Strengthening the 4th Cycle of the UPR: Informal Consultations with Civil Society

The Universal Periodic Review has been successful in achieving the collective participation and cooperation of States for more than a decade. Through recommendations, a wide range of issues have been addressed through the mechanism; however, there is still progress to be made in order to ensure that the UPR has an impact on the ground. 

As the conclusion of the 3rd UPR cycle approaches, UPR Info has launched an informal consultation process with civil society actors to discuss how they can contribute to the strengthening of the UPR in the 4th cycle. The first round of consultations will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, 13 July 2021 from 13h00 until 15h00 and on Thursday, 14 July 2021 from 13h00 until 15h00.

The objective of the informal consultations is to provide a space for constructive dialogue among civil society representatives to encourage effective engagement in the 4th cycle of the UPR. This process will be carried out in several phases.

Step 1 (June 2021)
UPR Info launched a survey for civil society, including, NGOs, associations, National Human Rights Institutions, parliamentarians and academics to assess the technical and procedural aspects of the UPR from the preparation of the Review to the implementation phase. The survey was available online in English, French, and Spanish to ensure that feedback from a wide group regional actors could be included in the assessment.

Step 2 (July 2021) UPR Info will host informal consultations with civil society to discuss how the UPR process can be strengthened in the 4th cycle. The online consultations will take place from 13-14 July 2021 and will be guided by the findings of the survey. Further consultations will be developed based on the outcomes of these discussions.

Step 3 (February 2022)
A compilation of the results of the survey and discussions will be published in a report that will be shared with the facilitators of the UPR stream of the long-term efficiency process.

UPR Info will moderate the proceedings.

The two-day consultations will focus on two themes:
1. Civil Society Participation
2. Good Practices for Implementation

The debate will be held in English and French. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.

The target participants are civil society representatives, including NGOS, NHRIs, parliamentarians, and academics.

Interested participants are encouraged to sign up to make an intervention in advance.

A maximum of six speakers can pre-register to take the floor per sub-topic, and each intervention should not exceed 2 minutes. Following the statements of pre-registered speakers, participants will have 15-20 minutes to provide additional inputs and suggestions to strengthen the UPR process in an interactive dialogue.

Day 1 – Civil Society Participation

Opening Remarks: Ms. Mona M’Bikay, Executive Director, UPR Info
                               Mr. Gianni Magazzeni, Chief, UPR Branch, OHCHR

Presentation of the outcomes of the survey: UPR Info

Sub-topic 1: Reflection on CSO participation Questions for discussion: How has coalition building among CSOs maximized impact? To what extent have marginalized groups been included in UPR consultations? How have other national actors participated in the UPR process (NHRIs, parliamentarians, etc)?

Sub-topic 2: Technical and procedural aspects of engagement Questions for discussion: How can we improve the accessibility of the mechanism? What aspects of the procedural changes implemented due to the pandemic facilitated civil society participation in the UPR? Should any of these updates be integrated in the long-term?

Day 2 – Good Practices on Implementation
Welcoming remarks: UPR Info

Sub-topic 1: The Role of States Questions for discussion: Questions for discussion: How can the State under Review (SuR) be encouraged to collaborate with civil society? What good practices can the SuR put in place to cooperate with civil society during the implementation phase? How can they ensure that civil society have access to the tools and information necessary to monitor implementation? How can the General Debate under Item 6 be better utilized to provide updates and follow-up on the implementation of recommendations?

Sub-topic 2: Engagement support Questions for discussion: How can the OHCHR and UN agencies better support the engagement of civil society? What tools are most useful for civil society in the follow-up of recommendations and how can they be improved? Closing Remarks: Ms. Mona M’Bikay, Executive Director, UPR Info Mr. Gianni Magazzeni, Chief, UPR Branch, OHCHR.

For any question, contact: info@upr-info.org