Treaty Bodies, States and NGOs Discuss the Last Report of the UN Secretary General

Name plate of the UN Secretary-General Name plate of the UN Secretary-General

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.

Towards TBs’ Own Solutions

‘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.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Hand on a tablet on cyber space table screen News

Bridging Governance Gaps in the Age of Technology: A Discussion on the State Duty to Protect

11 March 2021

An online expert consultation co-organized with the UN Human Rights’ B-Tech Project discussed regulatory and policy responses to human rights challenges linked to digital technologies.

Read more

Portrait of Amna Nazir News

Our New Visiting Fellow: Dr Amna Nazir

5 February 2021

Dr Amna Nazir is a Lecturer in Law and Associate Director of the Centre for Human Rights at Birmingham City University. She also holds an Editorship at Harvard Law School’s Program in Islamic Law. She just started as Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Academy, working remotely from Birmingham, and will stay with us until the end of March 2021.

Read more

Event

2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

12 October 2021, 09:00-18:00

The 2021 Annual Conference will discuss the connectivity between national human rights actors and the Geneva-based international mechanisms.

Read more

Greece, ylakio, pre-removal center. Short Course

Introduction to International Human Rights Law

14-29 October 2021

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, will provide participants with an introduction to substantive human rights law. It will start with an introduction to the nature and sources of international human rights law and its place in the international legal system. The course will then provide a presentation of the main principles applicable to substantive rights (jurisdiction, obligation and limitations).

Read more

An aerial view of camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have appeared following latest attacks by M23 rebels and other armed groups in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Short Course

International Refugee Law

9 March - 13 April 2022

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.

Read more

George Floyd protest in Washington D.C. Project

Promoting and Protecting the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association and Civic Space Worldwide

Started in June 2020

This project aims at providing support to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association Clément Voulé by addressing emerging issues affecting civic space and eveloping tools and materials allowing various stakeholders to promote and defend civic space.

Read more

Sign: National Human Rights Commission of Nepal Project

Local Implementation of Global Human Rights

Started in May 2020

The Geneva Human Rights Platform collaborates with a series of actors to reflect on the implementation of international human rights norms at the local level and propose solutions to improve uptake of recommendations and decisions taken by Geneva-based human rights bodies at the local level.

Read more

Cover page of the book Publication

War

published on July 2021

Andrew Clapham

Read more

cover of the publication Publication

The United Nations Treaty Bodies in a Transition Period – Progress Review March-December 2020 Chronicle

published on June 2021

Olivier de Frouville

Read more