Newsletter

  • [UPR Trax] No39: Russia threatens the future of the UPR

    The Universal Periodic Review Working Group held its 16th session from 22 April to 3 May at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The following 14 States were reviewed: Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Germany, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, and Uzbekistan.

    A remarkable trend of the session was the high number of speakers. For the first time in the history of the UPR, two countries had more than 100 speakers. Cuba broke the record with 132 countries taking the floor, each having 51 seconds to make recommendations. As a consequence, Cuba received 293 recommendations (according to OHCHR’s calculation), the highest number of recommendations that a State under Review has ever received at the UPR. The previous record was held by the United States, with 280 recommendations in November 2010 (according to UPR Info’s calculation). It is worth noting that out of the 293 recommendations received by Cuba, 121 start with the verb "Continue", thus requiring minimal action to be undertaken by the Government. These recommendations represented 41% of the total received by Cuba. In comparison, between Sessions 1 to 13, the average of recommendations starting with the verb "continue" lies at 14%.

  • [UPR Trax] No38: Giving voice to 213 NGOs

    From 13th to 15th March, the Human Rights Council (the Council) adopted the Working Group Reports of States reviewed during the 14th UPR session held in October 2012. Those countries included Argentina, Benin, Czech Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Zambia. All countries, except Benin, Gabon and Ghana, submitted an addendum containing their responses to recommendations. Despite its addendum, the delegation of Zambia was asked by the President of the Council to clarify which recommendations it had rejected, which it then did from the floor very thoroughly.

  • [UPR Trax] No37: Israel, first country to be absent from its own UPR

    The Universal Periodic Review Working Group held its 15th session from 21 January to 1 February at the Palais des Nations. The following 13 States were reviewed: Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Tonga and the United Arab Emirates. Scheduled on Tuesday 29 January, Israel was not present for its own review. It is the first time in the history of the UPR process that a country fails to appear before the Working Group, thus creating a dangerous precedent for the mechanism, and for the respect for human rights worldwide.

    Israel had suspended its relations with the Human Rights Council (HRC) in a letter published on 14 May 2012. As a consequence, it did not submit a national report due in October 2012, was not present for the selection of its troika on 14 January 2013 and it was therefore expected that it would not participate in its own UPR.

  • [UPR Trax] No36: Next UPR of Israel without Israel?

    From 21 January to 1 February 2013, the Universal Periodic Review Working Group will hold its 15th session, reviewing the following countries: Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, France, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Tonga and the United Arab Emirates.
     

  • [UPR Trax] No35: The UPR has emerged from its chrysalis

    The Universal Periodic Review Working Group held its 14th session from 22 October to 5 November at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The following 14 States were reviewed: Argentina, Benin, Czech Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine and Zambia. The peak of participation from recommending States was reached on Sri Lanka with 98 speakers and 1 minute and 12 seconds for each. Overall, the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) handled once again the list of speakers with command and not too many statements were cut. However, time management proved to be challenging for some States under Review. Argentina had used 1h03 minutes after only half of the speakers had spoken, and was therefore left with only 7 minutes to respond to comments from over 30 delegations. Guatemala used 55 minutes for its introduction, did not intervene during the interactive dialogue and concluded in 5 minutes, thus leaving out 10 minutes unused.

     

Pages