During the general debate under item 6 held on March 18, States and NGOs focused on the Outcome of the 2011 HRC Review which was issued in February and to be adopted the week after. 29 NGOs, under the initiative of UPR Info, delivered a joint statement to express their disappointment at the new UPR modalities contained in the Outcome of the HRC Review. This statement was a follow-up to a joint submission made to the HRC Review first Working Group session in October 2010. Then, 39 organisations had called on the HRC to improve seven key modalities of the UPR. The joint statement assessed which of those seven proposals had been included in the Outcome and called on the HRC and States to continue to improve the UPR mechanism in practice through the second cycle.
Japan, Mauritius and Poland submitted a mid-term report on the implementation of recommendations while Czech Republic, Malaysia and Portugal provided oral updates on the progress achieved.
On March 24, the HRC adopted by consensus a resolution on the HRC Review. The Outcome on the Review presented on February 24 at the second session HRC Review Working Group was annexed to the resolution A/HRC/16/L.39 and will serve as a supplement to resolutions 5/1. The final stage of the Review process is taking place in New York where the General Assembly (GA) is holding discussions on the issue of the HRC membership and on the relationship between the Third Committee, the GA and the HRC. A final decision is expected by the end of May.
On May the 2nd will start the eleventh and before last session of the first cycle of the UPR. The following countries will be reviewed in this order: Belgium, Denmark, Palau, Somalia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Latvia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Suriname, Greece, Samoa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Hungary and Papua New Guinea.
On UPR-info.org, we have developed new tools to facilitate NGOs lobbying. Through the statistics provided by the database, it is now possible to find out the main issues of concerns of each participating State. This will thus save tremendous time to NGOs when trying to identify States. NGOs will know easily the priorities of each State and will be able to better target them.
In the coming months, we will be starting a new project on the follow-up. We will contact States, National institutions and NGOs in order to collect information on the implementation of UPR recommendations at the national level. This information will then be posted on the website and in the database. Information can already be sent to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, in partnership with seven other Geneva-based organisations, UPR Info is creating a Human Rights Portal that will facilitate access to online information from the various Human Rights mechanisms of the United Nations. In order to better understand the information needs from NGOs and develop new tools, we circulated a survey. The Portal will be launched in the next coming months.