HRC Review

Read our summary of the new UPR modalities for the second cycle brought by the HRC Review.


General Assembly Resolution 60/251 (ACEFRS) requested the Human Rights Council (HRC) to undergo a review of its work and functioning within five years after its establishment in June 2006.
To this end, the HRC set up at its 12th session in September 2009 an "Open-ended intergovernmental working group on the review of the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council" (Resolution A/HRC/RES/12/1 - ACEFRS).
This Working Group met in two sessions of five days from 25th to 29th October 2010 and on 7, 17, 18, 23 and 24 February 2011. On March the 25th, the HRC adopted an “Outcome of the review on the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council”. This Outcome contains various new modalities for the HRC and will be a supplement to resolution 5/1.

Documents
We produced specific documents listings the main proposals shared on the UPR during the HRC Review process:

- a compilation of all written proposals pertaining to the UPR submitted to the Human Rights Council. 
- a compilation of oral statements made on Tuesday the 26th and Wednesday the 27th in the morning. 
- an excel sheet listing the proposals shared both during the first week of the Open-ended Working Group session (25-29 October 2010) and during the three informals (11, 15, 18 November 2010).

Other documents

Analytical Assessment of the UPR 2008-2010 by UPR Info submitted to the HRC on 7 October 2010.
Joint contribution on the UPR submitted by 37 NGOs to the HRC in October 2010.
Summary of UPR Info’s conference on the UPR follow-up held on 19 November 2010.
PowerPoint presentation made by UPR Facilitator in Bangkok on 9 December 2010.
Presentation made by UPR Facilitator at the informal consultation held on 11 January 2011.
Compilation of contributions containing the papers prepared by the five facilitators for the second session of the HRC review Working Group.
Negotiating text of the Human Rights Council President for the second mini session of the second session of the HRC Working Group.
Outcome of the Review of the Work and Functioning of the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted by consensus by the Open-ended Working Group on the HRC Review on Thursday 24 February 2011.
- A/HRC/WG.8/2/1 - Report of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Review of the Work and Functioning of the Human Rights Council, 7 March 2011.
Joint statement on the UPR segment of the HRC Review Outcome made by 29 NGOs under item 6 General Debate at the HRC 16th session, 18 March 2011.
- Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/21 - ACEFRS on the Review of the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council adopted by the HRC on 25 March 2011.
Draft decision to be adopted by the HRC in June on the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: timetable for each Working Group session, the order of review, the list of speakers, the general guidelines for the three documents and the Funds, 9 June 2011.
Option E agreed upon by States for the timetable of UPR second cycle working group sessions.
Powerpoint presentation by His Excellency Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morroco and chair of the third information consultation on the follow-up of the HRC Review on the UPR held on Wednesday 15 June.
- Decision A/HRC/DEC/17/119 - ACERS on the follow up to the Human Rights Council Resolution 16/21 with regard to the Universal Periodic Review, 17 June 2011.
See also the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights website and extranet for more documents.

First session of the Working Group - 25-29 October 2010
The Human Rights Council (HRC) held from 25th to 29th of October the first session of the Open-ended Working Group on the review of its work and functioning.
After adopting the programme of work and holding a general discussion on the Work and Functioning of the Council in accordance with the General Assembly mandate on Monday, the Working Group moved on Tuesday to discuss the Universal Periodic Review. Giuliano Comba, head of UPR Unit at the OHCHR, presented the proposals of the Office to improve the UPR, inter alia: allocating a full day for each review; reviewing 13 States per three-week session over a five year cycle; clustering Working Group reports summaries of statements by issue rather than by delegation; making addendum 1 providing for responses to recommendations mandatory and clustering recommendations.
Following, States, National human rights institutions and NGOs took the floor to provide their inputs. The main issues debated were:
- Length of the cycle: some speakers wanted to move to a five year cycle others wanted to remain at four years.
- Gap between the first and second cycle: some speakers wanted a gap year while others did not.
- The organisation of the calendar of the UPR: many speakers called to have the plenary adoptions either grouped in a separate HRC session in September or after UPR Working Group sessions.
- Length of the review / speakers’ list: almost all speakers agreed to extend the review to 4 hours or one day in order to allocate all States willing to speak to do so.
- Action-oriented and clustered recommendations: a large number of speakers called for action-oriented and thematically clustered recommendations.
- Clear response to recommendations: another broadly supported call was that each recommendation should receive a clear response in writing and in advance.
- Mid-term reports: presentation of mid-term reports was largely encouraged with some speakers wanting to make it mandatory.
- Second cycle: a small divergence was expressed between speakers who wanted the second cycle to focus primarily on the implementation of recommendations and those who wanted it to focus equally on the implementation of recommendations and the assessment of the human rights situation in the country.
- Role for NHRIs: many speakers wanted to give a greater role to NHRIs, either by allowing them to submit a fourth basis document or having a dedicated space in the OHCHR summary, by taking the floor at the Working Group review stage or by taking the floor immediately after the SuR at the plenary adoption stage.
- NGO participation: few States mentioned this issue but many NGOs did. They called for better inclusive national consultations and more speaking time and opportunities for non-ECOSOC accredited NGOs and videoconferencing participation at the plenary adoption.
- Technical assistance: the importance of technical assistance was underlined and many speakers called for the modalities of the Voluntary Trust Fund to be established and for the assistance in implementing recommendations to be strengthened.
On Friday 29th, States, NHRIs and NGOs restated their position and reacted to other’s proposals. At the end of the day, the HRC President presented a Compilation of States proposals and a List of stakeholders contributions listing inputs on all issues made orally during the week.
revised version of the Compilation of States proposals was released on November 16th and those proposals were divided into three specific categories: 
- Concrete proposals; 
- Cross-cutting and other proposals and
- Other issues on which differences exist as to whether they fall within the purview of the review in Geneva and require further determination on which the President will consult with States.
The Concrete proposals were divided into five issues: Universal Periodic Review; Special Procedures; Advisory Committee and Complaint Procedure; Agenda and Framework for a Programme of work and Methods of Work and Rules of Procedure. For each issue, a facilitator was nominated. H. E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco, held informal consultations on 11, 15 and 18 November on the UPR.
For the two other categories of proposals, the President will hold a consultation on November 22nd.
Please see here the calendar of meetings.

First UPR informal consultation - 11 November 2010
On November 11 was held the first of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. Following the 1st session of the Working Group on the review held from 25 to 29 October, the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) nominated five facilitators to lead negotiations on: the UPR, Special Procedures, Advisory Committee and Complaint Procedure, Methods of Work and Rules of Procedures and Agenda and Programme of Work. Each facilitator organised informals in November to further discuss their issue and try to identify convergences.
Prior to the first informal consultation, the facilitator circulated a list of “Issues to be discussed” to guide the discussions. During the informal, he presented issue by issue the main proposals made at the 1st session of the Working Group contained in the Compilation of States proposals and then asked delegations to react to each other’s proposals and not restate their positions.
Eight points were discussed during this first informal consultation:
 

