We must continue to work together
November saw the first snowfall of the season in Geneva and also the last UPR of the second cycle. The final 11 countries were reviewed receiving over 2100 recommendations. To date approximately 56,000 UPR recommendations have been made across the first two cycles and all 193 UN Member States have now been reviewed twice.
This month UPR Info organised, with the support of four Permanent Missions an event to mark the end of the second UPR cycle and encourage reflection on the successes and failings of the mechanism to date. At this event, which was attended by over 150 people in the Palais des Nations, UPR Info also launched its newest publication: The Butterfly Effect: Spreading Good Practices of UPR Implementation.
UPR Info Asia has run two "Credible Evidence for Evidence-based Human Rights Documentation" workshops this month and is currently delivering a third while UPR Info Africa has been working towards upcoming follow-up programmes in Uganda in light of their UPR earlier this month.
As the year the draws to a close there are plenty of UPR Info activities still to come.
UPR INFO HQ
Final UPR event of the second cycle: Save the date
On Tuesday, 13 December 2016, UPR Info, together with the Permanent Missions of Ireland and Switzerland, will host the event, Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy in the Universal Periodic Review, in Room XXVII of Palais des Nations from 10:00 to 12:00.
As the third cycle of the UPR is just around the corner, it is critical that UPR stakeholders conduct a self-assessment of how States and civil society organisations (CSOs) have engaged with one another to date, and how this important relationship can be strengthened going forward. UPR Info, together with its co-sponsors of Ireland and Switzerland, are organising a multistakeholder conference to discuss human rights advocacy in the UPR. One aspect of this dialogue will be the UPR Pre-sessions, which offer a unique, multilateral advocacy platform for CSOs and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to brief Permanent Missions on the human rights situation one month before the UPR. Much like the UPR itself, the Pre-sessions have redefined the traditional adversarial paradigm between CSOs and States, proving the transformative nature of multistakeholder dialogue. In particular, Permanent Missions in Geneva have led by example in showing their diplomatic and political counterparts at home and abroad that engagement with civil society can be a truly fruitful exercise for all parties. Read more here.
In these times of uncertainty we must continue to work together
On Thursday 10th November, UPR Info hosted the event, Ensuring sustainable implementation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), to launch its newest publication, “The Butterfly Effect: Spreading Good Practices of UPR implementation” in Room XX of the Palais des Nations. Over sixty Permanent Missions and approximately 150 people attended the event co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland, Costa Rica, Morocco, and the United Kingdom. Read more here.
Peace, freedom of expression, and gender equality - recommendations to end the second UPR cycle
The 26th Session of the UPR Working Group took place from 31 October to 9 November 2016. During the session, 11 States underwent their second UPR: Togo, Syria, Venezuela, Iceland, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Moldova, Haiti, and South Sudan. In total, the 11 States received 2106 recommendations and at first count 40.5% recommendations were accepted. We can expect more accepted recommendations as every States left recommendations pending and will provide further information no later than during the 34th Human Rights Council (HRC) in March 2017. Read more here.
Thailand: Building solidarity in Southern Thailand on the importance of 'credible evidence' for effective human rights documentation
Between 15-19 November 2016, UPR Info Asia, the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR and the Rights and Liberties Promotion Department of the Ministry of Justice co-organised Thailand’s second sub-regional workshop with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s financial support. The event “The Importance of Building Credible Evidence for Effective Human Rights Documentation throughout Thailand 2nd UPR Cycle” was held in Pattani, and gathered over 50 participants from Thailand’s Southern region. It aimed at engaging and energizing communities from the Southern region to monitor the UPR implementation phase while developing credible evidence to hold their government into account. By bringing human rights based communities working on a diverse range of human rights issues, UPR Info Asia focuses on: (1) fostering an inclusive dialogue to ensure all human rights issues are considered equally throughout the UPR follow-up, and on (2) strengthening CSOs’ ability to assess governmental progress during this process. Read more here.
Thailand: Turning learning and experience into concrete action for the UPR implementation phase
UPR Info Asia, the Thai CSOs Coalition for the UPR and the Rights and Liberties Promotion Department of the Ministry of Justice, with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s financial support, co-hosted in Khon Kaen, Thailand, on 1-5 November 2016, the first of four sub-regional workshops in early November titled ‘The Importance of Building Credible Evidence for Effective Human Rights Documentation Throughout Thailand’s 2nd UPR Cycle’ for the Northeastern ‘Isaan’ region. Human rights defenders and advocates across Thailand will come together throughout the workshops to support the implementation of UPR recommendations, and continue to monitor the human rights situation on the ground. The goal is to provide human rights defenders and community-based defenders with the tools and knowledge to build credible evidence while holding the government to account on its international human rights commitments. Read more here.