For an effective third cycle, two elements of the UPR process must be prioritised

UPR Info recently monitored the adoptions of the Final Working Group Reports for the 25th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). These adoptions, in which 14 States gave their final responses to any recommendations they had left pending since their review in May, took place 21 - 23 September 2016.

On Friday 23 September, following the conclusion of the adoptions the Agenda Item 6 General Debate was opened by the Vice President of the HRC. UPR Info took the floor, alongside other States and stakeholders in the UPR to deliver the following statement:

Mr President,

As the international community looks towards the third cycle of the UPR, numerous discussions, have taken place in this room and outside, around what needs to be changed in the modalities, rules and functioning of the mechanism to ensure that this third cycle delivers concrete impact on the ground. While these exercises are always welcome, UPR Info believes that the HRC need not change the modalities; rather the call to action must lie primarily at the door of all UN Member States. It is the States that are the driving force of the UPR. They are ultimately responsible for the functioning of this international human rights mechanism. And nine years since the beginning of the UPR, we all know what works, what can be considered a good practice. This is why, UPR Info believes that, for an effective third cycle, two elements of the UPR process must be prioritised by States: implementation, and reporting.

For a successful implementation, States should provide clarity on their responses to recommendations (supported or noted), establish a national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, consult and work with civil society, and develop a human rights action plan.

For a meaningful reporting, States should commit to report on 5 recommendations of their choice within 1 year after the review. This voluntary reporting could be made under item 6 or at a specific side event. They should also report at mid-term, 2,5 years later, and make sure to report on all recommendations in their next national report.

Mr. President,

For a successful third cycle of the UPR, States must ensure sustainable implementation of recommendations. We therefore call on all States to take these following specific actions to achieve this goal.

I thank you.

UPR Info's statement is available to download here.