  • Basis, principles and objectives of the UPR
It was commonly shared that the basis, principles and objectives of the UPR should remain the same as contained in resolution 5/1
  • When to apply changes to the UPR
Everyone agreed to apply the changes to the UPR after the second cycle but some States did not want to close the door to the possibility that some changes could take effect before the second cycle. The main example given was the list of speakers and if a solution could be found before the second cycle, it should be possible to implement it.
  • Order of review
It was commonly shared that that the order of review from the first cycle should be maintained.
  • Periodicity
The two main proposals were to keep the review at four years or to extend it to five. Belgium on behalf of the EU, Argentina, Liechtenstein, France, Japan, the United States, Norway, Austria, Canada, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Moldova, Switzerland, Ireland and the European Disability Forum supported the four year cycle. Egypt on behalf of NAM, the Russian Federation, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iran, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Singapore, Nepal and Pakistan supported the extension to five years. Brazil said it was flexible.
  • Gap between first and second cycles
The two mains proposals were to have no gap and to have a gap of several months up to a year. The main rationale given to have a gap was to draft guidelines for the content of the reports of the second cycle. However, other States argued that, if guidelines were to be drafted, this could start before the end of the review process. Egypt on behalf of NAM, India, the Philippines, Cuba, Thailand, the Russian Federation and South Africa supported the gap. Mexico, Argentina, the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belgium on behalf of the European Union and Japan were against it.
  • Other proposals
The “other proposals” included:
- Consider whether the footnote in 5/1 about the review post 1st cycle should be maintained or whether this present review should be the only one
- Give equal time to each country
- Give particular attention to least developed country, landlocked countries, small islands countries and take into account specific consideration: 
- Ensuring that the UPR is not only used as a tool to identify problems but also to share best practices
  • Focus of second and subsequent cycles
The facilitator introduced the main proposals on what the focus could consist of: the human rights situation, the technical assistance received, challenges in the implementation, basic information on institutional structures in the national Report if changes occurred, recommendations not accepted in the previous review and follow-up on recommendations.
The divergence on this issue was that some speakers believed that the second and subsequent cycles should focus primarily on the implementation of recommendations and that others believe it should focus equally on the developments in the human rights situation and the implementation of recommendations. Egypt on behalf of NAM and the Russian Federation belonged to the first group whereas Belgium on behalf of the EU, Mexico, Liechtenstein, the United States, Japan and Argentina belonged to the second one.
  • Reports of the second and subsequent cycles
There was a call by the United States and the European Disability Forum to have a fourth document presented by National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI). Egypt on behalf of the NAM and the United Kingdom stated that the OHCHR summary of stakeholders information could include a dedicated part to NHRI. Belgium, on behalf of the EU, suggested the three basis documents to reflect both the implementation of recommendations and the human rights situations. Mexico and the United States proposed to have a fourth report containing all responses to all recommendations. Human Rights Watch called for guidelines to be drafted for national consultations.

Second UPR informal consultation - 15 November 2010
On November 15 was held the second of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. The first one was held on the 11th and the third one on the 18th.
The Facilitator continued to follow his list of “Issues to be discussed” and presented issue by issue the main proposals made at the 1st session of the Working Group contained in the Compilation of States proposals and then asked delegations to react to each other’s proposals and not restate their positions.
Four points were discussed during this second informal consultation:
  • Guidelines for the reports of the second and subsequent cycles
Three main proposals were shared during the first working group session: general guidelines on the national report, general guidelines on the OHCHR reports and general guidelines on the three reports.
The discussion on this issue took two different tracks: those of the view that the existing guidelines for those three reports, HRC Decision 6/102, were sufficient and simply needed to be updated and those believing that new guidelines were necessary.
For Belgium, on behalf of the EU, Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom and the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), the existing guidelines were sufficient and the three documents should have the same guidelines. Thailand and Iran called for guidelines for the 2nd and 3rd report. Egypt was open to adopt the existing guidelines.
France, Thailand, the Russian Federation, Egypt on behalf of NAM, the United States, Brazil, the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and ISHR suggested the OHCHR summary of stakeholders information contain a dedicated section to NHRI. Algeria was against.
  • The interactive dialogue
The main ideas shared on this issue were: to extend the length for a more substantial and interactive dialogue and address the issue of the list of speakers; to allow for time for the SuR to present its report, for NGOs at the adoption, for the troika and the Secretariat to prepare the WG report, for the SuR to respond to recommendations; to structure the interactive dialogue by theme.
All speakers supported the extension of the interactive dialogue. Liechtenstein, Egypt, Civicus, ISHR suggested that the SuR could have more time. However, France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Moldova stated that the extension of the three hours could be done within a four year cycle. Germany, the United Kindgom, ISHR and the ICC supported A status NHRI to take the floor at the interactive dialogue while Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia insisted on the intergovernmental nature of the working group.
Nigeria, the Russian Federation and Cuba specified that the SuR was not required to respond to all recommendations.
The Secretariat took the floor to precise that an extension to four hours would not be sufficient to accommodate all speakers and recommended instead to dedicated one day per State.
  • List of speakers
The Facilitator explained that the President of the HRC was working to find a solution and therefore this issue should not be discussed at the informal consultations.
  • Voluntary Trust Fund for Participation
The Secretariat explained that this Fund was budgeted with 1.5 millions dollars. It has been used extensively in two ways: to cover participation of one delegate from the least developed countries and development countries to working group and plenary adoption sessions and to assist countries by organising workshop in the field to prepare national consultations and the national report. The speaker added that there was a scope to cover participation of more participants but this would require a decision by the HRC.

Third UPR informal consultation - 18 November 2010
On November 18 was held the third of the three informal consultations organised by H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and facilitator on the UPR. The two first ones were held on the 11th and the 15th.
The facilitator continued to follow his list of “Issues to be discussed” and presented issue by issue the main proposals made at the 1st session of the Working Group contained in the Compilation of States proposals and then asked delegations to react to each other’s proposals and not restate their positions.
Nine points were discussed during this third informal consultation:
  • Recommendations of the second and subsequent cycles
The facilitator introduced the main ideas shared during the first session of the working group.
On formulation of recommendations: 
- Formulate new ones or re-use previous ones.
- Develop guidelines for formulation
- Establish limit for the number of recommendations
- Let a State make recommendations on behalf of other States
- Alert the HRC when a recommendation is outside international standards
On clustering: 
- The troika could cluster recommendations by theme with the agreement of the SuR and the help of the Secretariat
- Establish criteria for clustering
- Take into account recommendations from States which could not take the floor
On responses to recommendations: present an addendum to the final report containing precise responses to all recommendations or remain with the possibility to accept or note recommendations.
Most speakers supported the clustering of recommendations. A precision was brought by different States that it was understood as a simple clustering and not an editing of the recommendations. Armenia, Belgium, Mexico and France supported the addendum with clear responses to all recommendations. France, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada proposed to include experts to check conformity of recommendations with international human rights law. Egypt and the Philippines opposed to this inclusion of experts.
  • Role of the Troika
On this issue the facilitator shared four proposals: maintain the role of the troika, change it, nominate one Rapporteur and present orally at the interactive dialogue the three reports.
Egypt, the Philippines, Brazil, Botswana and Viet Nam wanted to maintain the role of the troika as it is now. Mexico and Belgium, on behalf of the EU, suggested strengthening it.
  • Role of OHCHR and other stakeholders
According to the facilitator, the main ideas on the OHCHR were: to draft a document compiling responses to recommendations and good practices and to present the three reports at the interactive dialogue.
On NHRIs and NGOs the proposals were: to keep the same role or to broaden the role such as giving the floor at the interactive dialogue and more time at the adoption and give the floor to NHRIs just after the SuR.
As for experts the main idea was to include them on a voluntary basis.
Mexico suggested that the OHCHR could play a role in identifying the need for international cooperation to assist states in connecting need and resources. This was supported by Brazil, Egypt and the Philippines.
Civicus and ISHR called for greater speaking time for NHRIs and NGOs at the adoption, participation of non-ECOSOC accredited NGOs and the possibility for video-conferencing.
  • Adoption of outcome
On the calendar, proposals presented by the facilitator were either to keep one of HRC session to adopt all UPR WG reports (for example September) or to hold an HRC session just after a WG session. Concerning the adoption, it was suggested greater time for it or to restrict comments.
There was a wide convergence to increase the time allocated to the adoption. Germany, Lebanon and Egypt wanted to give more time to the SuR while France and Brazil more time to NHRIs and NGOs. France and Egypt were open to the two options put forward for the calendar while Norway and the United Kingdom were not in favour of the September HRC session dedicated to adoptions. Brazil and Argentina suggested using video-conferencing for the participation of NHRIs and NGOs and Algeria was against.
  • Implementation of recommendations
The facilitator shared three main themes:
- Follow-up by the SuR: there was three proposals made at the Working Group stage: ask States to make report on the need for technical assistance; continue consultations with the civil society ; create regional Rapporteurs. 
- Drafting guidelines for the follow-up ; 
- Dealing with cases of non cooperation by the SuR.
Japan, Belgium on behalf of the EU supported the idea of an implementation plan. Mid-term reporting should be mandatory for Belgium on behalf of the EU, Civicus and Austria and remain voluntary for the Philippines, Brazil, Nigeria, Cuba and China. Civicus and Germany stressed the need for the follow-up to include the civil society.
  • Mid-term reporting
To answer concerns related to the proliferation of reports, Canada suggested to make mid-term reports in the format of a grid with all recommendations, the responses, the status of implementation and a few words explaining it.
  • Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance
Brazil stated that this Voluntary Fund was not necessary to provide technical assistance on the follow-up.
  • Role of OHCHR and other UN mechanisms
The main issues from the Working Group first session were: OHCHR person to be a focal point to monitor the follow-up, mainstreaming UPR recommendations with other mechanisms and clarification of the role of Special procedures at the UPR.
Algeria and Cuba were reluctant to give more role to other UN mechanisms, notably UN resident coordinators and stated that the follow-up should be made by States. The United Kingdom responded to those concerns by suggesting adopting broad terms when referring to the role of UN country teams and resident coordinators.
Brazil put forward the idea of the OHCHR to play the role of a clearing house for UPR recommendations.

