UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann
5 June 2018
On 29–30 May 2018, our Manager of Policy Studies, Felix Kirchmeier, presented our publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System in New York to the Chairpersons of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), diplomats and civil society representatives.
‘It was important for us to present this publication in New York as it directly feeds into the upcoming review of UN TBs by the UN General Assembly’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier. ‘While Geneva is the place where delegations interact with UN TBs, New York is where TBs members are elected and where political decisions on the TBs system are taken’ he adds.
Presentations in New York started with the annual meeting of Chairpersons of UN TBs . The discussion aimed at outlining the report’s main recommendations, notably on the structure of reporting and dialogue with state parties. It showed that the proposals entailed in the report build on TBs practice developed by the various TBs over the last years.
‘The report highlights that TBs have a large discretion over their own working methods, which means that they could already move towards a more aligned approach and a clustering of dialogues, without waiting for a new resolution from the General Assembly’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier.
At meeting hosted by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Costa Rica to the UN in New York, more than 30 New York-based diplomats and civil society representatives discussed the main recommendations entailed in the report.
‘This report is an important contribution to the ongoing discussions in the context of the 2020 review, while the review itself provides an opportunity to secure a sustainable future for the TBs as a coherent and efficient system, with the committees as complementary and mutually reinforcing components’ stresses Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York.
‘Participants welcomed the work of our Academic Platform on TB Review as well as our report and provided interesting feedbacks’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier. ‘They also recognized its contribution to the 2020 discussions’ he adds.
The publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of UN treaty bodies TBs, considered a cornerstone of universal human rights protection. It provides detailed and innovative solutions for optimizing the system.
This work is the outcome of a three-year consultative process coordinated by the Geneva Academy – the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 – to collect academic inputs and ideas for the 2020 review via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional consultations, annual and expert conferences, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders: states, treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other parts of the UN.
Online event on zoom
Albeit the challenging COVID-19 times and a programme that is entirely online since March, students of our MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law continued their rich social life and extracurricular activities online.
At an event organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, 50 experts and practitioners reflected on the consultation process of the TB review 2020 led by Morocco and Switzerland.
The discussion will focus on issue areas at the heart of the UN’s mandate and where a renewed vision for collective global action is urgently called for: nuclear disarmament, humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and human rights.
This panel will discuss the legal and policy challenges of the new Swiss laws in light of international law.
This online short course will examine the protection afforded by international human rights law in these contexts, with a specific focus on the right to peaceful assembly – which is at the heart of such movements –, and the right to life – which is often violated during such transitional moments.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, analyses the main international and regional norms governing the international protection of refugees. It notably examines the sources of international refugee law, including the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and their interaction with human rights law and international humanitarian law.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.
We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.