[UPR Trax] No33: UPR Info is now in Special Consultative status with ECOSOC

From 19th to 21st September, the Human Rights Council (the Council) will adopt the Working Group Reports of States reviewed during UPR session 13, held last May. Those countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. A two-hour General debate will follow.
 

These Reports’ adoptions will be marked by new modalities for the list of speakers for both States and NGOs. Whenever more than 13 States are inscribed on the list, 13 will be drawn by lot by the Council’s President and each country will have 1.5 minute to speak. As for NGOs, the time when they had to run at 8 o’clock from Pregny Gate to Room XX to be among the ten first to inscribe is over. They now have to register online one week before the Council. In a move to enhance the participation of CSOs from the field, there is now the possibility to send a video statement instead of traveling to Geneva. Priority will be given to organisations involved in the national process or having sent contributions for the summary of stakeholder information prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner.

At this 21st HRC session, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will present his annual report "Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights" which highlights threats and intimidations that some human rights defenders are facing when working on the UPR. He cites examples in Bahrain and Rwanda where human rights defenders have been victims of smear campaigns and forced to flee their country. Bringing his support to "the stance taken by the President of the Human Rights Council in condemning acts of intimidation and harassment”, he urges “the Bureau and members of the Council to continue to address allegations of reprisals in a robust and consistent manner". He believes that "the universal periodic review mechanism [could] provide a useful avenue in this regard” and concludes that "tailored responses to reprisals, including public statements [...] could be further developed in order to create a coherent and unified response to combat reprisals."

On 13 September from 12 to 3pm, the Council will hold a "Panel on Cooperation with UN HR mechanisms: issues of intimidation or reprisals".


At UPR Info, we organised from 27 to 31August our second round of “pre-sessions” on the countries to be reviewed at the UPR in October. The pre-sessions were an opportunity for NGOs and State delegations to meet and discuss the human rights situations of Argentina, Benin, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine and Zambia. With a total of 80 NGO contributions, of which half were from national organisations and half were from international organisations, the pre-sessions provided Permanent Missions in Geneva with invaluable information on the implementation of recommendations from 2008 and developments which took place in the country since the previous review. Pre-sessions save time to delegations and give them an overview of the human rights situation in the country to be reviewed as well as provide them with suggested recommendations. 15 to 20 state delegations were present at each briefing and a total of 41 different Permanent Missions from all regional groups came, demonstrating the interest by States for such meetings. The next round of the pre-session will be held at the end of November and discuss the situation of the countries to be reviewed in January: Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, France, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Tonga, and the United Arab Emirates.

We are pleased to announce you that UPR Info has been attributed the Special Consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during its 2012 substantive session on 23 July.

The Follow-up Programme is now a little over one year and a total of 68 Mid-term Implementation Assessments have been published. To take stock of the implementation process for those 68 States, we are working on a report, called “On the road to implementation”, looking into the comments received by States, NGOs and national institutions on more than 3'000 recommendations. It will identify lessons learned and best practices on implementing recommendations, look into the shortcomings and challenges, present case studies and suggest recommendations to improve the implementation of recommendations. The report will also assess the 13th UPR session.

Finally, Advisory Board member and long time collaborator Prof. Edward McMahon is publishing a paper on the first cycle of the UPR, “The Universal Periodic Review: A Work in Progress”. The paper analyses the first UPR cycle, evaluates the recommendations, highlights regional characteristics and provides a range of recommendations to further strengthen the UPR mechanism. The publication will be launched at a side event on Thursday 13 from 2 to 4pm, room 27, Palais des Nations, and its findings will be discussed with representatives of governments, NGOs and NHRIs. UPR Info is co-organising the side event and will participate in the discussion.

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

Best regards,

UPR Info

 

Quote of the month

Do not break the virtuous cycle of 100 per cent participation in – and cooperation with – the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. The Universal Periodic Review is both a national framework and an international process that can strengthen human rights protection everywhere.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressing the Human Rights Council, 21st session, 10 September 2012.

 

Deadlines for NGO participation in the UPR

- 14 September 2012: Submission of videos statements for UPR Working Group reports adoption at HRC plenary session.

- 2 October 2012: 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: 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

- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Guidelines for video statements during UPR Working Group report adoptions at HRC plenary sessions, August 2012.

- Programme of Work of the 21st session of the Human Rights Council (10-28 September), 27 August 2012.

- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "A Practical Guide for Civil Society: Universal Periodic Review" - A, E, F, R, S, 2012.

- Save the Children, "Universal Periodic Toolkit: A guide for country programme" - A, E, F, S, Portuguese, 2011.

- HRC President, Statement A/HRC/PRST/20/1, "Reports of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review ", on the word limit for each Working Group reports, July 2012.

 

News on the UPR

 

  • Secretary-General report highlights threats human rights defenders face while working with the UPR - 10 September 2012

In his annual report "Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights" to be adopted at the 21st session of the Human Rights Council, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlights threats and intimidations that some human rights defenders are facing when working on the UPR. More…

  • New modalities for States’ speakers list at UPR reports adoption during HRC plenary - 10 September 2012

On Monday 10 September, the Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted new modalities for States’ inscription on the list of speakers in the UPR segment of the HRC. More…

  • Peru and Ukraine swap dates of UPR review - 8 September 2012

Peru and Ukraine swapped the dates of their review at the Universal Periodic Review. More…

  • New modalities for NGOs to register on the speakers’ list for UPR reports’ adoption - 6 September 2012

The modalities for NGO registration on the speaker’s list for the UPR Working Group Reports’ adoption at the Human Rights Council plenary session have changed. More…

  • NGOs can now deliver video statement for UPR reports’ adoption - 6 September 2012

Civil society organisations now have the possibility to deliver a video statement during the adoption of UPR Working Group reports at the Human Rights Council. More…

  • Working Group reports from session 13 to be adopted from 19 to 21 September - 20 August 2012

The Working Group Reports of States reviewed during the thirteenth UPR session (May 2012) will be adopted from 19 to 21 September 2012 and followed by a two-hour general debate on the process.

 

News about UPR Info

  • UPR Info is now in Special Consultative status with ECOSOC - 7 August 2012

UPR Info has been attributed the Special Consultative status by the United Nations Economic and Social Council during its 2012 substantive session on 23 July. More…

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