[UPR Trax] No50: Beyond acceptance, beyond pledges, beyond promises

What can the UPR do for you and what can you do in time for the next UPR? Read on to find out!

This month, we released a new publication that illustrates the impact of the UPR on the ground, as well as the best practices for engaging with the mechanism.  We also held a seminar for diplomats to raise awareness about their role as "recommending states".  During the 20th Session of the UPR, we monitored the events and are already preparing for the 21st UPR session with the help of the pre-sessions, to be held 2-4 December 2014.
 
Beyond promises
Is the UPR an effective mechanism and how can one engage with it? These are the questions that UPR participants and potential participants have been asking since the inception of the mechanism. UPR Info’s new publication, “Beyond promises: the impact of the UPR on the ground”, provides some important answers.

“Beyond promises” is based on four years of research through the Follow-up programme. Comments from states, CSOs, NHRIs and UN agencies, on more than 11,500 UPR recommendations were analysed. The analysis reveals that 48% of recommendations trigger action by mid-term, only 2.5 years after the initial review! Progress has been made on all kinds of issues, including women’s rights, children’s rights, torture, and more. The publication illustrates with quantitative and qualitative data the impact that the UPR has already made in advancing human rights. Furthermore, ideas for ways to engage with the mechanism are described in the “Lessons learned” section.  We sought to provide meaningful examples for states, NHRIs and NGOs.

The report was launched on 31 October 2014, during the 20th session of the UPR. The event featured opening remarks by the Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Norway, a presentation by the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Tajikistan regarding the benefits of cooperation, an introduction of Paraguay’s all-new recommendation database by the First Secretary of the General Human Rights Unit of Paraguay, as well as presentations by representatives from the CCPR Centre and World Vision International about best practices and challenges in following up on recommendations.

Read more about the event and download "Beyond promises".

Role of the “Recommending states”
Recommending states play a pivotal role in the UPR process, so it is important that diplomats receive the necessary support for navigating the process. Many resources are available on the UPR Info website, but we also wanted to take a more interactive approach. For this reason, UPR Info, with the support of the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva, hosted a seminar on the role of "recommending states" on 2nd October 2014. The main topics covered during the seminar were: the technical aspects of the recommending states’ roles, the relevance of making specific and precise recommendations, the acceptance and implementation of recommendations, and the follow-up to recommendations. Mr. Thomas Falkenhagen (Permanent Mission of the Netherlands), Ms. Myriam Tebourbi (OHCHR), Mr. Roland Chauville (UPR Info, Executive Director) and Mr. Jean-Claude Vignoli, (UPR Info, Director of Programmes) lead the discussion. Representatives from more than 40 Permanent Missions attended the seminar.

Read the summary of the seminar.

20th UPR Session
The 20th UPR session was held from 26 October to 7 November 2014. As always, UPR Info attended the reviews and provided live updates on Twitter and Facebook.
The draft Working Group reports for the countries reviewed can be found on our website: Angola,  Bolivia,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Egypt,  El Salvador,  Gambia,  Fiji, Italy,  Iran,  Iraq,  Kazakhstan,  Madagascar,  San Marino  and  Slovenia.
 
Preparing for the 21st UPR session
The 21st session of the UPR will be held in Geneva from 19-30 January 2015. The states to be reviewed include: Armenia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

In preparation for the review, UPR Info’s Pre-session will take place from the 2-4 December 2014 at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG), 17 rue de Varembé, Room V).
The Pre-session, a unique platform for dialogue, will bring together permanent missions, national human rights institutions, and more than 50 civil society organisations to discuss the status of implementation of UPR recommendations in the following states under Review: Armenia, Guinea, Guyana, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

Civil society organisations that would like to attend the Pre-sessions have to register. A reception will be held on Wednesday, 3 December, as usual everybody is welcome to join us!

More information can be found on the Pre-sessions page.

The timetable for the meetings is available here.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

This cooperation is a sine qua non, to ensure the proper functioning of this Council and its mechanisms, including the UPR. It is important for such participation to take place in the best possible circumstances and under the best auspices.

H.E. Baudelaire Ndong Ella, Human Rights Council President, October 2014

VIDEO

Bob Last of the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom explains why the UPR is important to him.

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