[UPR Trax] No 59: 2015 in Review: A lot done, more to do

2015 has been an exciting and busy year for UPR Info, both at home and abroad. Two new regional offices were established in Thailand and Kenya, providing UPR support for the Asia and Africa regions. Meanwhile, UPR Info’s Geneva offices hosted three rounds of Pre-sessions and monitored three UPR Working Group sessions throughout 2015. Within the last month alone, the three offices provided several capacity building and training workshops, for civil society organisations (CSOs) and government officials alike, in Armenia, Malawi, Moldova, Morocco, Nepal, and Rwanda.  Finally, UPR Info recently completed its 12th round of Pre-sessions ahead of UPR 24. Almost 50 CSOs came to Geneva to share first-hand insight into the human rights situation in nine countries, providing diplomats with background information for recommendations to be made at the next UPR in January 2016.

All the team at UPR Info take this opportunity to extend our season’s greetings to all our partners and a happy new year!  

Job opportunity: work at UPR Info!
UPR Info is looking for a new Programme Manager; check the job offer!
Please send your CV (2 pages maximum) and cover letter (1 page maximum) by Thursday 31 December 2015 to jobs@upr-info.org. Only full applications will be considered.
 
Pre-sessions
UPR 24:
UPR Info held its 12th round of Pre-sessions on 15-17 December 2015, facilitating civil society insight into the human rights situations on the ground in nine States: Belgium; Denmark; MozambiqueNamibia; Niger; Paraguay; Sierra Leone; Singapore; and Somalia. Almost 50 CSOs were represented during the briefings that spanned three days. UPR Info had the pleasure of welcoming the outgoing President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr Joachim Rücker, on the final day of the event. In his opening address, His Excellency explained how the UPR mechanism is “an excellent platform for studying the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council and its impact on the ground,” and that the process has resulted in “self-reflection and self-improvement” of many States. Read more here.

The 24th session of the UPR Working Group will review the nine States mentioned above as well as Estonia, Latvia, Palau, Seychelles, and Solomon Islands on 18-29 January 2016. Follow our interactive countdown on Twitter and Facebook ahead of UPR24, beginning on 5 January 2016.
 
UPR 25:
Looking further into the New Year, the 25th session of the UPR  Working Group will take place in May 2016, with the following States to be reviewed: Antigua and Barbuda; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Papua New Guinea; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Sudan; Suriname; Swaziland; Tajikistan; Tanzania (United Republic of); Thailand; and Trinidad and Tobago. UPR Info‘s next round of Pre-sessions will be held on 29 March to 1 April 2016 , with more detailed information to follow in January 2016 for CSOs wishing to participate.
 

UN High Commissioner, Permanent Missions and civil society discuss UPR effectiveness

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, H.E. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the German ambassador and President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr. Joachim Rücker, 50+ ambassadors, and civil society met on 30 November to discuss the effectiveness of the UPR process. The meeting was organised by the Permanent Mission of Germany, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UPR Info, in the framework of the German Human Rights Council Presidency and in view of the third cycle of the UPR due to start in 2017. Based on a background paper prepared by UPR Info, the discussion aimed to assess the effectiveness of the mechanism by looking both at the impact it has had so far and how to improve it in the future. In particular, ambassadors and civil society were asked to share their views on how they think the UPR could focus more on implementation in the third cycle. Overall, the meeting provided a starting point for discussions, which will be further developed over the coming year. Read more here.
The Chair's Summary is available here.

UPR Info co-organises a CSO strategy workshops in Nepal and Rwanda

On 7-9 December 2015, UPR Info, together with INSEC, The World Lutheran Federation, Forum Asia, FIAN Nepal, and Plan International Nepal, organised the “CSO strategy workshop on implementation of UPR recommendations”. The purpose of the workshop was to better equip civil society in Nepal to utilise the UPR Working Group recommendations to advance their human rights priorities and to ensure a better coordination among Nepalese CSOs and human rights defenders. 
Overall, more than 50 civil society members participated in the workshop from various organisations that represented issues as diverse as: justice; rights of the child; freedom of expression; women’s rights; access to health, food and water; and LGBTI peopleRead more here.
 
On the same dates, UPR Info organised a similar workshop in Musanze, Rwanda. Over 40 participants discussed how they will strategise their work in the years to come, and how they will support the government of Rwanda in the implementation phase.
 
Learn more about the follow-up programme here.

Morocco launches UPR 3rd cycle preparation with UPR Info's support

UPR Info held a three-day workshop in Rabat, Morocco, from 8 to 11 December with the inter-ministerial delegation for human rights of Morocco (DIDH) to prepare for the UPR third cycle. The aim of the workshop was to train members of the DIDH and other ministries (justice, education, interior, amongst others) on the UPR, including national consultations and drafting the national report, and to coach them on giving presentations on the process.  Read more here.
 

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

Through the UPR mechanism, States have become self reflective and now see the potential for self improvement… the UPR is a yardstick for progress in human rights… and must be more diligent in regards to the implementation of recommendations.

President of UN Human Rights Council, Mr. Joachim Rücker, Opening address at UPR Info Pre-sessions

LATEST DOCUMENTS

UPCOMING DEADLINES

  • 14 January 2016: Registration for speakers’ list UPR 24
  • 25 January 2016: National Reports for States under Review at UPR 25
  • 24 March 2016: NGO written submissions for States under Review at UPR 26

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