On 23 November 2018, the two coordinators of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, Felix Kirchmeier and Kamelia Kemileva organized a briefing for states on the future of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs).
Around 60 diplomats participated in the briefing which addressed the upcoming review at the General Assembly (GA) and the outcomes of our Oslo Conference, co-organized with the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, on the meaning of this review for national stakeholders.
‘We’ve been organizing briefings for states on the academic inputs to the 2020 GA review since 2016, along with parallel briefings for TBs members and civil society representatives. The briefings allow us to present and discuss our recommendations and proposals with Geneva-based stakeholders, including diplomats’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.
The briefing focused on an idea that emerged from the Oslo conference and that builds upon the recommendations entailed in our publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System to develop synergies at the domestic level.
‘The idea is that in the middle of a state’s reporting cycle before a specific TB, one member of each of the committees concerned travels to this country to discuss the implementation of the recommendations that were formulated in the last review’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.
‘If implemented, this measure could fill a potential protection gap resulting from an eight-year reporting cycle and could also contribute to a better implementation and follow-up of TBs recommendations’ stresses Kamelia Kemileva.
Participants also discussed the tight schedule until the 2020 review as the GA resolution adopted on 19 November (A/C.3/73/L.38) which requires that the UN Secretary-General presents his 2020 TB review report by January 2020.
‘This schedule implies that all stakeholders, including academic institution like us, have only a few months left to submit inputs into the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for consideration in this report’ explains Kamelia Kemileva.
The Geneva Academy will continue, via its Geneva Human Rights Platform, to regularly brief states on academic inputs for the 2020 review discussion.
‘We will notably dedicate one of these briefings to address the national impact of TBs. The discussion will be informed by a dedicated study carried out by the University of Pretoria, under the leadership of Professor Christof Heyns, on the national impact of TBs in 20 states, and compared with a similar study carried out 20 years ago’ says Felix Kirchmeier.
Yuval Shany is the Hersch Lauterpacht Chair in International Law at the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also teaches human rights in the Geneva Academy’s LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
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This short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.
UN Photo / Pierre Albouy
This project, launched in 2016, examines different concepts of universality, maps contemporary challenges to the principle of HR universality in the context of specific themes covered by the HRC and discusses the role of the HRC in the promotion and protection of universally guaranteed HR.
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.