On Monday 19 June, the HRC Agenda Item 6: General Debate was opened by the HRC President, where States and NGOs took the floor to comment on the UPR. During this time, in which there were no adoptions, UPR Info delivered the following statement:
At the beginning of this Human Rights Council session, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, M. Zeid, asked: “As we enter the third round of scrutiny, is the UPR deepening in relevance, precision and impact?” This question is of fundamental importance if we want States and civil society to keep engaging in the process and investing resources and energy. At UPR Info, we regularly document the impact of the mechanism while sharing best practices. In November 2016, our publication The Butterfly Effect notably highlighted how reporting in between reviews, whether at midterm or more frequently, can help ensure a better implementation, and therefore impact.
In this regard, we very much welcome the commitment made in March 2017, by 64 States, to – quote – “encourage broader use of oral updates on UPR implementation in the General Debate under Item 6”. – end of quote.
Several treaty bodies, including the Human Rights Committee and the Committee against Torture, have created follow-up procedures by which States are given 3 to 5 priority recommendations that they should report on within 1 year. We believe the UPR mechanism should learn from these best practices. States under Review could for example select 5 recommendations on which they commit to report on 1 year after their review. This would provide a concrete objective and timeframe, and help kick-start the implementation process at the national level. It would also further strengthen the culture of reporting.
While such reporting would be voluntary, by availing of this opportunity, States would highlight their full-cycle engagement in the UPR, and their commitment to improving human rights. It would also give the international community the tools to analysis the impact of the UPR.
I thank you.
UPR Info's statement is available to download here.