Over the past two months, many events have occurred around the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism. The first regular Human Rights Council (HRC) session of the year took place in March 2015 and included the adoption of the UPR Reports of the 20th Session of the UPR. In addition, an interesting debate with particularly thoughtful statements on Item 6 took place during the plenary session. Moreover, different publications concerning the UPR have been released improving awareness and sharing best practices. With those same goals in mind, UPR Info has co-organised two workshops with civil society organisations in Kenya and Armenia within the framework of its new programme. Last but not least, UPR Info is finalising the last details before hosting the next round of pre-sessions, which will take place from 8 to 10 April 2015. The Vice-President of the Human Rights Council, His Excellency Mr Aguirre, will make the opening remarks at the pre-sessions on Wednesday 8 April at 9:00 am.
With only one month of 2015 behind us, many UPR events have already taken place. The first of three UPR sessions of the year was held from 19-30 January and preparations are underway for UPR Info's Pre-sessions 22. We have published a new analysis that reveals a worrying trend at the UPR that could undermine the mechanism. The publication elaborates upon the possible explanations for this trend and provides solutions. In Ethiopia, UPR Info co-hosted an event to maintain the UPR momentum and continue the national dialogue. Last but not least, UPR Info welcomed a new Advisory Board member, Ms. Martine Anstett, the Deputy Director at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) in charge of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
- Over the past month, UPR Info has undertaken many exciting and forward-looking activities. Firstly, we held pre-sessions in preparation for the January UPR session. We also updated the database with Session 19 recommendations that stakeholders can use to begin their work on the implementation phase. In Armenia, we conducted a training seminar and will continue to engage with Armenian UPR participants as part of a new project. Also, as part of this new project, two UPR Info offices will be opening in 2015.
- 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.
- September began with the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council, during which several UPR reports were adopted, a side event on follow-up and mid-term reporting was held, and important statements were made during the general debate. October also promises to be eventful with the Pre-sessions taking place from 6-9 October, the Follow-up programme launching a publication on the mid-term implementation of UPR recommendations at the end of the month, and the 20th UPR session scheduled for 27 October – 7 November 2014.