In a note verbale, the United States (US) informed the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 20 of June 2018 that they have ‘resigned (their) membership in the Human Rights Council, effective at 1700 Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2018’ and that ‘the United States will not participate further in the June HRC session or future sessions and will not serve out the remainder of its term’. Upon receipt of the formal notification, the US ceased to be a member. As from that date onwards, they were considered an Observer State to the HRC.
In a debate, the Geneva Academy introduced a legal discussion on the US’ decision to leave the HRC. Experts and participants discussed the legal consequences of this withdrawal, its impact on the functioning and credibility of the HRC, as well as the extent will the decision affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review. They concluded that the US might come back any time through new elections, although the question about their human rights commitments remains open. They also underlined that US' engagement with other mechanisms like UN Special Procedures or the Universal Periodic Review remains open.
Panelists discussed the legal consequences of the US' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council for the functioning and credibility of this major human rights body, and for the promotion and protection of human rights. They also addressed the extent to which this decision will affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review, as well as the impact on the UN and multilateral diplomacy.
UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann
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 treaty bodies, diplomats and civil society representatives.
During an expert seminar UN Special Procedures, members of UN treaty bodies, staff from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as representatives from civil society and the Swiss Government discussed the role that UN human rights mechanisms play in monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals that seek to realize economic, social and cultural rights.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
This research aims at building a common understanding and vision as to how states and the relevant parts of the UN system can provide a concrete and practical framework to address human rights responsibilities of armed non-state actors.
This research project, aims via the drafting of a practitioners’ guide on human rights and countering corruption, to clarify the conceptual relationship between human rights, good governance and anticorruption, demonstrate the negative impact of corruption on human rights and provide guidance and make practical recommendations for effectively using the UN human rights system in anti-corruption efforts.