UPR facilitator’s summary of informal consultations - 3 December 2010
Human Rights Council (HRC) President organised Friday 3 December a meeting to discuss Part 2 and Part 3 of the Compilation of States proposals issued after the first HRC review Working Group session. Following these discussions, the five facilitators presented a summary of the informal consultations held over the last three weeks.
H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, facilitator on the UPR, started to present the points of convergence drawn from the three informal consultations:
- To maintain the Basis, principles and objectives of the UPR ;
- To maintain the order of review of the first cycle;
- To maintain the content and focus of the reports of the second cycle;
- To cluster recommendations;
- To dedicate a part of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) summary of stakeholders’ information to National Human Rights Institution;
- To keep the voluntary nature of mid-term reports;
- To strengthen the voluntary fund for developing countries and technical assistance for States requesting it;
- To underline the central role of the OHCHR in coordinating technical assistance.
Issues needing more consultations led to three “informal informals” with regional coordinators and some delegations. Those consultations enabled to bring positions closer and reduce divergences. Convergences were found on the following points:
- To add one hour to the interactive dialogue while keeping the same proportionality between the State under Review and other States.
- To increase the plenary adoption time of half-an-hour while keeping the same proportionality between the State under Review, States and other stakeholders.
Concerning the periodicity, a compromise between 4 and 5 years was suggested: 4,5 years with 14 sessions of 14 reviews each.
The plenary adoption being linked to the agenda and the programme of work, the facilitator explained that he was working in close cooperation with the concerned facilitator.
As for the gap between the first and second cycle, there should be no need for it if the guidelines for the second cycle reports are concluded by September 2011 and if the second cycle starts after March 2012.
Finally, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale announced that a solution would soon be put forward for the list of speakers for the three last sessions and if it is accepted, it will be kept for the second cycle.

Bangkok Retreat - 8-10 December 2010
The Human Rights Council (HRC) held an "Ambassadorial retreat" in Bangkok, Thailand, from 8 to 10 December 2010 in the framework of the HRC review.
Ambassadors of Permanent missions in Geneva as well as National human rights institutions (NHRI) and ECOSOC accredited non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were invited by the HRC President and Ambassador of Thailand H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow to continue the discussions on the review before the second session of the Open-ended Working Group to be held in February.
The "Retreat" started on Wednesday 8 afternoon by an Opening remarks by H.E. Mr Theerakun Niyom, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and followed by an introduction by H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow.
The latter stated that the "Bangkok Retreat" was an occasion to brainstorm in order to see the way forward clearer. Despite the fact that the occasion was not for making decisions, he hoped that delegations would be able to go beyond their talking points. He announced that the outcome of this review should be a supplement to the Institutional Building Package resolution 5/1 and that facilitators will work on the texts for this supplement. In addition to this supplement, the outcome will contain a summary of the discussions to be sent to New York reflecting the key issues discussed, the agreements reached and perhaps the issues where views did not converge as well as the overlapping issues between Geneva and New-York. Finally, he hoped that this work could be completed in March 2011 so New York could complete the review in July.
Following this introduction, the five facilitators made briefings on the state of discussions on their respective issues. H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, facilitator on the UPR, made a very thorough and detailed PowerPoint presentation on the degree of acceptability of each proposal made so far, based on the discussions held during the three informal consultations and the three “informal informals”.
For each proposal, a colour was given reflecting the degree of acceptability:
- Green for issues upon which there was a large convergence of views
- Orange for issues that required further discussions
- Red for issues with deep divergences
See the PowerPoint presentation here.
On Thursday, States and stakeholders engaged in a "General discussion" on "Expectations from the HRC review process in Geneva: what do we seek to achieve in enhancing the work and function of the Council and what are the key issues". Statements were of general nature and rarely touched upon concrete points of discussions of the review. Most speakers stressed the importance of the UPR as a new human rights mechanism and touched upon the issue of country situation.
In total, eight NHRIs and NGOs took the floor during this General discussion: Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Conectas Direitos Humanos, Democracy Coalition Project, East and Horn of African Human Rights Defenders Project, Human Rights Watch, International Disability Alliance, International Service for Human Rights and the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand.
CHRI dedicated its statement to the UPR. It was based on discussions held with NGOs previously and followed the topics of the three discussions to be held by Ambassadors on Friday and described below. The statement is available here.
On Friday, the meeting was closed to the other stakeholders while Ambassadors discussed in three sessions the following questions:
- "How to make the Council be more effective and efficient, maximize time and resources we have and improve the culture of work?"
- "How can the Council make more impact on the ground?"
- "How to deal with the country specific/emergency situation in a more cooperative, constructive and timely manner?"
At the end of the day, the HRC President held a briefing with the other stakeholders to summarize them the discussions.
On the first question, the President explained that Ambassadors discussed the number of sessions, the interactive dialogues, the number of resolutions, the agenda of the HRC and the number of reports presented by Special Procedures mandate holders.
The second question was mainly concerning the UPR and technical cooperation. Delegates touched upon the following points: how to ensure implementation and follow-up at the UPR; how to mainstream human rights at the United Nations, underlining the role of the UPR and of the UN Countries Teams in this regard; what capacities have countries to implement human rights at the national level and finally the importance of highlighting the visibility of the HRC on the ground.
On the third question, were debated the issues of tools at hands to address country situations: the trigger mechanisms; the role of the President; the early warning mechanisms (Special procedures, group of experts, UPR?) and technical cooperation.

