[UPR Trax] :No23: Towards a 3.5 hour Working Group Review?

On May 13, the UPR Working Group concluded its eleventh session after reviewing 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. There is now only seventeen United Nations member-States left before the end of the first cycle. One of the highlights of the session was the review of Sudan. As Southern Sudan was expected to become independent on July the 9th, great attention was paid to the region. Sudan divided its national report into two parts, members of the Government of South Sudan were present at the review and given the floor and specific recommendations were made to the South. Another highlight was the rejection by Singapore of six recommendations considered as “based on incorrect assumptions or premises”. Before Singapore, only Egypt and Uzbekistan had rejected recommendations on these grounds.

 

From 17 to 19 May, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) held its 24th General Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the discussions was dedicated to the engagement of NHRIs in treaty bodies and UPR follow up where NHRIs shared their experiences in working with the UPR and implementing recommendations.

On May 30, the Human Rights Council (HRC) started its 17th session. In her opening statement, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, called on the international community, including the HRC and OHCHR, to establish a follow-up process to tackle the numerous recommendations coming from the UPR.

During this 17th session, several issues related to the follow-up to the HRC Review on the UPR need to be decided upon. To this end, the HRC President held on Friday 27th May an informal consultation during which the order of review, the duration of the Working Group review, the modalities for the list of speakers, the adjustment of general guidelines 6/102 and the revision of the Terms of References for the Funds for participation and the technical and financial assistance were discussed. Based on the consultation, the actual trend is the following: the order of review should be the same as during the first cycle and the two last States of session 1 will be moved to session 2, the four last of session 2 moved to session 3, etc; the Working Group review will most likely be extended to 3,5 hours; the modalities for the list of speakers should be as contained in the Outcome of the HRC Review and the General guidelines will only be slightly modified.

On Wednesday 8 June, Canada will organise a side event on mid-term reporting. The delegation, together with other States under Review at session 4, will share their progress in implementing the recommendations received in February 2009. The side event will be open to NGOs which will be able to ask questions to the States.

From 7 to 9 June, the Human Rights Council will adopt the Reports of the Working Group of States reviewed during session 10 held last January. Those countries include, in order of adoption: Nauru, Rwanda, Nepal, Saint Lucia, Oman, Austria, Myanmar, Australia, Georgia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, Niger, Mozambique, Estonia and Paraguay. So far, only seven States (Australia, Austria, Georgia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nauru and Rwanda) have presented an addendum containing their responses to recommendations.

The adoption of the Report on Libya, initially scheduled for March, and then moved to June by the HRC Bureau, has been further postponed to the 18th session of the HRC in September.


At UPR Info, we released an Excel sheet containing all advance written questions from session 1 to 8. The sheet allows the user to sort the questions by State under Review, State or issue. The list of issues is the same as the one contained in the database of UPR recommendations. This Excel sheet will facilitate NGOs’ work on lobbying by enabling them to easily find which States are asking questions on their issue of concern.

Quote of the month

“Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has been inexcusably tardy in meeting some of our reporting commitments over the past three decades. One tangible benefit of the UPR is that it has caused the Government to revisit the manner in which we prepare for and respond to our treaty commitments”

H.E. Mr. Camillo M. Gonsalves, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations in New York, Introductory statement, Review of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, 10 May 2011.

Interview of the month

Our interviewee of the month is Ms. Perina J. Sila, Deputy C.E.O, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa. She talks about the preparation of Samoa for the UPR, the human rights challenges faced by small Island States and why the UPR matters:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0XHhtq3S7w

News on the UPR

  • Side event on mid-term reporting organised by Canada on 8 June - 3 June 2011

On Wednesday 8 June, Canada is organising a side event on mid-term reporting. The delegation, together with the other States under Review at session 4, will share their progress in implementing the recommendations received in February 2009.

  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights calls on the Human Rights Council to establish a follow-up process to UPR recommendations - 2 June 2011

On Monday 30 May, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, called on the Human Rights Council (HRC) to set up a "proper and efficient" follow-up mechanism in her opening statement at the 17th HRC session. Read more here…

  • International Coordinating Committee on NHRIs holds a discussion on treaty bodies and UPR follow-up - 2 June 2011

From 17 to 19 May 2011, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) held its 24th General Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. One of the discussions was dedicated to the engagement of NHRIs in treaty bodies and Universal Periodic Review (UPR) follow up, chaired by Ms. Florence Simbiri-Jaoko from the Kenyan National Commission for Human Rights. Read more here…

  • Towards a 3.5 hour Working Group Review? - 30 May 2011

On Friday 27 May, the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) held an informal consultation on follow-up to the HRC Review on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The aim of this consultation was to discuss the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR. Read more here…

  • Informal consultation on the follow-up to the HRC Review on the UPR Friday 27 May - 26 May 2011

The Human Rights Council (HRC) President is organising tomorrow Friday 27 an informal consultation on the follow-up to the HRC Review on the Universal Periodic Review. Read more here…

  • UPR 2nd cycle: issues pending decisions at the HRC 17th session - 18 May 2011

Following the adoption of the 2011 Human Rights Council (HRC) Review Outcome last March and in preparation of the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review to be started next year, several issues related to the UPR will need to be addressed at the forthcoming HRC 17th session to be held from 30 May to 17 June. Read more here…

  • South Sudan, a future State under Review? - 17 May 2011

The human rights situation in Southern Sudan was one of the highlights of Sudan’s Universal Periodic Review on May 10. Following the referendum held last January, South Sudan is expected to become independent on July the 9th. Read more here…

  • Adoption of the Working Group Report of Libya postponed to September - 17 May 2011

On March the 2nd, the adoption of the Report of the Working Group on Libya, initially scheduled on Friday 18 March, had already been postponed to the 17th Human Rights Council (HRC) session in June. Read more here…

  • Singapore rejects six recommendations considered as « based on incorrect assumptions or premises » - 11 May 2011

The draft Report of the Working Group of Singapore - A/HRC/WG.6/11/L.9 contains preliminary responses of the delegation to recommendations received during its review: 51 were accepted; 39 were pending; 15 were rejected for “reasons explained in the National Report and during the Interactive Dialogue” and 6 were rejected because “they are based on incorrect assumptions or premises”. Read more here…

  • Working Group reports from session 10 to be adopted from 7 to 9 June - 2 May 2011

The Working Group Reports of States reviewed during the tenth UPR session (24 January - 4 February 2011) will be adopted from 7 to 9 June and followed by a two-hour general debate on the process.

News on UPR-info.org

  • UPR Info’s 2010 Annual Report - 3 June 2011

2010 was an intense year for the organisation which successfully engaged on numerous new projects while continuing its work of providing information and documents on the Universal Periodic Review.

  • UPR Info releases Excel sheet containing all Advance written questions from session 1 to 8 - 3 June 2011

In order facilitate access for UPR actors to those questions and be able to sort them by SuR, State or issue, we created an excel sheet with advance questions from session 1 to 8.