UPR Info’s 2015 Annual Report

2015 was a year of evolution, expansion and engagement for UPR Info. We opened two Regional Offices in Bangkok, Thailand, and Nairobi, Kenya. We launched three publications on the UPR, including A Guide for Recommending States. We continued to support UPR implementation strategies through our Follow-up Programme and had a strong year of engagement and participation in our Geneva-based Pre-sessions.

The highlight of 2015 was the opening of two new UPR Info offices in Thailand and Kenya to increase regional support and facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement with the UPR on the ground. For instance, UPR Info Asia held the first in-country Pre-sessions in advance of the UPR of Myanmar offering a unique opportunity for local civil society to raise concerns, provide first-hand information from the ground, as well as evidence-based solutions through offering Recommending States precise and concrete UPR recommendations. Our office in Africa organised several workshops with civil society organisations (CSOs), held a series of Dialogue-days between CSOs and governments as well as multi-stakeholder UPR training sessions.

In Geneva, we held Pre-sessions on 29 countries, bringing together 93 national CSOs, 11 national human rights institutions, and 35 international CSOs to present key insights into the human rights situation on the ground in advance of the UPR sessions of their respective countries. The Pre-sessions also provided an invaluable opportunity for local NGOs to conduct extensive bilateral lobbying of diplomats in Geneva. Together with the Pre-sessions, we continued to work on the implementation of UPR recommendations on the ground through our Follow-up Programme. In partnership with UPR Info, Outcome Charters committing national CSOs to a joint UPR implementation strategy were adopted in Malawi, Mongolia, Nepal and Rwanda. We also brought together governments and civil society to discuss implementation of UPR recommendations in Armenia, Kenya, Malawi and Mongolia.

We supported States’ engagement in the UPR by publishing A Guide for Recommending States which provides concise and practical guidelines on how to effectively engage with the UPR from the perspective of the State making the recommendations. The Guide offers practical tips for participation, best practices for drafting recommendations, and emphasises the importance of linking first and second cycle recommendations. It is currently available in English, French, and Spanish.

Finally, 2015 saw UPR Info providing a series of in-country and Geneva-based trainings to CSO and State actors, as well as the election of Mr Miloon Kothari, former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, as new President of UPR Info.

In 2015 the impact of UPR Info has definitely moved beyond Geneva’s corridors. We look forward to continuing our engagement at the forefront of the UPR in 2016, in particular in the context of the upcoming third UPR cycle and by following closely developments related to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Read our 2015 Annual Report here