[UPR Trax] No29: UPR Info organises UPR pre-sessions between States and NGOs

From 14th to 16th March, the Human Rights Council (the Council) will adopt the Working Group Reports of States reviewed during session 12, held last October. Those countries include, in order of adoption: Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Antigua and Barbuda, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Ireland, Togo, Syrian Arab Republic, Venezuela, Iceland, Zimbabwe, Lithuania, Uganda, Timor-Leste, Republic of Moldova, and Haiti. In addition to those seventeen countries, the Council still has to adopt Libya’s report. Initially scheduled for March 2011 and postponed for September 2011 due to the troubling country situation, the adoption will take place during the session.

The adoptions will be followed by a two-hour general debate where States and NGOs will be given the opportunity to update the Council about the progress made in implementing recommendations. Additionally, on 21st March, the Council will hold a Panel Discussion on technical cooperation at the UPR. The objective of the discussion will be to share best best practices, technical cooperation and capacity building among all relevant actors with a view to promote the implementation of the outcome of the first cycle of the UPR.
 

At UPR Info, we are pleased to announce you the holding of “UPR pre-sessions” to discuss the human rights situation of States to be reviewed at the 13th session of the UPR. This 13th session will be held from 21st May to 4th June and includes the following 14 States: Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, the Netherlands and South Africa. These pre-sessions will give the opportunity to civil society organizations (CSOs) to meet with various permanent delegations at once, and brief them on the human rights situation in their country, saving in that way both time and resources. The meetings will take place from 29 March to 4 April in Geneva, at 1 rue Varembé.
 

Additionally, UPR Info launched a new training tool on the UPR. We developed three tutorials explaining different aspects of the UPR: its modalities for the second and subsequent cycles, the role of each State under Review, and the role of CSOs. These tutorials are aimed at all stakeholders, and can be found on our website as well as are available on DVD upon request.
 

Furthermore, UPR Info joined forces with the NGO Group for the CRC to develop practical and action-oriented fact sheets on the UPR process, aiming at providing general information, as well as technical details, about the mechanism in order to enhance the civil society’s understanding of its modalities, and of the ways it can engage with it. A total of four fact sheets will be developed. The two first ones pertaining to the UPR mechanism and NGO submission are already available.
 

Finally, recommendations made during Session 11 of the UPR Working Group (May 2011) are now available on our Database. A total of 2147 recommendations were made by 113 States. Responses from SuR have been more specific in session 11 than in previous sessions. Only 0.23% of the responses were not clear compared to 7.14% for session 1 to 10 and 3.4% of the recommendations did not receive any response compared to 5.81% for session 1 to 10.

Quote of the month

“The UPR online tutorials are both concise and informative. They build a concrete understanding of a complicated process in a way that is clear without being overly simplistic. These tutorials are an excellent resource for understanding -- and ultimately engaging in -- the UPR process, whether you are familiar with it or a total beginner.” The Association for Progressive Communications about UPR Info’s new training tutorials.

Interview of the month

Our interviewee of the month is Mr. Yervand Shirinyan, Program Director of the Human Rights and Governance Grants Program at Open Society Foundations (OSF). He shares with us OSF’s activities on the UPR and the outcome of their conference “Sharing Experiences and Reviewing the Review: Universal Periodic Review in Perspective” organized in Tbilisi, Georgia, in February 2012: http://youtu.be/iW3Xt3Zi9Vc

Deadlines for NGO participation in the UPR

  • 24 February 2012: Deadline to request to make oral statements during the general debate on item 6 (Friday 16 March) and the Panel Discussion on “Sharing of best practices and promoting technical cooperation: paving the way towards the second cycle of the UPR” (Wednesday 21 March).
  • 19 March 2012: Deadline for the submission of information on States reviewed during the first week of the 14th UPR session (22 October – 5 November): Czech Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Peru, Guatemala and Benin.
  • 26 March 2012: Deadline for the submission of information on States reviewed during the second week of the 14th UPR session (22 October – 5 November): Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka.

Latest documents on UPR Info

  • UPR Info and the NGO Group for the CRC, Fact sheet 1 on the UPR process – E, F, S, February 2012.
  • UPR Info and the NGO Group for the CRC, Fact sheet 2 on NGO submission to the UPR – E, F, S, February 2012.
  • Programme of Work of the 19th session of the Human Rights Council (27 February - 23 March), 15 February 2012.

Latest Mid-term Implementation Assessments

UPR Info is happy to announce the release of our last Mid-term Implementation Assessments (MIAs) assessing countries examined at session 4 of the first UPR cycle, held in February 2009. The information about those reviewed countries is now available online on UPR Info's website. These reports, which mainly utilise stakeholders expertise in order to evaluate the local human rights situation, constitute an extremely useful tool to appraise the outcomes of the UPR and the actual implementation of recommendations. 36 MIAs have been published by UPR Info to date. Thanks to the cooperation of 160 national and international civil society organisations, we received updates on 51% of the 3135 recommendations covered by our Programme.

News on the UPR

  • Human Rights Council to hold panel discussion on technical cooperation at the UPR - 24 February 2012 - On 21st March, the Human Rights Council (the Council) will hold a Panel Discussion on "Sharing of best practices and promoting technical cooperation: paving the way towards the second cycle of the universal periodic review". More...
  • Democratic Republic of Congo and civil society - 21 February 2012 More...
  • Civil Society consultations in India: a "forced marriage"? - 20 January 2012 - In preparation for its second review at the UPR next May, India is calling for comments upon its provisional National Report. More...

News at UPR Info

  • The NGO Group for the CRC and UPR Info publish joint fact sheets on the UPR - 22 February 2012 - The NGO Group for the CRC and UPR Info have joined forces to develop fact sheets on the UPR process. Practical and action-oriented, those fact sheets aim at providing general information as well as technical details about the mechanism in order to help civil society better understand its modalities and how they can engage.
  • UPR Pre-Sessions: States and NGOs brought together 2 months prior the UPR - 22 February 2012 With the purpose of offering an opportunity for civil society to meet with various States and States to meet with various civil society organisations (CSOs) at once, UPR Info is organising “UPR pre-sessions” for the UPR 13th Working Group session, allowing CSOs and state delegations to save both time and resources. More...
  • Recommendations from session 11 available in our Database - 6 February 2012 Recommendations made during Session 11 of the UPR Working Group (May 2011) are available in our Database. More...
  • UPR Info launches three training tutorials on the UPR - 16 January 2012 We have developed three tutorials explaining different aspects of the UPR: its modalities for the second and subsequent cycles, the role of each State under Review and the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). More...