Felix Kirchmeier, coordinator of the Geneva Human Rights Platform briefed the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) on the main proposals developed by the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020.
Our publication ‘Optimizing the UN Treaty Bodies System’ outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of UN treaty bodies (TBs) and provides detailed and innovative solutions for optimizing the system, including the consolidated reporting model and clustered dialogue.
‘Instead of writing separate reports to each TBs, states could do this in one document which they could discuss in clustered dialogues with the various TBs, going to one TB to the next in a door-to-door review’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.
The discussion with CESCR’s members focused on the new tool developed by the project's IT consultant Noel Pickering, the ‘Treaty Body Scheduler’. This tool allows planning, in the context of a consolidated report and clustered dialogue, the best schedules for TBs sessions.
While the duration of TBs sessions would remain approximately the same, the schedules developed by this tool would allow delegations to reduce their travels to Geneva. This type of organization would also promote greater interactions between Committees’ members as they would be in session simultaneously.
‘It is important for us to show that our recommendations can be implemented and stand up the reality check of an IT-simulation’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier. ‘All our recommendations can be implemented by TBs and states without any change to the existing legal framework’ he adds.
The publication ‘Optimizing the UN Treaty Bodies System’ 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.
The Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 forms part of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, which provides a dynamic forum in Geneva for all stakeholders in the field of human rights – experts, practitioners, diplomats and civil society – to discuss and debate topical issues and challenges. Relying on academic research and findings, it enables various actors to become better connected, break down silos and, hence, advance human rights.
Olivier Chamard / Geneva Academy
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