Third informal consultation held on the UPR for the HRC review

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 considered"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.

See all proposals made during the informals in our excel sheet