Save the Date: Final UPR event of the second cycle

On Tuesday, 13 December 2016, at 10:00-12:00, Room XXVII, Palais des Nations, UPR Info, together with the Permanent Missions of Ireland and Switzerland, will host the event, Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy in the Universal Periodic Review.

As the third cycle of the UPR is just around the corner, it is critical that UPR stakeholders conduct a self-assessment of how States and civil society organisations (CSOs) have engaged with one another to date, and how this important relationship can be strengthened going forward. UPR Info, together with the co-sponsors of Ireland and Switzerland, are organising a multistakeholder conference to discuss human rights advocacy in the UPR. One aspect of this dialogue will be the UPR Pre-sessions, which offer a unique, multilateral advocacy platform for CSOs and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) to brief Permanent Missions on the human rights situation one month before the UPR. Much like the UPR itself, the Pre-sessions have redefined the traditional adversarial paradigm between CSOs and States, proving the transformative nature of multistakeholder dialogue. In particular, Permanent Missions in Geneva have led by example in showing their diplomatic and political counterparts at home and abroad that engagement with civil society can be a truly fruitful exercise for all parties.

The conference will also see UPR Info launch its new publication, “UPR Info Pre-sessions: Empowering Human Rights Voices from the Ground”. This publication is divided in two parts; Part I includes an evaluation of the five years since the Pre-sessions' inception, including feedback and best practices from national and international CSOs, NHRIs and States and Part II acts as a guide for future participants – CSOs and States alike – as to how they can engage in, and benefit from advocacy through the UPR.

The event will be opened by H.E. Ambassador Patricia O’Brien of the Permanent Mission of Ireland and by H.E. Ambassador Valentin Zellweger of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland. This will be followed by a panel discussion amongst former CSO Pre-session participants, who will each discuss their country-specific experience of engaging with the UPR. There will also be an opportunity for questions and comments from the audience. Sandwiches and light refreshments will follow.

The event is open to all interested parties.