Human Rights Council reaches agreement on the format of the timetable for the second cycle UPR sessions

On Wednesday 15 June, the Human Rights Council (HRC) President convened a third informal consultation to reach an agreement on the format of the timetable for the UPR working groups of the second cycle.

Two previous informal consultations were held on Friday 27 May and Friday 10 June to discuss the different issues pending from the HRC Review in relation to the second cycle of the UPR: the order of review, the list of speakers, the general guidelines for the three documents, the revised terms of reference of the Funds and the timetable for each Working Group session.

The format of the timetable was the last issue on which agreement had not been reached yet. As the HRC President was in New York, the Ambassador of Morocco, former facilitator on the UPR during the HRC Review, was entrusted to find a new template for the timetable and lead the discussions at this third informal.

His Excellency Omar Hilale made a detailed Powerpoint presentation recalling the different options discussed before as well as their strengths and weaknesses: A, B, C and D. He then presented a new option, E, elaborated to answer the four concerns expressed by States during the previous consultations:

- Equal treatment among States under Review
- 48 hours between the review and the adoption for all States under Review (regardless of when the report would be adopted, the reports for all States would be distributed exactly 48 hours after each review)
- No more than seven hours of meetings per day
- No financial implication

His Excellency said that this solution E was pending confirmation from financial services but he was hoping this would be accepted. The only disadvantage according to him was the long period for certain countries between the review and the adoption and the difficulty for small States to stay up to five days in Geneva.. However, a study made demonstrated that only 12.5% of head of delegations have stayed for the adoptions during the eleven first sessions of the UPR so the number of States affected would be limited.

The United States, Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Hungary on behalf of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, the Republic of Moldova, Algeria, Azerbaijan and Brazil took the floor to express their support in this new option.

India disagreed with the Ambassador of Morocco who assumed that they had been an agreement during the two previous informals on adding thirty minutes to the current three hours of review and stated that option A should not be ruled out.

Egypt on behalf of NAM and the Russian Federation, asked for the paragraph V. 10. of the latest draft decision to state that the Secretary-General of the United Nations should appoint the board of trustees of the Voluntary Fund for financial and technical assistance. Algeria wanted to make a reference to the geographical repartition of the composition of the future board of trustees.

The final draft decision and the option E should be presented in the coming days to the HRC for adoption.