[UPR Trax] No 68: CSO engagement rounding up the second cycle

Government and civil society collaboration will ensure the success of the UPR 

This month, UPR Info organised, alongside the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Ireland, the final, Geneva based, UPR event of the year. At this multistakeholder conference UPR Info launched its newest publication on civil society engagement at the UPR and the Pre-sessions; “UPR Info Pre-sessions: Empowering human rights voices from the ground”. Following our previous publication; “The Butterfly Effect: Ensuring sustainable implementation at the Universal Periodic Review” we are pleased to have been able to conduct several assessments of different aspects of the UPR ahead of the third cycle beginning in April.

December also saw the publication of a New Guidance Note by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) providing support for States in relation to formulating their UPR national report. As we move toward the new cycle deadlines for States and other stakeholders are being issued by the OHCHR (more information below). 

UPR Info Asia and UPR Info Africa offices have both spent the month engaging in UPR training, in-country follow-up programmes, and with various events focusing on the UPR as we move into the third cycle. Check out our video of the month for civil society voices on Uganda’s UPR.


Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy in the Universal Periodic Review 

On Tuesday 13th December, UPR Info co-hosted the event, Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), with the Permanent Missions of Ireland and Switzerland, to launch its newest publication UPR Info Pre-sessions: Empowering human rights voices from the groundApproximately 20 Permanent Missions and 80 people attended the event in Room XXVII of the Palais des Nations. H.E. Ms O’Brien and H.E. Ambassador Mr Valentin Zellweger offered opening statements, during which both underlined the important and unique role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the process of the UPR. Aoife Hegarty, author of the publication and UPR Info Programme Manager explained the purpose and the content of the publication. The panel, chaired by Roland Chauville, UPR Info Executive Director, was composed of former UPR Info Pre-sessions participants and key civil society actors, who shared their country-specific experience of engaging with the UPR and how the UPR Info Pre-sessions helped them in this process. Read more here

​New Guidance Note for States’ national reports for the third UPR cycle

New Guidance Note for States’ national reports for the third cycle of the UPR has been published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR). During the first and second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), national reports submitted by the States under Review provided key updates on their human rights situation. As the third cycle of the UPR approaches, and with the aim to encourage States to focus on the level on implementation and report on the accepted and noted recommendations, the OHCHR has developed a new Guidance Note for States and has devised 'Matrices of recommendations of countries to be reviewed during the 3rd cycle of the UPR'. Read more here.

Discussion on the 3rd cycle: a roadmap for engagement

On Thursday 10th November, UPR Info hosted the event, Ensuring sustainable implementation at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) 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.

The panel discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the UPR’s two first cycles as well as the challenges for the third cycle. The complete list of ideas shared during the discussion can be found here. Read more here for the highlights of the outcomes.

Regional Offices

​Ugandan CSOs commit to an inclusive UPR process

Over 100 civil society organisation (CSOs) representatives gathered in Kampala, Uganda, 28 November - 02 December, to participate in a five-day workshop aimed at mobilising civil society engagement with Uganda’s UPR implementation process. Organised on the back of the state’s second UPR review in November 2016, HURINET, OHCHR, Defend Defenders, Lutheran World Federation and UPR Info seized the momentum to debrief CSOs on the recommendations Uganda received and how CSOs can monitor and support implementation. Working in thematic clusters, participants developed implementation plans detailing their expectations on the government and action strategies outlining how they can monitor and contribute to implementation. Read more here.

Inclusive Civic Spaces for Marginalised Youth: the UPR in the Case4Space Event

Bangkok, 1st December 2016, UPR Info Asia joined the ‘Youth at the Heart of the 2030 Agenda: the Case for Space’ co-organised by Forum Asia, UNESCAP, UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, and Restless Development. Emilie Pradichit, UPR Info Asia Regional Director, moderated the session ‘Inclusive civic spaces for marginalised youth’, in which representatives from grassroots organisations from the Asia-Pacific region discussed policy advocacy strategies for marginalised youth to engage at national and international levels, aiming at their inclusion in policy spaces and holding governments accountable. Read more here.

Promoting inclusiveness to advance human rights through the UPR

Bangkok, 29th November, LGBTI Human rights defenders from all parts of the world have come together for the 28th ‘ILGA World Conference’. As hate speech and violence against LGBTI individuals, as well as criminalization of consensual sexual activity between two adults of the same sex continues in parts of Asia, it was critical for LGBTI communities to seize the opportunity offered by the UPR to promote, protect and advance SOGIE rights. In response to this need, co-organisers: UPR Info Asia, ILGA Asia, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, and APCOM, together with the Embassy of Canada, hosted a UPR side event ‘The engagement and empowerment of LGBTI activists in the UPR to promote, protect and advance SOGIE rights’. Read more here.


Quote of the month

"In this world, what gets measured gets done". 

Mr George Morara, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights at the UPR Info Event “Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy in the Universal Periodic Review”, 13 December 2016.


A look behind the scenes at the CSO UPR Strategy Workshop implemented in Kampala 28 November - 2 December 2016.

Watch the video


  • 2 February 2017: National Report submissions deadline for the 27th UPR session
  • 23 March: NGOs and NHRIs submissions deadline for the 28th UPR session
  • Call for CSO participants for UPR session 27 UPR Info Pre-sessions will be made in January 2017. Keep your eyes open.
  • Deadlines for the entire third cycle (sessions 27 to 40) are available by country and by session.

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