The 15th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) witnessed eventful UPR adoptions. For the first time in the history of the UPR, a State, Kiribati, failed to present itself before the HRC for the adoption of its Working Group report. The Report was nonetheless adopted on the last day of the HRC without the delegation which sent a written statement providing their responses to recommendations. On another innovative note, Guinea-Bissau sent a representative a week after the scheduled adoption and its Report was thus also adopted on October 1st.
The fourteen other Working Group reports from session 8 were adopted smoothly: Kyrgyzstan, Guinea, Laos, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait and Belarus. The General debate that followed those adoptions raised the same usual issues: list of speakers, responses to recommendations, the follow-up and item 6 with a special emphasis on the second cycle which is becoming a recurring topic at the UPR. Argentina and Romania were the tenth and eleventh States to present a mid-term report on the progress made in the implementation of their recommendations. In this regard, the OHCHR announced having set up a specific page on its website to upload them.
The deadlines for submission of national report for session 10, 11 and 12 are respectively 18 October 2010, 1st February 2011 and 4th July 2011.
On UPR-info.org, we are proud to announce you the release of our paper “Analytical Assessment of the Universal Periodic Review 2008-2010”. This paper, produced with the support of the Open Society Institute, aims at making a preliminary critical assessment of the efficiency of the mechanism and intends to contribute to the HRC review. In 28 pages, we try to answer the following question: Is the UPR fulfilling its principles and objectives and showing, after two years of existence, human rights improvements in the 112 UN Member States it has reviewed? We look into the statistics of seven first UPR sessions, discuss the features of the UPR that make the mechanism unique, analyze the lessons learnt to determine what really works and what does not, and finally attempt to provide practical recommendations that would help the HRC in advancing the UPR.
On Thursday 7 October, we are organising a workshop to gather civil society’s recommendations to the UPR in the framework of the HRC review and provide inputs to the first intergovernmental working group to be held from 25th to 29th October. To gather views from local and national NGOs and include them in ours discussions to be held that day, we set up a forum on our website. The forum will remain open all through the HRC review process to receive comments on the review and new proposals to improve the UPR.
Videos on the UPR process and the role of States under Review are finally available in French and we just uploaded addendums of States reviewed a while ago which were not available or only in their original language: Brunei, Cyprus, Russian Federation and Yemen.