During the review of Georgia, the Russian Federation made two points of order when the Georgian delegation mentioned the human rights situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia replied with two other points of order and the Vice President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) reminded all delegations that points of order should only be made on procedural matters. However, as the Vice President did not rule out the points of order, Georgia and the Russian Federation were able to get them included in footnotes in the report of the Working Group. This sets a potentially dangerous precedent as any State that seeks to voice its political opinion on the nature of a territory or a State in the Report of the Working Group can simply to make a point of order during the review.
Overall, the session experienced fewer problems arising from the list of speakers, which could be primarily attributed to a decrease in the participation of delegations that made statements.
The HRC Review continued its work in January. The UPR facilitator, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale convened two informal consultations. On January 11, he presented a document containing the different proposals made by States and other stakeholders during the previous informals. Each issue was assigned a colour according to its degree of support by delegations: green for issues that enjoyed the wide support of most, orange for issues that require further discussions and red for issues with deep divergences. On January 21st, States were called to react to the presentation made on the 11th. Taking into account those reactions, the facilitator submitted a paper to the HRC President at the end of the month, which the latter presented to States on February the 3rd.
At UPR Info, we are very pleased to announce that former Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand G. Ramcharan, was elected on January 20th as President of UPR Info for a period of two years. He will bring to the organization his long and unique experience at the United Nations and we are looking forward working with him.
UPR Info also established an Advisory Board in charge of providing the Executive Committee and the Director of UPR Info with advice, expertise and strategies on the activities of the organisation in order to better fulfil its goal: to promote and strengthen the Universal Periodic Review. The members nominated are: Anita Goh (France) - NGO Group for the CRC, Marianne Lilliebjerg (Denmark) - Amnesty International, Professor Edward R. McMahon (United States) - University of Vermont, Katharina Rose (Germany) - International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions and Micheál Tierney (Ireland) - Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations.