[UPR Trax] :No18: HRC review conducts informal consultations on the UPR

On November the 12th, the Working Group of the UPR concluded its 9th session after reviewing the following sixteen States: Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Panama, Maldives, Andorra, Bulgaria, Honduras, United States, Marshall Islands, Croatia, Jamaica, Libya, Micronesia, Lebanon and Mauritania. One of the highlights of the session was the review of the United States which attracted wide interest from States, civil society and the media. An additional room broadcasting the review was used to fit the numerous interested representatives. The “Town Hall meeting” or mock UPR held in the afternoon following the review was a unique occasion for civil society to directly address their concerns to the US government. Another highlight was the review of Lebanon which was the subject of many points of order by both Lebanon itself and Israel. The former made points of order when Israel called Hezbollah a terrorist organisation and the latter when Lebanon and Syria talked about the impact of Israel on the human rights situation in Lebanon.

On November 11, 15 and 18, H.E. Mr Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco, facilitator on the UPR, held three informal consultations in the framework of the Human Rights Council review. The discussions followed a list of “Issues to be discussed” based on the main proposals made at the 1st session of the Working Group and contained in the Compilation of States proposals. Some of the issues debated were: the length of the cycle (4 or 5 years), the need for a gap at the end of the first cycle, the need for guidelines for the three basis documents, the clustering of, responses to and conformity with international human rights law of recommendations and the participation of stakeholders and notably national human rights institutions.

The facilitator will make a presentation to the HRC about these informals on Friday 3rd afternoon. The next step for the HRC review will be the Bangkok retreat from 8 to 10 December before the second Working Group session in February.


On UPR-info.org, in respect to the HRC review, we organised on Friday 19th a conference on the UPR. With the support of the Open Society Foundation – Budapest, we gathered 40 representatives from States, NGOs, National institutions, intergovernmental and international organisations as well as the Office of the High-Commissioner to discuss the follow-up, its assessment and the subsequent cycle.

We also prepared summaries of the three informal consultations as well as an excel sheet containing the various proposals made during the Working Group first session held in October and the three informals.

Recommendations from session 7 are finally in our database. It is worth noting that the number of recommendations which received a general response or no response decreased drastically, representing respectively 4.2% and 2.3% for session 7 compared to respectively 13.9% and 8.5% for session 1 to 6.

Finally, UPR Info is pleased to announce you a new feature on its website. We will now interview every month one individual engaged in the UPR process. We will introduce the video in this newsletter, UPR Trax, as well as announce the name of the next person to be interviewed. You will then be able to send questions you would like us to ask to this next interviewee. This month we started with Joshua Cooper from the US Human Rights Network. His organisation was very much involved in the United States (US) review and notably helped sixty representatives from US local NGOs to come to Geneva for the review. Next month we will interview H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Ambassador of Thailand and President of the HRC. Please send questions you would like to ask him on the UPR and the HRC review to info [at] upr-info.org.

Quote of the month

“Let there be no doubt: the United States does not torture and will not torture”

Mr. Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser, Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State, United States, review of the United States, 5 November 2010.

Interview of the month

Our first interviewee is Joshua Cooper from the US Human Rights Network. Joshua was extensively involved in the NGO coordination around the review of the United States. He took part in the submission of 25 NGO reports, in the lobbying of States and in the organisation of events in Geneva:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSOjP1B5QwY

Next interview: H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Ambassador of Thailand and President of the HRC.

News on the UPR

  • Meeting with HRC President postponed to Friday 3rd - 30 November 2010

The meeting with the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in the framework of the review of the Human Rights Council initially scheduled for Thursday 2 December has been postponed to Friday 3rd, room XIX.

  • Calendar of HRC meetings for 2011 - 30 November 2010

The Calendar for all Human Rights Council meetings to be held in 2011 is now available.

  • First informal consultation held on the UPR for the HRC review - 25 November 2010

On November 11 was held the first of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. Read more here…

  • Second informal consultation held on the UPR for the HRC review - 25 November 2010

On November 15 was held the second of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. Read more here…

  • Third informal consultation held on the UPR for the HRC review - 25 November 2010

On November 18 was held the third of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. Read more here…

  • Meetings with the HRC President on November 22nd and December 2nd - 17 November 2010

The President of the Human Rights Council (HRC), H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, will hold two consultations with HRC member States, observers and civil society on November 22nd and December 2nd on the review of the HRC.

  • Adoption of the report of Lebanon hampered by discussions about the inclusion of footnotes - 15 November 2010

The adoption of the report of the Working Group of Lebanon was delayed for over two hours on Friday 12th due to a debate over the inclusion of footnotes. Read more here…

  • Informal consultations on the UPR on November 11, 15 and 18 - 8 November 2010

H.E. Ambassador Omar Hilale, facilitator on the UPR at the Human Rights Council review, will hold three informal consultations on Thursday 11, Monday 15 and Thursday 18 November. Read more here…

  • United States UPR for NGOs on Friday 5 November - 4 November 2010

In the context of the Universal Periodic Review of the United States, the delegation is organising a "Town Hall meeting" for NGOs to discuss the human rights situation of the country. Read more here…

News on UPR-info.org

  • UPR Info starts monthly video interviews of UPR actors - 30 November 2010

UPR Info has just started interviewing every month an actor of the UPR process. Representatives from States, NGOs, national institutions, the United Nations and journalists will share with UPR Info their experience working with the mechanism.

  • Summary of our conference on the UPR follow-up organised 19 November - 30 November 2010

UPR Info, with the support of the Open Society Foundation - Budapest, organised on Friday 19 November a conference on the UPR within the framework of the HRC Review. Read more here…

  • Recommendations from Session 7 available in our Database - 30 November 2010

Recommendations made during Session 7 of the UPR (February 2010) are finally available in our Database.

  • Excel sheet of all oral proposals made during the WG review 1st session and informals - 17 November 2010

We are presenting a new compilation on the UPR. This excel sheet contains all proposals made on the UPR during the 1st session of the Open-ended Working Group on the HRC review (25-29 October) and the informal consultations on November 11 and 15. Read more here…