Human Rights “Check-Up” of fourteen UN member states in Geneva
Enlarge image (© UNOG, Jean-Mark Ferre) From 6th to 15th November the Human Rights Council looks into fourteen states’ respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights. Czech Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Peru, Guatemala, Benin, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka participate in the “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) for the third time already.
It is the respective country`s right to present its position at the beginning of each 3.5-hour-dialogue. Afterwards, every UN member state can offer recommendations which the addressed government may either accept or take note of (i.e. reject). Unlike those expert committees which review the compliance with key human rights conventions (such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child), UPR is a cooperative procedure between member states. According to the NGO UPR Info, which has reported on the mechanism since its creation, the impact of UPR should not be underestimated: In the first 26 sessions almost 75% of roughly 58.000 recommendations were accepted. Moreover, while the implementation of these recommendations finally rests on the discretion of the respective states and their governments, UPR Info shows in an analysis of the first-4-year-cycle of UPR that 55% of all recommendations were wholly or partially fulfilled.
Civil society organizations such as NGOs play a crucial role during UPR`s preparation and follow-up: The information compiled by civil society organizations serves –alongside the official report prepared by the concerned country and further summaries delivered by UN-institutions – as an additional source of information for the elaboration of specific and appropriate recommendations. Additionally, NGOs can push governments to fulfill recommendations by steadily monitoring their efforts.
The German statement will be uploaded on the right side of this page.