UPR Facilitator makes presentation on UPR negotiations for the HRC review

On Tuesday, January 11, H.E. Mr. Omar Hilale, Ambassador of Morocco and Facilitator on the UPR for the Human Rights Council Review, held an informal consultation to present the progress of discussions on the UPR.

The presentation was in line with the one made in Bangkok and maintained the system of 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

The following issues were placed in green: extending the duration of the review by one hour; extending the duration of the plenary adoption by thirty minutes; separating the plenary adoptions from the regular HRC sessions while keeping the general debate under agenda item 6 within the HRC regular sessions; holding the UPR sessions in February, June and October and encouraging States to continue consultations with the civil society after the review.

For issues in orange, the facilitator presented two opposing views on each issue and then suggested a compromise on which the delegations will have to reflect upon in order to make the orange issues green. Some of the compromises included: adopting a 4.5 year cycle with 14 sessions and 14 States per session; holding the first session of the second cycle in June 2012; encouraging the SuR to submit an addendum to the final report clearly stating its position on all received recommendations; encouraging the SuR to submit, within a reasonable period, an implementation plan for accepted recommendations; enabling the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to prepare a compilation of received recommendations by the SuR and involving UN country teams in the implementation of accepted recommendations at the request of the SuR.

In regards to proposals in red, the facilitator announced that, unless the delegations that made these proposals came up with alternate proposals aimed at striking a compromise, no change would be effected and the status quo would be maintained as per the provisions of the Institutional Building Package. Those red issues included, inter alia: developing guidelines for national consultations; tabling reports to national parliaments; developing guidelines for reports prepared by the OHCHR; allowing the OHCHR to present its Compilation and Summary before the Working Group; using new information technologies to enable the participation of other stakeholders; giving consideration to rejected recommendations from the first cycle and using independent expertise or legal advice to ensure the conformity of the recommendations with International Human Rights Law.

The facilitator added that for some of the issues in red, such as implementing video-conferencing and using independent expertise, the problem was not the opposition showed by States but the difficulty to put them into practice and that therefore these issues could be reconsidered if further suggestions are provided.

After his presentation, the Ambassador did not open the floor for comments but gave delegations one week to consult among their groups before meeting again. He reminded States that they needed to produce a document to submit to the second session of the Working Group on the HRC review, which begins on February 7.