UPR informal consultation - 11 January 2011
On Tuesday, January 11, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and Facilitator on the UPR for the Human Rights Council Review, held an informal consultation to present the progress of discussions on the UPR.
The presentation was in line with the one made in Bangkok and maintained the system of assigning a colour to each proposal according to its degree of support:
- Green for issues with a wide convergence of views,
- Orange for issues that require further discussions,
- Red for issues with deep divergences
The following issues were placed in green: extending the duration of the review by one hour; extending the duration of the plenary adoption by thirty minutes; separating the plenary adoptions from the regular HRC sessions while keeping the general debate under agenda item 6 within the HRC regular sessions; holding the UPR sessions in February, June and October and encouraging States to continue consultations with the civil society after the review.
For issues in orange, the facilitator presented two opposing views on each issue and then suggested a compromise on which the delegations will have to reflect upon in order to make the orange issues green. Some of the compromises included: adopting a 4.5 year cycle with 14 sessions and 14 States per session; holding the first session of the second cycle in June 2012; encouraging the SuR to submit an addendum to the final report clearly stating its position on all received recommendations; encouraging the SuR to submit, within a reasonable period, an implementation plan for accepted recommendations; enabling the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to prepare a compilation of received recommendations by the SuR and involving UN country teams in the implementation of accepted recommendations at the request of the SuR.
In regards to proposals in red, the facilitator announced that, unless the delegations that made these proposals came up with alternate proposals aimed at striking a compromise, no change would be effected and the status quo would be maintained as per the provisions of the Institutional Building Package. Those red issues included, inter alia: developing guidelines for national consultations; tabling reports to national parliaments; developing guidelines for reports prepared by the OHCHR; allowing the OHCHR to present its Compilation and Summary before the Working Group; using new information technologies to enable the participation of other stakeholders; giving consideration to rejected recommendations from the first cycle and using independent expertise or legal advice to ensure the conformity of the recommendations with International Human Rights Law.
The facilitator added that for some of the issues in red, such as implementing video-conferencing and using independent expertise, the problem was not the opposition showed by States but the difficulty to put them into practice and that therefore these issues could be reconsidered if further suggestions are provided.
After his presentation, the Ambassador did not open the floor for comments but gave delegations one week to consult among their groups before meeting again. He reminded States that they needed to produce a document to submit to the second session of the Working Group on the HRC review, which begins on February 7.
See the facilitator’s presentation here.

Final UPR informal consultation - 21 January 2011
On January 21, UPR Facilitator and Ambassador of Morocco H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale held a final informal consultation to hear delegations’ views on his presentation made on January 11.
Please find below a summary of States’ reactions clustered by issues as contained in this January 11 Presentation assigning a colour to each proposal according to its degree of support: 
- Green for issues with a wide convergence of views, 
- Orange for issues that require further discussions, 
- Red for issues with deep divergences
  • Issues in green
Separate section in stakeholders’ summary for NHRI
Egypt, on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), expressed its support to the proposal to have a separate section in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) summary of stakeholders’ information for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI). Together with Algeria and Nigeria, they also insisted on the importance to open this dedicated section to all NHRIs and not only to A accredited ones. On the contrary, the United Kingdom and Canada wanted only A status NHRI to have a dedicated section in the document. The International Coordinating Committee of NHRI (ICC) asked for the document to be longer in order not to take away space from NGOs.
Clear responses to recommendations
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, opposed the proposal to request from States a clear position on all recommendations. They stated that asking States to say what recommendations they accepted and did not accept was enough. The Philippines asked for clarifications on what “clear responses” meant and if States would still be allowed to “take note”. On the contrary, Hungary, on behalf of the European Union (EU), along with Norway, Austria, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the ICC called on States to provide clear responses to recommendations, and thereby supported this proposal. The United States went further, asking for it to be spelt out how States should respond to recommendations, Canada voiced its opinion that States should be able to simply provide a clear acceptance or rejection for each recommendation.
Mid-term reports
According to Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Azerbaijan and China, the follow-up mid-term reports should remain voluntary. Uruguay and the Philippines supported the proposal. The Russian Federation stated that this issue was not necessarily in green. Algeria noted that mid-term reports should be voluntary and that they need not be in written form, as they could be presented orally under item 6, at the high level segment or at the general segment of the HRC. On the contrary, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, as well as Canada, called for a stronger language on mid-term reporting and the latter asked for guidance and tools.
Follow-up Consultations
In regards to the proposal to hold consultations with the civil society on the follow-up, Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, expressed the view that there was no need to mention it as the IB text already provides for national consultations. Algeria stated that those consultations should not necessarily include civil society.
Length of the Interactive dialogue
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the Republic of Korea, Azerbaijan, Canada and the ICC supported the proposal to allocate more time for the interactive dialogue. The United States opposed to the idea of proportionality between the State under Review and other States in the extension of the duration of the length of the interactive dialogue. Uruguay supported the extension by half-an-hour of Working Group adoptions at HRC plenary sessions.
Focus of the second cycle
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the United States and Canada objected to the proposal that the second cycle should also focus on the assessment of the assistance received. Hungary added that they did not recall any agreement on this issue. Norway suggested that the scope of the second cycle of the UPR be the same as the one for the first cycle. Austria called for a clear focus on the implementation.
OHCHR operating as a Clearing house
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, was against the OHCHR operating as a clearing house as it would shift it from its mandate. Brazil, on the contrary, supported the proposal.
  • Issues in orange
- Periodicity of the cycle
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the Republic of Korea, Argentina, Japan and Canada asked for the four-year cycle to be maintained. Turkey, the Maldives and Uruguay supported the current proposal. Nigeria and Algeria stated their support of a five-year cycle. The Philippines declared that it was flexible on this issue.
- Gap between the first and second cycle
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, expressed its willingness to consider the compromise solution. Turkey and the Republic of Moldova supported the proposal.
- Addendum containing responses to recommendations
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, agreed to keep the addendum to the final report optional. Japan stressed the importance of the addendum. Maldives was in favour of a mandatory addendum ,which China opposed.
- Implementation plan
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, as well as the Philippines agreed to keep the implementation plan voluntary. Nigeria opposed the entire idea of an implementation plan. The Maldives stated that this could overburden States. China was against a mandatory implementation plan. On the contrary, Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom and the ICC welcomed the current proposal of having a voluntary implementation plan.
- Report by OHCHR
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, was against the proposal to have a compilation of received recommendations prepared by the OHCHR, arguing that the Council already had to prepare two reports. Algeria considered that the OHCHR should not be overloaded with the compilation. Japan expressed doubt about the proposal.
- Role of United Nations Country Teams (UNCT)
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, recalled that countries tend to work with UNCTs on the preparation of reports but that the process itself was state-driven. Algeria expressed that UNCTs should be involved as stated under paragraph 36 of resolution 5/1. Nigeria agreed with Egypt and Algeria.
  • Issues in red
On video conferencing, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, explained that the use of new information technologies would allow grassroots NGOs to meaningfully contribute to the review. Argentina was also in favour of video-conferencing.
On the issue of the linkage with other UN mechanisms, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, stressed that it was in the interest of the whole UN system.
  • Other issues
Mexico, Turkey and the Maldives stated that the compromises were acceptable.

