On May 14, the UPR Working Group concluded its eighth session after reviewing Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Laos, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait and Belarus.
Again, and as foreseen in our previous “UPR Trax”, the list of speakers was the centre of attention during the session. By Thursday the 6, all the lists had been started informally by States in the corridors of the Palais des Nations thus resulting in many States not able to register and questions of transparency and equal treatment being raised. The small restraint that States had in starting list in advance disappeared with the session and it is only a matter of days before someone starts the lists for session 9.
The review of the UPR is another burning issue at the HRC. The main debate is whether the UPR should be included in the HRC review or have its own after the first cycle, as stipulated in resolution 5/1. The idea which seems to gather consensus is to include the UPR in the HRC review in 2011 but to use the new modalities only at the second cycle in January 2012.
Next week from 9 to 11 June, the Human Rights Council will adopt the Reports of the Working Group of States reviewed during session 7 last February. Those countries include, in order of adoption: Qatar, Nicaragua, Italy, El Salvador, Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Angola, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, Egypt and Bosnia and Herzegovina. All States, besides Boliva, left some recommendations pending after the adoption in the Working Group. To date, only Slovenia has submitted an addendum in which they provided a response to all recommendations. Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Fiji and Italy have not provided any response yet to any recommendation. The 16 adoptions will be followed by a general debate on the UPR. Potential issues include the list of speakers, the translation of reports, the review of the mechanism and reasons given by States to reject recommendations.
On UPR-info.org, we have developed the first video on the UPR in the (short) history of the mechanism. This three-minute video aims at explaining this new mechanism in a simple and concrete manner to any stakeholder interested in it. It is directly available from our website and our Youtube account. Please do not hesitate to share it.
UPR Info participated on the 22nd and 23rd of May in a Seminar on the UPR in Morocco. Organised by the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the OHCHR and the Kingdom of Morocco, this seminar aimed at sharing experiences with States that had not been through and discuss how to the improve the mechanism. Our Director, Roland Chauville, was also invited to introduce UPR Info to the participants and to present an analysis of the participation of OIF States at the UPR.
Finally, we celebrated last month the first anniversary of this newsletter. There are now more than 600 suscribers reading monthly "UPR Trax".