UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
19 March 2020
The current process of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TB) strengthening, leading to this year’s review by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), involves regular updates on the process by the UN Secretary-General (SG).
‘The last report by the SG is a continuation of the former ones, but is more detailed on individual communications, and also shows some worrying trends regarding the system’s sustainability. Despite efforts under UNGA Resolution 68/268, the state reporting compliance rate only rose minimally, remaining below 20 percent. Despite a capacity-building programme, 569 reports are overdue, which would imply a workload of about 219 weeks, if these were submitted. Even with more session time, still, 183 reports are in the backlog, which equals to some 70 weeks of work. Finally, notwithstanding efforts by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, including using extra-budgetary resources, the backlog of individual communications continued to grow, meaning an average time of 6 years for a complaint to be treated’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP).
At a GHRP meeting, diplomats, members of UN TBs and civil society representatives discussed and exchanged around this document and the upcoming review.
‘This briefing complements an official presentation of the SG report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Our objective here was to allow for open discussions and interactions among various stakeholders on the report’s content, as well as on possible measures that UN TBs could take to improve the system’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.
‘This type of exchange is particularly important, as it seems that the political discussions towards a 2020 UNGA resolution do not envisage any major overhaul or reform of the system he adds.
At the meeting, the TB Review 2020 focal points of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women commented on what the report means for TBs. They also reported on their internal efforts towards harmonization and efficiency and underlined the importance of sustainable financing of their secretariats, as well as of getting support for a case management system to handle properly individual communications.
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UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
At a meeting of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, diplomats, members of UN treaty bodies (TBs) and civil society representatives discussed and exchanged around this document and the upcoming review of UN TBs by the UN General Assembly.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This online course aims at unpacking the nature and scope of international human rights law in transitional contexts.
From its adoption to its content and implementation, this training course provides a comprehensive overview of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, as well as tools to protect and promote the rights of peasants, rural women, fisher, pastoralist and nomadic communities, as well as agricultural workers.
Resulting from traditional legal research and informal interviews with experts, the project aims at examining how – if at all possible – IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the Charter of the United Nations, as well from universal and regional treaties.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.