As expected and asked by many stakeholders, the UPR is very likely to be part of the Review of the Human Rights Council (HRC). This is the leading trend at the HRC despite Switzerland’s different view and the HRC Bureau, consisting of the President and the four Vice-presidents, discussed on August the 20th the possibility to take a formal decision in that sense. An open-ended consultation was held yesterday on the Review discussing the modalities of the whole process, the timing and the relationship between Geneva and New York. Another consultation will take place on Monday the 6th at 10 am before real negotiations begin at the Working Group’s first session in October.
The 4th year of the Human Rights Council (HRC) ended with the adoption of the UPR Working Group reports of session 8 (May 2010). Eleven States submitted their responses in an addendum which is the highest number after session 4 (12) and on the same line as previous sessions: 9 for session 5 and 6, 10 for session 3, 9 for session 2 and 7 for session 1.
On May 14, the UPR Working Group concluded its eighth session after reviewing Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Laos, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait and Belarus.
Again, and as foreseen in our previous “UPR Trax”, the list of speakers was the centre of attention during the session. By Thursday the 6, all the lists had been started informally by States in the corridors of the Palais des Nations thus resulting in many States not able to register and questions of transparency and equal treatment being raised. The small restraint that States had in starting list in advance disappeared with the session and it is only a matter of days before someone starts the lists for session 9.
Today starts the 8th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group which will review the following States in this order: Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Laos, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait and Belarus.
- Yesterday April the 7th we celebrated the second anniversary of the Universal Periodic Review. This new mechanism started exactly two years ago its first session with the review of Bahrain and Ecuador. 112 States and more than 9,000 recommendations later, the UPR is one country at a time, step by step, working to "promote and protect human rights in the darkest corners of the world".