Second informal consultation held on the UPR for the HRC review
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 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.
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.