[UPR Trax] No 63: Human Rights Council turns 10

10th anniversary of the Human Rights Council triggers important discussions on how to improve its efficiency

June marks the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council, and ten year anniversary since its inaugural first session in June 2006. The momentous occasion has sparked reflection and discussion amongst its stakeholders, in particular on how to improve the body’s technical efficiency going forward. UPR Info utilised the 32 nd Session to make suggestions on improving the technical aspects of the UPR in particular, building on broader consultations it had participate in recent months.

Outside of the Geneva process, UPR Info has been active in Niger supporting a workshop with civil society organisations (CSOs) on the development of future activities for UPR implementation. On this occasion, they set up a national UPR coalition. An outcome charter listing the thematic priorities of civil society in UPR implementation was then shared with H.E. Marou Amadou, Minister of Justice. Our organisation will soon facilitate a new meeting in cooperation with the Government of Niger, to discuss collaboration between the latter and CSOs, the national human rights institution (NHRI), and other stakeholders. In Myanmar, our continued engagement with civil society resulted in a three-day workshop to support local and grassroots activists to strategise the implementation of UPR recommendations received by their Government last November.
 

UPR INFO GENEVA

Registration for the UPR26 Pre-sessions now open
Applications are now open for the next round of UPR Info Pre-sessions (5-7 October 2016) on the following countries: Haiti; Iceland; Lithuania; Republic of Moldova; South Sudan; Syria; Timor-Leste; Togo; Uganda; Venezuela; and Zimbabwe. The UPR Pre-sessions bring together Permanent Missions, NHRIs and CSOs to discuss the human rights situation of States one month prior to their review at the UPR Working Group. The Pre-sessions offer permanent delegations the opportunity to be informed on the status of implementation of recommendations made during the previous review, while providing space for civil society to influence the process by lobbying several delegations at once. Read more here.
 

Efficiency of UPR third cycle at the heart of Human Rights Council’s debate
On 27 June 2016, the 32nd Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) held the General Debate on Agenda Item 6 on the UPR. States and CSOs took the floor to take stock of the first two cycles of the UPR and to elaborate on their views to improve the efficiency of the mechanism during the upcoming third cycle. Implementation and follow-up of recommendations, voluntary mid-term reporting, and reprisals where amongst the main topics discussed. UPR Info delivered a statement suggesting measures that could improve the efficiency of the UPR during its third cycle. Read more here.

Role of parliaments within the UPR discussed at HRC
On 22 June 2016, the “Panel discussion on the contribution of parliaments to the work of the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review ” was held during the 32nd session of the HRC. The Panel aimed to take stock of the current situation since the adoption of the HRC Resolution 30/14 (October 2015) on identifying ways to further enhance the contribution of the national parliaments. The panellists exchanged ideas, shared good practices and formulated recommendations for the HRC on different ways of further engaging national parliaments in the UPR. Read more here.
 
Civil society space in the SDGs; what we can learn from the UPR
UPR Info recently published an article for UN Special, examining the extent to which civil society can formally engage in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The long-anticipated Agenda, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), was adopted by consensus at the UN General Assembly in September 2015. UPR Info discusses how the UPR framework - with established modalities for civil society inputs - has proven the transformative potential of multi-stakeholder participation. Read more here.

Growing civil society space in the UPR
UPR Info has recently been working in Myanmar, Niger, Nepal, Thailand, and Tanzania. Thanks to our local, national, regional, and international partners, our organisation continues to demonstrate that the UPR mechanism is a powerful tool to help facilitate coordination and discussion among stakeholders and grow civil society space. In Myanmar, Niger, Thailand, and Tanzania, we co-organised three-day workshops for civil society actors to bring the UPR process to the local level. Our ultimate goal is to create national space for discussions on implementation of UPR recommendations. In Nepal, we co-organised with several partners a two-day multi-stakeholder dialogue, attended by 150 participants, from 21 ministries and dozens of CSOs. Strong commitments were taken to hold regular dialogues and, to build bridges between CSOs and Government, were taken. A similar project will be implemented in the next coming weeks in Niger!
 

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Work with us! UPR Info Asia Regional Office is currently seeking two committed and enthusiastic individuals to join our team in Bangkok, Thailand, for the following positions:
  • Programmes Coordinator (Human Rights Capacity Building & UPR Follow-up), job description here
  • Administration & Finance Officer, job description here
Deadline to apply: 17 July 2016
Interested candidates are invited to apply following the instructions provided in the vacancy announcements. For any questions, please contact us at: office-asia@upr-info.org 

Quote of the month
 

"Parliaments can help promote public debate on human rights and seek input from all segments of society…, they can lend democratic legitimacy to the outcome of that debate and galvanize public support for implementation. Moreover, most of the UPR recommendations require legislative and budgetary action. Taking parliaments into account is therefore also about making sure that those recommendations do not become a dead letter”.
 
Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union
Panel on the contribution of parliaments to the work of the Council and the UPR
22 June 2016


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