Facilitator holds final informal consultation on the UPR on 21st January

On January 21, UPR Facilitator and Ambassador of Morocco H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale held a final informal consultation to hear delegations' views on his presentation made on January 11.

Please find below a summary of States' reactions clustered by issues as contained in this January 11 Presentation assigning a colour to each proposal according to its degree of support:

- Green for issues with a wide convergence of views;
- Orange for issues that require further discussions;
- Red for issues with deep divergences

-*Issues in green

- Separate section in stakeholders' summary for NHRI

Egypt, on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), expressed its support to the proposal to have a separate section in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) summary of stakeholders' information for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI). Together with Algeria and Nigeria, they also insisted on the importance to open this dedicated section to all NHRIs and not only to A accredited ones. On the contrary, the United Kingdom and Canada wanted only A status NHRI to have a dedicated section in the document. The International Coordinating Committee of NHRI (ICC) asked for the document to be longer in order not to take away space from NGOs.

- Clear responses to recommendations

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, opposed the proposal to request from States a clear position on all recommendations. They stated that asking States to say what recommendations they accepted and did not accept was enough. The Philippines asked for clarifications on what "clear responses" meant and if States would still be allowed to "take note". On the contrary, Hungary, on behalf of the European Union (EU), along with Norway, Austria, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Uruguay, the United Kingdom and the ICC called on States to provide clear responses to recommendations, and thereby supported this proposal. The United States went further, asking for it to be spelt out how States should respond to recommendations, Canada voiced its opinion that States should be able to simply provide a clear acceptance or rejection for each recommendation.

- Mid-term reports

According to Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, Azerbaijan and China, the follow-up mid-term reports should remain voluntary. Uruguay and the Philippines supported the proposal. The Russian Federation stated that this issue was not necessarily in green. Algeria noted that mid-term reports should be voluntary and that they need not be in written form, as they could be presented orally under item 6, at the high level segment or at the general segment of the HRC. On the contrary, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, as well as Canada, called for a stronger language on mid-term reporting and the latter asked for guidance and tools.

- Follow-up Consultations

In regards to the proposal to hold consultations with the civil society on the follow-up, Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, expressed the view that there was no need to mention it as the IB text already provides for national consultations. Algeria stated that those consultations should not necessarily include civil society.

- Length of the Interactive dialogue

Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the Republic of Korea, Azerbaijan, Canada and the ICC supported the proposal to allocate more time for the interactive dialogue. The United States opposed to the idea of proportionality between the State under Review and other States in the extension of the duration of the length of the interactive dialogue. Uruguay supported the extension by half-an-hour of Working Group adoptions at HRC plenary sessions.

- Focus of the second cycle

Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the United States and Canada objected to the proposal that the second cycle should also focus on the assessment of the assistance received. Hungary added that they did not recall any agreement on this issue. Norway suggested that the scope of the second cycle of the UPR be the same as the one for the first cycle. Austria called for a clear focus on the implementation.

- OHCHR operating as a Clearing house

Hungary, on behalf of the EU, was against the OHCHR operating as a clearing house as it would shift it from its mandate. Brazil, on the contrary, supported the proposal.

-*Issues in orange

1. Periodicity of the cycle

Hungary, on behalf of the EU, the Republic of Korea, Argentina, Japan and Canada asked for the four-year cycle to be maintained. Turkey, the Maldives and Uruguay supported the current proposal. Nigeria and Algeria stated their support of a five-year cycle. The Philippines declared that it was flexible on this issue.

2. Gap between the first and second cycle

Hungary, on behalf of the EU, expressed its willingness to consider the compromise solution. Turkey and the Republic of Moldova supported the proposal.

3. Addendum containing responses to recommendations

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, agreed to keep the addendum to the final report optional. Japan stressed the importance of the addendum. Maldives was in favour of a mandatory addendum ,which China opposed.

4. Implementation plan

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, as well as the Philippines agreed to keep the implementation plan voluntary. Nigeria opposed the entire idea of an implementation plan. The Maldives stated that this could overburden States. China was against a mandatory implementation plan. On the contrary, Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom and the ICC welcomed the current proposal of having a voluntary implementation plan.

5. Report by OHCHR

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, was against the proposal to have a compilation of received recommendations prepared by the OHCHR, arguing that the Council already had to prepare two reports. Algeria considered that the OHCHR should not be overloaded with the compilation. Japan expressed doubt about the proposal.

6. Role of United Nations Country Teams (UNCT)

Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, recalled that countries tend to work with UNCTs on the preparation of reports but that the process itself was state-driven. Algeria expressed that UNCTs should be involved as stated under paragraph 36 of resolution 5/1. Nigeria agreed with Egypt and Algeria.

-*Issues in red

On video conferencing, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, explained that the use of new information technologies would allow grassroots NGOs to meaningfully contribute to the review. Argentina was also in favour of video-conferencing.

On the issue of the linkage with other UN mechanisms, Hungary, on behalf of the EU, stressed that it was in the interest of the whole UN system.

-* Other issues

Mexico, Turkey and the Maldives stated that the compromises were acceptable.
Egypt, on behalf of the NAM, the Russian Federation and China expressed concern about the possibility during the UPR adoption to hold special sessions or discussions after each Working Group session.

The Russian Federation supported the approach put forward by the facilitator that if there was no consensus on a certain issue, the Council should revert to practices and procedures for that issue as outlined in resolution 5/1.

Algeria supported the strengthening of the Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance by creating a Board.

Norway called to keep the three plenary sessions of the HRC implying not to move the adoption of working group reports from HRC plenary session to UPR working group session.

Norway and Azerbaijan expressed their support for maintaining the current role of the troika.

Concerning the list of speakers, the Republic of Korea stressed the need to accommodate all delegations while Uruguay called for a new methodology. Switzerland expressed its support of the Bureau's proposal.

The United Kingdom wanted to clarify that States can raise any issue at the second cycle and not only about accepted recommendations and new developments.

After hearing States' positions, the facilitator explained that he would prepare a document for the HRC President by the end of January reflecting what had been said today. With the help of the Secretariat, he would draft proposals , which he would give to the President so that they could be annexed as proposals to improve the UPR.