any more.
The consultation was brief as only a handful of countries took the floor. Hungary, on behalf of the European Union, supported both the draft decision and option D.
Part II. Paragraph E: Egypt on behalf of the NAM and Nigeria on behalf of the African Group suggested deleting the newly added words "in relation to the implementation of accepted recommendations and the development of human rights situations in the State" while Switzerland wanted to keep them.
Part III: No comments were made against a 3.5 hour Working Group review. As for how to distribute the additional 30 minutes, Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Switzerland and Nigeria on behalf of the African Group were in favour of the proportionality, that is allocating ten minutes to the State under Review and twenty minutes to the participating States. Asked by the HRC President, the Ambassador of Morocco explained that during the HRC Review, the majority of States supported the proportionality.
Option D triggered intense discussions because not all States would have 48 hours between their review and the adoption of the draft Report of the Working Group. India stated preferring going back to option A, that is a three hour review.
The HRC President therefore suggested taking a decision on the other issues at this HRC session and leaving the issue of the timetable to the next HRC session in September. But Pakistan and India did not agree.
In conclusion, the President proposed to hold a third informal consultation. This will take place on Wednesday 15 June from 10 am to 12 pm.