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, the Russian Federation and China expressed concern about the possibility during the UPR adoption to hold special sessions or discussions after each Working Group session.
The Russian Federation supported the approach put forward by the facilitator that if there was no consensus on a certain issue, the Council should revert to practices and procedures for that issue as outlined in resolution 5/1.
Algeria supported the strengthening of the Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance by creating a Board.
Norway called to keep the three plenary sessions of the HRC implying not to move the adoption of working group reports from HRC plenary session to UPR working group session.
Norway and Azerbaijan expressed their support for maintaining the current role of the troika.
Concerning the list of speakers, the Republic of Korea stressed the need to accommodate all delegations while Uruguay called for a new methodology. Switzerland expressed its support of the Bureau’s proposal.
The United Kingdom wanted to clarify that States can raise any issue at the second cycle and not only about accepted recommendations and new developments.
After hearing States’ positions, the facilitator explained that he would prepare a document for the HRC President by the end of January reflecting what had been said today. With the help of the Secretariat, he would draft proposals , which he would give to the President so that they could be annexed as proposals to improve the UPR.

Organisational meeting for the 2nd session of the Working Group - 3 February 2011
On February 3rd, the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC), H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, held an organisational meeting to prepare the second session of the Working Group on the HRC review to be held on 7, 17, 18, 23 and 24 February.
The President presented a Compilation of contributions containing papers prepared by the five facilitators. Those papers were drafted following the informal consultations each of the facilitator held between November 2010 and January 2011. This Compilation will be discussed by States and other stakeholders during this second Working Group session starting Monday 7th.
The paper presented by the UPR Facilitator focused mainly on the issues with large convergences and on which consensus seemed possible. Those issues were identified in his presentation made on January 11th and during the last informal consultation held on January 21st.

On the issue of the adoptions of the Working Group reports at the HRC plenary, the facilitator stated that it needed to wait for the other clusters to progress further. On the issue of the list of speakers, the paper asks the HRC to adopt a solution by the 18th session of the HRC.

Second session of the Working Group - Mini session 1 - 7 February 2011

On February 7, the Human Rights Council (HRC) began the second session of the Open-ended Working Group on the HRC review. This second session will be divided into three mini sessions which will be held on February 7, 17-18, and 23-24.

On Monday the 7th, HRC President H.E. Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow invited delegations to react to the Compilation of contributions presented on February 3 during an organisational meeting. Many States and other stakeholders took the floor to state their position.

Below is a summary of reactions of delegates to the paper on the UPR contained in the Compilation. Those discussions were similar to the ones held on January 21 during the last informal consultation on the UPR. Delegates re-stated their positions on each proposal instead of giving new proposals aimed at reaching a compromise.
In general, Cuba, Turkey, Guatemala and Chile supported the paper.
  • Periodicity of the subsequent cycles
Egypt, on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), suggested maintaining a full-year cycle in order to avoid costs. Indonesia, on behalf of the ASEAN, and the Philippines expressed their flexibility on the issue of periodicity The latter also supported the extension of the cycle to five years. Thailand declared its preference for a cycle of at least 4.5 years. Algeria was in favor of a five-year cycle. Guatemala and CIVICUS supported the current proposal of 4,5 years.
Hungary, on behalf of the European Union (EU), was of the opinion that extending the length of the cycle would weaken the process. France also opposed the extension. Turkey declared its preference for a four-year cycle. The United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea expressed that there was no need to extend the cycle. Switzerland would not support the extension of the length of the cycle unless other progresses were made in the review.
  • Gap between the first and second cycle
Austria and the Republic of Korea, preferred to have no gap between the two cycles. On the contrary, the Russian Federation believed that a gap between the UPR cycles would allow for the development of new guidelines for the drafting of the three documents which would serve as the basis of each review and help countries to prepare for the review.
  • Focus of the second cycle
According to Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and Myanmar, the focus of the second cycle should only be solely on the accepted recommendations and should not include the rejected ones. Guatemala specified that the focus should also be on the assistance received.
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, and Denmark were opposing the inclusion of the assessment of the technical assistance received. Austria was of the view that the second cycle should be on the actual situation of human rights in the country as well as on all accepted recommendations. France suggested that the second cycle should also address the rejected and noted recommendations. Finally, Canada suggested the second cycle must also focus on new recommendations made during this second cycle.
  • UPR plenary adoptions
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Algeria and the Philippines asserted that that if the UPR adoptions in plenary sessions were to be held immediately after the UPR working group sessions, they should not be used for purposes other than the UPR, such as reacting to urgent situations.
On the contrary, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, Japan, Ireland and Canada said that those adoptions could also be used to address human rights situations in countries.
  • Responses to recommendations
According to the Republic of Korea, the State under Review (SuR) should clearly express its position on all received recommendations. The Netherlands stressed the importance for clear responses and clear positions of acceptance or rejection. Canada voiced the idea that very recommendation that is not rejected formally should be considered as accepted. Australia suggested adopting a standard format for the responses.
  • Addendum
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, France, Norway and CIVICUS believed that States under Review should provide their views in writing on all recommendations submitted in advance . France also believed, together with the United Kingdom, that the wording of the proposal “encouraging” States could be stronger.
  • Implementation plan for recommendations
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, declared it was not “subscribing” to idea of an implementation plan. Moldova and the Russian Federation also expressed their reluctance to producing a voluntary plan. Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, said that the plan should not be compulsory and Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC feared that it would add a burden on States. Indonesia, on behalf of the ASEAN, expressed its belief that the implementation plan should remain strictly voluntary in nature and not formalised in the agenda.
On the other hand, Turkey and the Republic of Korea considered the implementation plan very important. The inclusion of the proposal about an implementation plan in the paper was also welcomed by Austria. Japan stated that even if voluntary, the implementation plan should be the basis for receiving technical assistance. Finally, Honduras added its support to the proposal encouraging States to submit a plan.
  • Mid-term reports
According to Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, States have no obligation to submit a mid-term report and Indonesia, on behalf of the ASEAN, Thailand and Guatemala expressed that the mid-term report should remain voluntary. The Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation did not support the proposal to encourage States to submit mid-term reports.
On the contrary, this proposal was welcomed by Austria and supported by Honduras.
  • Funds for participation and for financial and technical assistance
A strong appeal was made by Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of the ASEAN, Turkey, Brazil, Peru and South Africa to strengthen the two funds for participation and for the follow-up. The organisation CIVICUS asked for the participiation fund to also provide support for NGOs.
  • National human rights institutions
Algeria wanted non-A Status accredited NHRIs to be able to participate fully in the UPR while the United Kingdom, Peru, Brazil and Norway wanted to have the role of A-status NHRIs strengthened. Australia suggested that A-status NGOs should be able to speak immediately after the SuR at the plenary adoption of the Report of the Working Group.
The International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs reminded the council of its support for a dedicated section to NHRIs in the OHCHR summary of stakeholder information if the length of this summary were extended. The Asia Pacific Forum supported the proposal to dedicate a section of the summary to NHRIs.
  • Other issues
Cuba specified that the HRC does not hold the mandate to follow-up on the implementation of recommendations.
Austria and Brazil welcomed the extension in time of the interactive dialogue.
The United States suggested that OHCHR prepare a report for each country on the implementation status of its recommendations for the second cycle .
Denmark was opposed to the idea of the OHCHR acting as a clearing house in with respect to the follow-up.
CIVICUS presented for the second time its proposal to introduce the OHCHR compilation of UN information and summary of stakeholders’ information at the stage of the working group.

