[UPR Trax] :No11: Happy birthday to the UPR!

Yesterday April the 7th we celebrated the second anniversary of the Universal Periodic Review. This new mechanism started exactly two years ago its first session with the review of Bahrain and Ecuador. 112 States and more than 9,000 recommendations later, the UPR is one country at a time, step by step, working to "promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world".

From 17 to 19 March, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted Working Group Reports of States reviewed last December (session 6). Nine States had submitted their responses in writing but unfortunately not all in advance, as two addendums are still not available. Out of 1746 recommendations or cluster of recommendations made during session 6, 1169 were accepted (67%), 181 were rejected (10.3%) and 396 were left pending or with an unclear position (22.7%). These figures, which are not official nor definitive as we did not access all the addendums, are among the same lines as during sessions 1 to 5, respectively 65.8%, 13% and 19.2%.

During those adoptions, the HRC President started for the first time to ask States under Review (SuR) to identify recommendations that were accepted and those noted. Those requests for clarification were then also made by States such as Switzerland and Norway.

The three-day adoptions were followed by a general debate. Member-States, observers and NGOs took the floor to raise several issues pertaining to the process, among which were the speaker’s list, reporting under item 6, the responses to recommendations, the reasons for rejecting them and the second cycle. In addition, China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates presented information on the implementation of recommendations in their country.

Finally, the Office of the High Commissioner just released the latest deadlines for the submission of information for NGOs concerning session 10, 11, and 12. They are respectively July 2010, November 2010 and March 2011.

On UPR-info.org, we have recently developed different pages and paragraphs to improve our information on the process. We have created a page on the HRC review which details the process and provides related documents. Another new page lists trainings and courses on the UPR held in Geneva and on the field to offer NGOs and other stakeholders the possibility to learn more about the process. Our page on the follow-up now contains concrete examples of best practices used by States. Finally, we have also enriched our paragraph on the lobbying for NGOs with detailed explanations on where, when and how to do it.

Following our launch on March 18, our database of UPR recommendations is now fully working and accessible on our website. We strongly encourage you to use it and give us your feedbacks in order to improve it and make it an essential tool for your work on the UPR.

Quote of the month

“According to resolution 5/1, States under Review shall either support or note the recommendations. May I thus kindly ask you to clarify your position in this regard”

H.E. Mr. Alex Van Meeuwen, President of the Human Rights Council, to the delegation of Eritrea, 17 March 2010.

News on the UPR process

  • HRC holds general debate on the UPR - 7 April 2010

The Human Rights Council (HRC) held on Friday 19 March a general debate on the Universal Periodic Review. Member-States, observers and NGOs took the floor to discuss the mechanism and raised several issues among which: the speaker’s list, reporting under item 6, the responses to recommendations, the reasons for rejecting them and the second cycle. Read more here…

  • Outcome of the "Retreat of Algiers" on the 2011 HRC review - 1 April 2010

Read more here…

 

  • New proposals for the list of speakers - 22 March 2010

Following the first proposal released last September to solve the problems with the list of speakers, two new proposals (option 2 and 3) have emerged recently. Read more here…

  • DPRK, first and only State to accept 0 UPR recommendation - 19 March 2010

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the first State reviewed under the UPR to not accept at least one recommendation among the 167 received. Read more here…

  • States under Review asked by the HRC President to provide responses to recommendations - 17 March 2010

The President of the Human Rights Council, H.E. Mr. Alex Van Meeuwen, asked the three States under Review this morning to provide answers on recommendations left pending. Read more here…

 

News on UPR-info.org

  • Final updates on responses to recommendations - Session 6 - 5 April 2010

We have now updated our table containing the latest responses provided by the 16 States under Review (SuR) to recommendations received during the interactive dialogue and for each of the 16 SuR the document listing all the recommendations and identifying the responses to them.

  • Information on the 2011 HRC review - 1 April 2010

UPR Info will be closely monitoring the review of the Human Rights Council that will take place in 2011. To this aim, we have set up a specific page which contains explanation of the review process and provides the key documents. Read more here…

  • Trainings on the UPR - 30 March 2010

UPR Info started to publish trainings on the Universal Periodic Review taking place both in Geneva and elsewhere to facilitate the work of NGOs and other stakeholders involved in the UPR process.

  • Improvement of our information on Lobbying - 30 March 2010

We have recently reviewed and improved our information on the lobbying that is contained in the NGO page. This section now lists useful guidelines on how the lobbying should be conducted both in Geneva and in the State under review as well suggestions on how to present and phrase recommendations.

  • Improvement of our Follow-up page - 30 March 2010

We have recently reviewed and improved our page dedicated to the follow-up. This latter now describes in details the process of the follow-up and its importance in the UPR. 

  • UPR Info’s article in UN magazine - 19 March 2010

UPR Info published an article in the March issue of UNSpecial, the United Nations magazine. The article provides an analysis of UPR recommendations and details the different activities of UPR Info on this issue. Read more here…

  • Addendums of Norway and Portugal available - 16 March 2010

 

  • Draft Report of the Working Group of Egypt finally available - 16 March 2010

 

  • Addendums of Bhutan, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire and Eritrea available - 10 March 2010

 

  • Launch of UPR Info’s Database of Recommendations Thursday 18 March - 8 March 2010

We are launching the first database of UPR recommendations. Read more here…