Edward Flynn CSSp of the Geneva Office of VIVAT International follows the activities of the UN Human Rights Council, including the UPR process. When a country in which VIVAT members are present has been reviewed, Edward will send us a short report with links to more complete information, such as the documents on which the Review is based and the draft conclusions adopted by the Human Rights Council.
What is the UPR process? The information given in italics immediately below this paragraph is taken from the official information website of the UPR at http://www.upr-info.org/-UPR-Process-.html . A more complete explanation of the UPR process is given at this same website as well as a video presenting the process.
“The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a new and unique human rights mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council aiming at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 192 UN Member States.
“Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 4 years (48 States are reviewed each year during three UPR sessions dedicated to 16 States each).
“The result of each review is reflected in an “outcome report” listing the recommendations made to the State under Review (SuR) including those that it accepted and which it will have to implement before the next review.
“The UPR is a full-circle process comprising 3 key stages:
“1) Review of the human rights situation of the State under Review [SuR].
“2) Implementation between two reviews (4 years) of the recommendations accepted and voluntary pledges and commitments by the SuR.
“3) Reporting at the next review on the implementation of those recommendations and pledges and on the human rights situation in the country since the previous review.”
Edward says that the recommendations that are made during the review process are an area where NGOs can make a valid contribution: “The country in question (or State under Review SuR) is being asked by other countries to make changes regarding the exercise of Human Rights within their territory. Hence, the recommendations are very important in relation to any future action or developments regarding Human Rights within a country. Those recommendations that are accepted will be implemented by the SuR. That is the promise. NGOs can also take these recommendations into their future plans. They can continue to lobby their government in relation to those recommendations that have been accepted. They can also continue to campaign about those recommendations that have not received the support of the country concerned.”