Second session of the Working Group - Mini session 2 - 17-18 February 2011
On February 17 and 18, the Open-ended Working Group on the Human Rights Council (HRC) review held the second part of its second session. States and other stakeholders were given the opportunity to react to the HRC President’s Negotiating text circulated on Monday 14.
The discussion on the UPR parts of this Negotiating text was held on Thursday 17 from 10 am to 1 pm. Following the positions expressed on February 7th, delegations suggested concrete amendments to the text:
A. Basis, principles and objectives of the review
The United Kingdom suggested introducing a 1 bis and 1 ter which would read as follow:
“1. bis. Reaffirms that no recommendation, nor State’s response thereto, may be interpreted to limit the scopes of any state’s obligations under international human rights law.”
“1. ter. States are encouraged to ensure that recommendations are focused, action oriented, implementable, consistent with international human rights law and designed to improve the human rights situations in the State under Review.”
These suggestions were supported by Canada, New Zealand, Norway and the United States.
B. Periodicity and order of the review
2. The second cycle of the review shall begin in June 2012.
3. The periodicity of the review for the second and subsequent cycles will be of four years and half. This will imply the consideration of forty-two States per year during three sessions of the working group to be held, preferably, in February, June and October.
Egypt, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, and China requested to explore the option to move to a five year cycle which would lead to cost savings and less workload for the Human Rights Council.
Hungary, on behalf of the European Union (EU), believed that extending the duration of the cycle would weaken the system and would consider accepting the 4,5 year cycle if other elements in this or other clusters are significantly improved.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, stated that they wanted a five year cycle.
4. The order of review established for the first cycle of the review shall be maintained for the second and subsequent cycles.
5. The plenary sessions of the Human Rights Council for the consideration of the outcome of the review will be held together with the UPR working group sessions.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and China suggested adding “held solely” between “Council” and “for the consideration”.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested adding the words “directly after” after “will be held” instead of “together with” and adding “and should be focus only on the adoption of the UPR Working Group Report”
Bangladesh suggested replacing the word “together” by “one after another”.
Norway suggested inserting the word “three” and the phrase “and have a duration of up to three days”.
C. Process and modalities of the review
Focus and documentation
6. The review during the second and subsequent cycles will continue to be based on the three documents identified in paragraph 15 of the annex to Council resolution 5/1.
7. The second and subsequent cycles of the review should focus, inter alia, on:
a) The follow-up and implementation of the outcome of the preceding cycle, including, as appropriate, the technical and financial assistance received.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, and China suggested deleting the words “as appropriate” and add “in terms of accepted recommendations and voluntary pledges” after “preceding cycle”
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, suggested deleting the rest of the sentence after the word “cycle”. On the contrary, Brazil wanted to keep the reference to the technical and financial assistance.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, and the Russian Federation suggested replacing the word “outcome” with “accepted recommendations of the State under Review”
Peru suggested adding an “s” at the end of the word “cycle”. This amendment was also supported by France, the United Kingdom and Chile.
b) The developments of the human rights situation in the State under review since its preceding review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, and China suggested adding “including territories under its control” after “in the State under Review”
8. The general guidelines for the UPR reports adopted by Council decision 6/102 shall be adjusted to the focus of the second and subsequent cycles before the Council’s 18th session.
9. Other relevant stakeholders are encouraged to include in their contributions to the review information on the follow-up by the State under review of the outcome of its preceding review.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, and the Russian Federation suggested replacing the word “outcome” with “accepted recommendations”.
The United Kingdom suggested adding the words “themselves and” after “follow-up by”.
Bangladesh suggested adding the phrase “on the basis of accepted recommendations by the State” at the end of the paragraph.
10. The summary of the information provided by other relevant stakeholders should contain, where appropriate, a separate section for the contributions by the National Human Rights Institutions of the State under review which are consistent with the Principles relating to the
status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights annexed to the General Assembly resolution 48/134 (the Paris Principles).

Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested deleting everything after “State under Review”.
Peru suggested replacing the words “consistent with” with “in accordance with”. This amendment was also supported by the United States. On the contrary, Costa Rica wanted to keep “consistent with”.
Algeria suggested replacing the word “which” (third line) with “indicating whether such institutions”.
11. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is encouraged to make available and easily accessible all relevant information and reports from the preceding reviews of the State under review.
Modalities
12. The role of the Troikas shall be maintained as set forth in the annex to Council resolution 5/1 as well as the President’s Statement 8/PRST/1.
13. One additional hour will be added to the review. Thus, the total of four hours of the review will be divided as follows:
a) One hour and twenty minutes for the State under review.
b) Two hours and forty minutes for member and observer States of the Human Rights Council wishing to take the floor during the review.

14. One additional half hour will be added to the consideration of the outcome of the review by the plenary of the Human Rights Council. Thus, the total of one hour and half of the consideration of the UPR outcome by the plenary of the Human Rights Council will be divided as follows:
a) Thirty minutes for the State under review.
b) One hour for the members and observers of the Human Rights Council

