[UPR Trax] No32: Recommending States need to follow up more closely with the recommendations they made at the 1st cycle

On 29th June 2012, the Human Rights Council (HRC) held, during its 20th Session, a general debate on the UPR. During this debate over twenty States and five Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) took the floor to present brief assessments of the UPR mechanism and process to date, namely: modalities of the process, implementation of first cycle recommendations, reprisals against those who participate in the UPR, media highlights and follow-up. In a joint statement with Geneva for Human Rights, UPR Info expressed its concerns that session 13 did not look into the implementation of recommendations from the first cycle in a satisfactory manner. Only 16% of 2008 recommendations were followed up by similar or additional recommendations at the 13th session which would imply that 84% of the 2008 recommendations were fully implemented. This seemed doubtful knowing that the average percentage of recommendations fully implemented at the mid-term was usually around 10%; it would mean that 74% of recommendations have been implemented during last two years before the second review. UPR Info called on recommending States to look into the recommendations they made at the first cycle and inquire into their implementation, as consistent follow-up is the only way to make the UPR meaningful.
 

A total of 2111 recommendations were made in 954 statements during the 13th session. The average number of recommendations made by recommending States to each State under Review was 2.2, which is fewer than during the first cycle. However, among the 39 States which had committed to make only two recommendations to each State under Review, 11 actually failed to uphold their commitment: Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Ireland, Japan, Maldives, the Republic of Moldova, Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Thailand.

Dates of the 15th, 16th and 17th sessions of the Working Group were published by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Sessions will be held from 21 January to 1 February 2013, from 22 April to 3 May 2013 and from 21 October to 1 November 2013.


At UPR Info, we are pleased to announce the inclusion of the recommendations from the 12th session of the UPR Working Group (3 – 14 October 2011) into our database, which marks the incorporation of all the recommendations and voluntary pledges from the first cycle of the UPR process (2008-2012). A total of 21’353 recommendations were made by 154 countries to the 193 UN member States, among which 4’231 were focusing on international instruments, 3’692 on women’s rights and 3’442 on the rights of the child. More analyses regarding the entire first cycle will be available on our website soon.

The next round of pre-sessions will be held from 27 to 31 August to discuss the human rights situation of the countries to be reviewed at the 14th UPR session (22 October – 5 November): Argentina, Benin, Czech Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine and Zambia. All permanent missions are invited. CSOs interested in participating and taking the floor need to fill in the form and return it via email by July 20th.

Our Follow-up Programme is currently assessing the implementation of recommendations at mid-term for the 16 States reviewed in December 2008 (session 6). 14 Mid-term Implementation Assessments (MIAs) pertaining to session 6 have been published so far. Norway’ MIA is the first to contain comments from the three main actors: the Government, the national institution and civil society. We started working on session 7 and will publish its related MIAs in October. A new kind of actors will start participating in the Programme: several UN Agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, UNCT mainly) have already confirmed their participation. More than ever, the Follow-up Programme will be a broad, precise and balanced photography of the improvements on the ground two years after the review.

Finally, an NGO that we supported to participate in the pre-session on Bahrain last March has been nominated to the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders. We wish good luck to the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights and we will be closely following the ceremony on 2 October 2012 in Geneva.

Please find more detailed information on these issues in the news below.

Best regards,

UPR Info

Quote of the month

A clear focus on the implementation of recommendations is not only needed on the side of the State under Review but also on the side of those that made the recommendations.

Mr. Peter Gushelbauer, Permanent Mision of Austria to the UN, General Debate on Item 6, Human Rights Council 20th session, 29 June 2012.

Interview of the month

Our interviewee of the month is Mr. Bob Last, Senior Human Rights Adviser at the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations in Geneva. He explains to us how the UK Mission drafts its statements at the UPR and the Mission's decision to limit itself to making only two recommendations to every State under Review.

http://youtu.be/6Tauv__c7EQ

Deadlines for NGO participation in the UPR

  • 16 July 2012: Deadline for the submission of information on States reviewed during the 15th UPR session (Jan/Feb 2013): Luxembourg, Barbados, Montenegro, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Liechtenstein and Serbia.
  • 2 October 2012 (instead of 5 November): Deadline for the submission of information on States reviewed during the 16th UPR session (May/June 2013): Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, Germany, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Uzbekistan.
  • 9 October 2012 (instead of 12 November): Deadline for the submission of information on States reviewed during the 16th UPR session (May/June 2013): Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Cuba, Djibouti and Russian Federation.
  • Deadlines for the entire the second cycle (sessions 13 to 26) are available by country  and by session.

Latest documents on UPR Info

  • UPR Info, Timeline for NGO participation – R, 2012.
  • Conectas, Roadmap for civil society engagement with the UPR – R, 2011.

Latest Mid-term Implementation Assessments

Albania, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Norway and Portugal.

News on the UPR

  • General debate on the UPR discusses lack of focus on implementation and reprisals against human rights defenders - 10 July 2012

On 29 June 2012, the Human Rights Council (HRC) held, during its 20th Session, a general debate on Item 6; the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The debate can be summarized into five main themes, namely: modalities of the process, implementation of first cycle recommendations, reprisals against those who participate in the UPR, media highlights and follow-up. More…

  • Few recommending States followed up their 1st cycle recommendations at the 13th session of the UPR - 9 July 2012

In comparing the recommendations that the 14 States under Review received during the first cycle with those put forth in the recent thirteenth session, it appears that few States followed up their 1st cycle recommendations in the 13th session of the UPR.

  • 11 States fail to uphold their commitment to make two recommendations or less per SuR - 27 June 2012

In March 2012, a couple of months prior to the start of the second cycle of the UPR, 39 States committed to make only two recommendations to each State under Review (SuR) during the second cycle. More…

  • Deadlines for the submission of national reports available for the entire 2nd cycle - 26 June 2012

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights recently published the deadlines for the submission by States under Review of the National report for the entire second cycle.

News about UPR Info

  • UPR Info regrets lack of focus on implementation at session 13 during UPR general debate – 10 July 2012

On 29 June, in a joint statement with Geneva for Human Rights at the Human Rights Council (HRC), UPR Info expressed its concerns that session 13 did not look into the implementation of recommendations from the first cycle in a satisfactory manner. More…

  • Pre-sessions for UPR 14th session to be held from 27 to 31 August - 9 July 2012

UPR Info is organising pre-sessions between States and NGOs on countries to be reviewed at the 14th UPR session: Argentina, Benin, Czech Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine and Zambia. More…

  • Entire 1st cycle recommendations available in our database - 22 June 2012

We are proud to announce the inclusion of the recommendations from the 12th session of the UPR Working Group (3-14 October 2011) into our database, which marks the incorporation of all the recommendations and voluntary pledges from the first cycle of the UPR process (2008-2012).

UPR Info's

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