November saw diplomats from all States and regions take the floor in Room XX of Palais des Nations to make recommendations during the 23rd Session of the UPR Working Group. Over two weeks, the human rights situation in the fourteen States under review was widely discussed, seeing all manners of issues raised. Recommendations in response to the migrant crisis were made during several reviews, calling for increased protection for asylum seekers and improved conditions in processing centres. In addition to monitoring the reviews, UPR Info was active in providing several UPR trainings to both civil society and government actors at home and abroad, as well as engaging its follow-up programme in Mongolia and Armenia. Finally, preparations are in full swing for the next round of UPR Info Pre-sessions, which will take place in Geneva on 15-17 December 2015.
September proved to be a busy month for human rights activity in Geneva. The UPR was the subject of several important discussions and resolutions at the Human Rights Council, which included grave accounts of reprisals against those working with the mechanism. At the beginning of October, UPR Info held three days of Pre-sessions, providing a platform for defenders to share first-hand information from the ground. The international human rights conference saw strong engagement from civil society and Permanent Missions alike. Diplomats from all regions were present at the event, taking note of issues they can raise in their recommendations to States being reviewed at the 23rd UPR Working Group (UPR23) in November 2015. UPR Info will follow up on the impetus of the Pre-sessions to host a seminar for recommending States on 20 October 2015 to help guide States in the formulation of recommendations in advance of UPR23.
- Taking advantage of the quiet summer period at Palais des Nations, UPR Info staff worked on several activities in advance of what will be a busy autumn. Preparations are on-going for two rounds of Pre-sessions to be held in Geneva in October and December respectively, while UPR Info’s Asia office held its first regional Pre-session on Myanmar.
- June saw a flurry of activity for UPR Info, with many exciting internal and external activities taking place in Geneva and elsewhere. The 29th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC29) included the plenary adoptions of the UPR Working Group reports for the States reviewed at the 21st session of the UPR. As well as making an oral statement at the HRC plenary session, UPR Info also participated in several side events throughout the month.
- Over the past month, UPR Info has undertaken many exciting activities. Firstly, the pre-sessions took place in April and attracted a high level of attendance with an average of 33 diplomats present over the 3 days. The 22nd session of the Working Group recently ended and saw the review of 14 countries over a two-week period, from Marshall Islands to the United States.