Today starts the 8th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group which will review the following States in this order: Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Laos, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait and Belarus.
Haiti, which was scheduled to be reviewed on Tuesday 11th, was postponed to a further date due to the situation in the country.
This session will most likely be hampered by the recurrent problem of the list of speakers. A new proposal was submitted by the Human Rights Council (HRC) Bureau last February but it has not reached consensus yet. This proposal would request States to indicate by email, two weeks before the UPR session, on which States under Review (SuR) they wish to intervene. Then the Bureau would list States inscribed by SuR and by alphabetical order. Finally it would be decided, by drawing of lots, where on the alphabetical list to start.
Session 9 of the UPR is also postponed. Due to Working Groups to be held at the end of November, the session was moved ahead three weeks and will be held from 1 to 12 November 2010.
The review of the UPR, through the one of the HRC, will be very open and complex. The whole process is being discussed, from the length of the review to the period of the cycle and the number of States under Review at each session. Under Switzerland’s initiative, States, NGOs and OHCHR met in Montreux for a one day seminar to discuss the HRC and UPR review. There, many delegates asked for the review to be longer and the cycle to be of five years instead of four. Some delegates complained about the problem in the translation of documents as well as the list of speakers. The high number of recommendations made was also underlined as a major challenge for States under Review in the implementation process. Finally, the role of troika was also discussed as well as the format of responses to recommendations and the second cycle. However, only very few concrete proposals were made.
On UPR-info.org, we are working on including recommendations from the sixth UPR session in our database which should be available by end of May. We have finished updating information on the follow-up delivered under item 6. Now, for each State which took the floor under item 6, you can find extracts of their statements mentioning the implementation of UPR recommendations on their individual page.