Experts and Practitioners Address the Final Stage of the 2020 Treaty Body Review Process

Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, in front of his computer Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, in front of his computer

14 September 2020

At an event organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP), 50 experts and practitioners – members of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), diplomats, academics, civil society representatives and staff from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – reflected on the consultation process of the TB review 2020 led by Morocco and Switzerland.

‘This event allowed participants, in particular, TBs Chairs and NGOs to reflect upon and comment on the proposals formulated by States during this consultation process. This includes the simplified reporting procedure and the idea of fixed schedules of reporting, two proposals that are widely supported by States, TBs and other stakeholders’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

Issues that Deserve more Attention

TB Chairs also pointed to areas that, in their view, received too little attention in the consultation process by states. These include the value of engaging in reviews in the regions, bringing TBs closer to the national level, as well as the important area of follow-up to TB recommendations.

Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Crisis

Participants addressed the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis and the holding of online sessions, which raised a series of challenges for UN TBs, notably regarding accessibility and time zones differences.

Civil society representatives also reiterated their concern about the protection gap produced by the fact that in online sessions, TBs were not able to review State reports.

The GHRP: Ensuring Inputs from Key Stakeholders

Besides the written submission submitted by the Platform, the GHRP also works to ensure that all stakeholders – diplomats in Geneva, members of UN TBs, civil society representatives, academics and OHCHR staff – can exchange around the proposals put on the table, discuss their pros and cons and identify the best ways forward to ensure an efficient TB system.

Towards a Follow-Up Resolution at the UN General Assembly

‘The issues discussed during our event will be brought to the attention of the co-facilitators, allowing them to include them in the report they will submit on 15 September to the President of the General Assembly’ says Felix Kirchmeier.

‘We expect the following from a follow-up resolution: that it will confirm the latest text on TB strengthening (GA/Res/68/268); endorse our key recommendations to improve the system; and put the TBs budget on a sustainable path by moving to a budget that projects the number of state reports on the basis of a fixed and coordinated calendar. This would be a major breakthrough for human rights accountability’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.

 

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Hybrid teaching during COVID-19 News

How Will the 2021-2022 Academic Year Look Like?

9 February 2021

Discover our plans for the upcoming academic year for or LLM in IHL and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice.

Read more

Geneva Academy Students at the Nuremberg Moot Court News

Contribute to Scholarships to Train the Next Generation of IHL and Human Rights Specialists

11 February 2021

Support our one-month crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for scholarships for our LLM in IHL and Human Rights and MAS in Transitional Justice.

Read more

View of a session of the UN Human Rights Council Event

UN Human Rights Council at 15 – Role and Perspectives

28 April 2021, 13:00-14:30

This online event – co-organized with the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and the Embassy of Switzerland in Poland – will discuss the Council’s membership and internal dynamics, as well as selected mechanisms.

Read more

Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Winter 2022

This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, 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.

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

30 April - 21 May 2021

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

First annual conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Project

The Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform

Started in June 2019

Read more

Madagascar, Miarinarivo district. Women transplanting rice. Project

The Rights of Peasants

Started in May 2008

After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration for ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

Read more

cover of the publication Publication

Military Briefing: Persons with Disabilities and Armed Conflict

published on March 2021

Alice Priddy

Read more

cover of the publication Publication

Towards Transversal Standards to Evaluate the Impact of UN Special Procedures

published on February 2021

Jonathan Andrew

Read more