From 8 to 10 December was held the Bangkok Retreat, a meeting organized in the framework of the Human Rights Council (HRC) review under the initiative of H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Ambassador of Thailand and President of the Human Rights Council. Its aim was to gather Ambassadors to brainstorm, without making any decision, with the hope that delegations would be able to go behind their talking points. National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and accredited-ECOSOC NGOs were invited to participate for part of the Retreat and eight of them were given the floor. Overall, the discussion was of general nature and rarely touched upon concrete issues of the review. Most speakers stressed the importance of the UPR as a new human rights mechanism and country situations were intensively debated.
During the Retreat, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, facilitator on the UPR, made a very thorough and detailed PowerPoint presentation on the degree of acceptability of each proposal made so far, based on the discussions held during the three informal consultations and the three “informal informals”. The PowerPoint is available in the news below.
The second session of the Working Group on the HRC review will be held in February in two sessions: 7-9 and 17-18 February. Before that, the five facilitators will hold new informal consultations.
Next month, from 24 January to 4 February, the UPR Working Group will hold its 10th session and review the following countries in order: Nauru, Rwanda, Nepal, Saint Lucia, Oman, Austria, Myanmar, Australia, Georgia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, Niger, Mozambique, Estonia and Paraguay.
Last November, a unique event took place at the UPR. A submission was written by children and sent to the OHCHR to be part of the review of a country. World Vision in Lebanon gathered several dozens of children who formulated their recommendations and drafted the submission. One of them, Hassan, came to Geneva and UPR Info was fortunate enough to interview him. In a short video, he told us about his hopes and expectations from the UPR and the United Nations.
On UPR-info.org, we have just developed a new tool which produces statistics on recommendations made at the UPR. This unique feature enables the viewer to access tables and charts drawn from our database of recommendations through several categories: State under Review, recommending State, regional groups and organisations, response, session, thematic issues and the type of action. Over the next months, new features providing more detailed statistics will be available.