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, and China suggested adding “as well as other stakeholders” after “Council”. This amendment was supported by Hungary on behalf of the EU, France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and the International Coordinating Committee of National institutions.
Algeria was of the view that National Human Rights Institutions should be able to speak just after the State under Review at the adoption of the Working Group Report at the plenary session.
15. The modalities for establishing the list of speakers shall ensure the principles of universality, equal treatment and transparency. Such modalities are defined in Appendix 1.
The Republic of Korea, Israel, Chile, New Zealand and Australia supported the proposal for the modalities of the list of speakers as contained in Appendix 1.
16. The Universal Periodic Review Voluntary Trust Fund established by Human Rights Council resolution 6/17 should be strengthened and operationalized in order to ensure a significant participation of developing countries, particularly least developing countries and small island states, in their review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, and China suggested adding after the last sentence “The Council shall formulate by its 18th session the governance structure and disbursement modalities for this Fund.”
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested replacing the word “operationalized” with “the modalities to operationalize the fund should be finalised by the 18th session”.
Nepal suggested replacing the words “least developing countries and small island states” with “Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs)”
D. Outcome of the review
Israel suggested introducing the following paragraph: 
“A recommendation and the response of a State thereto must fall in line with the object and purpose of the UN Charter, the language of resolutions 60/251 and the principles and objectives contained within the Annex to resolution 5/1”.
17. The recommendations contained in the outcome of the review should be clustered thematically with the full involvement and consent of the State under review and the States that made the recommendations.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, and China suggested adding the word “preferably” after “should”.
18. The State under review should provide the Human Rights Council with its views on all received recommendations, in accordance with the provisions of the institution-building package annexed to Council resolution 5/1. The State under review is also encouraged to provide such information, as well as its voluntary pledges and commitments, in a written format prior to the Human Rights Council plenary for the adoption of the outcome of its review.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested replacing the words “in accordance” with “consistent with”. They also proposed to delete the last sentence.
Japan suggested replacing the word “provide” by “communicate to” and deleting the whole paragraph after “Council” on the first line and replace it with “in written form prior to the Human Rights Council plenary for the adoption of the outcome of its review whether it supports or decline to support each of the recommendation it has received”. This amendment was supported by Canada.
France suggested replacing the word “should” in the first line with “will”.
Switzerland suggested replacing the word “encouraged” with “obliged”.
Ireland suggested replacing the word “encouraged” with “expected”.
The Republic of Korea suggested a new wording for the paragraph: “The State under Review shall provide its clear position on all the recommendations received, stating whether they enjoy its support or not”.
Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network suggested replacing the words “should” and “is also encouraged to” with “shall”.
E. Follow-up of the review
19. States have the primary responsibility for the implementation of the outcome of their review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, and China suggested deleting the word “primary” and adding “in terms of accepted recommendations and voluntary pledges” at the end of the sentence. On the contrary, Chile and New Zealand expressed their wish to keep the word “primary”.
The Russian Federation suggested replacing the word “outcome” with “accepted recommendations”
Bangladesh suggested adding the phrase “on the basis of accepted recommendations by the State” after “outcome”.
20. States are encouraged to conduct broad consultations with all relevant stakeholders on the implementation of the outcome of their review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, and China suggested adding “in terms of accepted recommendations and voluntary pledges” at the end of the sentence.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested merging paragraph 19 and 20. They also suggested adding the words “in consistence with paragraph 32 of the Institutional Building Package” after “stakeholders”.
The Russian Federation suggested replacing the word “outcome” with “accepted recommendations”
21. States are encouraged to provide the Human Rights Council, on a voluntary basis, with:
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, China, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh suggested replacing the words “are encouraged to” with “may”.
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, and Japan suggested adding the word “strongly” before “encouraged”.
France suggested deleting the words “on a voluntary basis”.
The United Kingdom and the Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network suggested replacing the word “encouraged” by “expected”.
Canada suggested introducing the word “strongly” after “are”.
Norway suggested replacing the words “are encouraged to” with “will”.
a) An implementation plan for the outcome of their review, within a reasonable timeframe.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, China and Bangladesh suggested deleting the whole sentence.
The United Kingdom suggested replacing “a reasonable timeframe” with “one year”.
b) A midterm report on the follow-up of the outcome of their review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, and Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, China, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and South Africa suggested replacing the word “report” with “update”.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, also suggested replacing the word “outcome” with “accepted recommendations”.
The United Kingdom suggested adding “two years after the review”.
The Russian Federation suggested deleting the whole paragraph 21.
22. The Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance established by Human Rights Council resolution 6/17 should be strengthened and operationalized, as soon as possible, in order to provide a source of financial and technical assistance to help countries implement the recommendations emanating from their review, including by designating the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as a clearing house for such assistance.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, China and the Maldives suggested adding the words “in particular LDCs and SIDS, upon their request, to” after “to help countries”.
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, and Japan were opposed to designate the OHCHR as a clearing for assistance because it would shift the focus of its mandate. It proposed an alternative wording for this paragraph: 
“Expenditures from the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance established by Human Rights Council resolution 6/17 should be operationalized, as soon as possible, in order to provide a source of financial and technical assistance to help countries implement the recommendations emanating from their review. To this end States applying for assistance will be requested to submit an implementation plan on recommendations they intend to implement.”
On the contrary, Brazil insisted on keeping the reference of the OHCHR as clearing house and explained that “clearing house” means facilitating discussions between donor and receiving country.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested deleting the word “operationalized”.
Nepal suggested adding the phrase “in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs)” after “countries”.
Bangladesh suggested adding the word “developing” before “countries” (third line) and adding “specially, LDCs and SIDs” after “countries”.
23. States may request the United Nations representation at the national or regional level to assist them in the implementation of the follow-up of their review.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Pakistan, on behalf of the OIC, Indonesia, on behalf of ASEAN, China and the Maldives suggested adding the words “subject to the allocation of incremental resources for this purpose” at the end of the sentence.
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, and the United States expressed its preference to revert to the original language of the IB package paragraph 36 which had a broader scope and referred to the international community rather than only to the UN.
Nigeria, on behalf of the African Group, suggested deleting the whole paragraph.
The Philippines suggested making a reference to paragraph 36 of the Institutional Building Text in this paragraph.

Second session of the Working Group - Mini session 3 - 23-24 February 2011
On Thursday, February 24, the Open-ended Working Group on the Review of the Human Rights Council (HRC) concluded its second session with the adoption of an Outcome of the Review of the Work and Functioning of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This outcome contains modifications to Resolution 5/1 as well as new modalities for the work and functioning of the HRC.
The outcome was adopted by consensus in the late hours of Thursday, February 24, the last day of the Working Group after several months of negotiations and meetings. However, many States, such the United States, Argentina, Israel, France, Mexico, Australia, Canada and Japan, the European Union, as well as NGOs such as the International Service for Human Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch expressed their disappointment in regards to the content of the document. Their main critic was the failure of the Working Group to create trigger mechanisms enabling the HRC to react to urgent country situations and allowing for other stakeholders such as the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the HRC President to bring particular country situations to the HRC’s attention.
This outcome will be adopted by the HRC at its 16th session, which is currently held until March 25 and then sent to the General Assembly in New York.
The changes brought by this outcome on the UPR modalities are limited. Here are the main ones:
1. The length of the cycle will be 4,5 years instead of 4 (§3).
2. The first session of the second cycle will start in June 2012 (§2).
3. The list of speakers will now open on the Monday of the week preceding the beginning of the Working Group session. Delegations inscribed on the list of speakers will be arranged in alphabetical order of the county names in English. On the Friday morning preceding the beginning of the session, the President will draw by lot the first speaker on the list. The list of speakers will continue from the State drawn onward. States will be able to swap place on the speakers list with other States (§11).
4. The general guidelines (HRC Decision 6/102) for the drafting of the three reports forming the basis of the review (National report, compilation of UN information and summary of stakeholders’ information) will be modified for the second cycle by the HRC 18th session to be held in September 2011 (§7). 

5. National Human Rights Institutions with A status will have a dedicated section in the summary of other stakeholders’ information prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner. They will also now be given the floor directly after the State under Review during the adoption of the Report of the Working Group at the HRC plenary session (§9 and 13).
6. States should submit its responses in a written format to all recommendations received during their review (§16).
7. States are encouraged to conduct national consultations on the follow-up with the civil society (§17).
8. States are encouraged to provide mid-term updates on the implementation of their recommendations between two reviews (§18).

Informal consultation on the follow-up to the Review on the UPR - 27 May 2011
On Friday 27 May, the President of the Human Rights Council (HRC) held an informal consultation on follow-up to the HRC Review on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
The aim of this consultation was to discuss the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: order of review, duration of the Working Group review, list of speakers, adjustment of general guidelines 6/102 and revision of the Terms of References for the Funds for participation and the technical and financial assistance. Read more about those issues here.
In preparation for this meeting, the following documents were circulated:
- a Draft decision on those pending issues to be adopted by the HRC in June;
- three options of timetables for the Working Group sessions (option AB, and C);
- the list of all States in order of review of the first cycle.
A total of eleven States took the floor to express their views on the different issues. A majority supported a 3.5 hour Working Group review and option B for the timetable.
India questioned the usefulness, through this meeting, to re-discus ideas shared during the HRC Review and to isolate the UPR from the other clusters.
In conclusion, the President announced that he will hold another consultation soon to continue the discussion.
1. Order of review
Argentina expressed its support of maintaining the same order as during the first cycle.
2. General guidelines
The Draft decision sent to delegations before the meeting contains proposals to adjust the General guidelines 6/102.
Egypt, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), suggested removing the word “new” at the beginning of paragraph B. This was also supported by Nigeria on behalf of the African Group, the United States, Canada and Morocco.
Switzerland expressed its satisfaction with the modification brought in the draft decision.
Hungary, on behalf of the European Union (EU), suggested making reference to publication of an implementation plan in relation to the reception of technical assistance. In reaction to this proposal, Nigeria stated that this informal consultation was not the occasion to reopen the Outcome of the Review and add new wordings in the text. Similarly, Morocco firmly opposed to include this reference.
Canada, supported by Argentina, suggested adding the words “specifically on accepted recommendations” at the end of paragraph C.bis.
3. Duration of each Working Group review
The President explained that option A was similar to the first cycle with fourteen States per session whereas Options B and C were increasing the review to 3.5 hours. Option B was offering 3.5 hours for every country while option C was providing flexibility among reviews. If the time was extended, States would need to decide how to divide the additional thirty minutes between the State under Review (SuR) and the participating States. Another issue with the extension was that conferences services function by blocks of three hours and therefore could not work 3.5 hours in a row within the same resources.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, expressed its support for option A.
Option B enjoyed the support of Hungary on behalf of the EU, Nigeria on behalf of the African Group, India, Japan and Argentina.
Option C triggered numerous questions from delegates. The question of the predictability was mentioned as a SuR could be moved from one day to another depending on the length of the speakers’ list. Also concerns over potential cost implications of having a review over two days and a session longer than two weeks were shared.
The United States stated that they had been hoping for a four hour review. Canada suggested modifying option B in that sense. Reviews would be held from 9am to 1pm and then 2pm to 6pm. Working Group adoptions would be held during lunch breaks. To this proposal, the Secretariat answered that a four hour review was not possible within existing resources.
On the issue of how to divide the additional thirty minutes, Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Nigeria on behalf of the African Group and India wanted to keep the proportionality giving ten minutes to the SuR whereas the United States were of the views to give the entire thirty minutes to participating States.
4. Modalities for the list of speakers
The President explained that the proposal contained in Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/21 on the Outcome of the HRC Review intended to answer two problems: to allow all States willing to speak to do so and to avoid long queues.
Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the United States and Japan expressed their support to the proposal. Morocco stated that the shortness of the statement should not be a problem as the Interactive dialogue should not be used to praise the SuR but to make questions and recommendations.
5. Funds for participation and financial and technical assistance
Morocco expressed its confidence in the work of the Secretariat to present revised Terms of Reference.

