The changes brought by this outcome on the UPR modalities are few. Here are the main ones:
- The length of the cycle will be 4,5 years instead of 4.
- The first session of the second cycle will start in June 2012.
- The list of speakers will now open on the Monday of the week preceding the beginning of the Working Group session and States will be arranged in alphabetical order. The beginning of the list will be drawn by lot.
- The general guidelines (HRC Decision 6/102) for the drafting of the three reports that form the basis of the review will be modified for the second cycle by the HRC 18th session to be held in September 2011.
- National Human Rights Institutions with A status will have a dedicated section in the summary of other stakeholders’ information and will be given the floor directly after the State under Review during the adoption at the HRC plenary session.
- States should submit its responses in a written format to all recommendations received during their review.
- States are encouraged to conduct national consultations with civil society on the follow-up.
- States are encouraged to provide mid-term updates on the implementation of their recommendations between two reviews.
From March 16th to 18th, the HRC will adopt the Reports of the Working Group of States reviewed during session 9 last November. Those countries include (in order of adoption): Liberia, Malawi, Mongolia, Panama, Maldives, Andorra, Bulgaria, Honduras, United States, Marshall Islands, Croatia, Jamaica, Libya, Micronesia, Lebanon and Mauritania. The 16 adoptions will be followed, as usual, by a two-hour general debate on the UPR.
On UPR-info.org, we have co-developed with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties a Plain English Guide on the Universal Periodic Review. This guide is based on the information available in the Q&A section of our website and is simplified to meet Plain English criteria. Plain English is a writing style that makes knowledge understandable to readers in the first reading. The Guide was certified by the National Literacy Agency. It is tailored to the review of Ireland but can be used as a general resource for information on the UPR.
Recommendations from session 8 are finally in our database. The percentage of recommendations with unclear positions has reduced again to reach 1.8 % of recommendations (4.2 % for session 7 and 13.9 % for sessions 1 through 6). The percentage of recommendations not answered has increased from 2.3 % in session 7 to 6.1 % in session 8. However, this is still lower than the average of 8.5 % from sessions 1 through 6. Also, the percentage of recommendations that call for a specific action has increased by three percentage points from the previous session (30.7 % for session 7, and 33.7 % for session 8).