Second informal consultation on the follow-up to the Review on the UPR - 10 June 2011
On Friday 10 June, the Human Rights Council (HRC) President organised a second informal consultation on the follow-up to the HRC Review on the Universal Periodic Review.
This consultation followed the one held on 27 May during which States and other stakeholders discussed the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: timetable for each Working Group session, the order of review, the list of speakers, the general guidelines for the three documents and the Funds.
In preparation for this second consultation, the following documents had been circulated: 
New version of the draft decision to be adopted by the HRC at its current 17th session
- New option for the Working Group timetables.
This new version of the draft decision introduced a few changes from the previous version:
- Paragraph II. B: the word “new” was taken, as many States asked during the first informal;
- Paragraph III. The duration of each Working Group Review was set on 3.5 hours;
- Paragraph V: The Secretariat was requested to present annual written reports to the HRC on the operations of the funds and the resources available to it.
According to this option D, seven States would be reviewed per week and the Working Group adoptions would be held on Thursday and Friday afternoon of each week and not throughout the week any more.
The consultation was brief as only a handful of countries took the floor. Hungary, on behalf of the European Union, supported both the draft decision and option D.
Draft decision
Part II. Paragraph E: Egypt on behalf of the NAM and Nigeria on behalf of the African Group suggested deleting the newly added words “in relation to the implementation of accepted recommendations and the development of human rights situations in the State” while Switzerland wanted to keep them.
Part III: No comments were made against a 3.5 hour Working Group review. As for how to distribute the additional 30 minutes, Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Switzerland and Nigeria on behalf of the African Group were in favour of the proportionality, that is allocating ten minutes to the State under Review and twenty minutes to the participating States. Asked by the HRC President, the Ambassador of Morocco explained that during the HRC Review, the majority of States supported the proportionality.
Option D
Option D triggered intense discussions because not all States would have 48 hours between their review and the adoption of the draft Report of the Working Group. India stated preferring going back to option A, that is a three hour review.
The HRC President therefore suggested taking a decision on the other issues at this HRC session and leaving the issue of the timetable to the next HRC session in September. But Pakistan and India did not agree.
In conclusion, the President proposed to hold a third informal consultation. This will take place on Wednesday 15 June from 10 am to 12 pm.

Third informal consultation on the follow-up to the Review on the UPR - 15 June 2011
On Wednesday 15 June, the Human Rights Council (HRC) President convened a third informal consultation to reach an agreement on the format of the timetable for the UPR working groups of the second cycle.
Two previous informal consultations were held on Friday 27 May and Friday 10 June to discuss the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: the order of review, the list of speakers, the general guidelines for the three documents, the revised terms of reference of the Funds and the timetable for each Working Group session.
The format of the timetable was the last issue on which agreement had not been reached yet. As the HRC President was in New York, the Ambassador of Morocco, former facilitator on the UPR during the HRC Review, was entrusted to find a new template for the timetable and lead the discussions at this third informal.
His Excellency Omar Hilale made a detailed Powerpoint presentation recalling the different options discussed before as well as their strengths and weaknesses: ABC and D. He then presented a new option, E, elaborated to answer the four concerns expressed by States during the previous consultations:
- Equal treatment among States under Review
- 48 hours between the review and the adoption for all States under Review (regardless of when the report would be adopted, the reports for all States would be distributed exactly 48 hours after each review)
- No more than seven hours of meetings per day
- No financial implication
His Excellency said that this solution E was pending confirmation from financial services but he was hoping this would be accepted. The only disadvantage according to him was the long period for certain countries between the review and the adoption and the difficulty for small States to stay up to five days in Geneva. However, a study made demonstrated that only 12.5% of head of delegations have stayed for the adoptions during the eleven first sessions of the UPR so the number of States affected would be limited.
The United States, Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Hungary on behalf of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, the Republic of Moldova, Algeria, Azerbaijan and Brazil took the floor to express their support in this new option.
India disagreed with the Ambassador of Morocco who assumed that they had been an agreement during the two previous informals on adding thirty minutes to the current three hours of review and stated that option A should not be ruled out.
Egypt on behalf of NAM and the Russian Federation, asked for the paragraph V. 10. of the latest draft decision to state that the Secretary-General of the United Nations should appoint the board of trustees of the Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance. Algeria wanted to make a reference to the geographical repartition of the composition of the future board of trustees.
The final draft decision and the option E should be presented in the coming days to the HRC for adoption.

UPR Info’s involvement
UPR Info was engaged in the review process through different projects.
  • An analysis
We released early October an analysis looking into the seven first sessions of the UPR and assessing what is and is not working. This analysis contains concrete proposals to improve the mechanism and intends to contribute to the HRC review process by providing an analytical assessment of the UPR.
The Analytical assessment is available here.
  • A workshop
We organised on the 7th of October a workshop for civil society. Around thirty international and national organisations gathered in Geneva to assess the mechanism and put forward concrete proposals to the review process.
  • A joint contribution
Based on the discussions held during the workshop, we drafted a contribution containing seven key issues of the UPR which needed to be addressed in the context of the Human Rights Council review. This draft was then circulated to NGOs for review and was eventually signed on by 37 organisations. The contribution was presented to the HRC review Working Group on Wednesday 27th October through a statement on behalf of Geneva for Human Rights, a signatory organisation.
The Joint NGO Contribution is available here.
  • A conference
We organised on Friday 19 November a conference on the UPR within the framework of the HRC Review. Around 40 participants representing States, NGOs, NHRIs, international and inter-governmental organisations, and the OHCHR gathered to discuss the follow-up, its assessment and the second and subsequent cycles.
A summary of this conference is available here.
  • A joint statement

Following-up the joint submission submitted in October, we drafted a joint statement with 28 NGOs which assessed which of those seven proposals had been included in the Outcome, expressed disappointment at the content of the UPR modalities contained in the Outcome and called on the HRC and States to continue to improve the UPR mechanism in practice through the second cycle. The statement was delivered on behalf of Geneva for Human Rights on March the 18th during the General debate of item 6 at the HRC 16th session.
The statement is available here and the webcast here.
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