At the 7 June, 2021 online meeting of the Chairpersons of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty bodies (TBs), the Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Felix Kirchmeier reiterated the importance of conducting dialogues with state parties concerning their reports at the national or regional level.
Introducing reviews in the region constitute an important step towards increased domestic stakeholder accessibility to UN TBs and closer interaction with national and regional human rights actors.
‘The possibility that TBs can act outside Geneva also presents an opportunity to give them greater visibility and to foster a stronger sense of universal ownership over time, and, as such, to strengthen the system and to contribute towards its long-term sustainability and impact’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier.
‘In this respect, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s extraordinary meeting in the Pacific island state of Samoa back in March 2020 has shown the many benefits of engaging on regional level’ he adds.
UNICEF Ethiopia/2019/Nahom Tesfay>
This move towards the national level would also allow for a lighter focused review between two full reviews, stretching the reporting cycle and facilitating states’ engagement with the TBs.
‘This is a real chance to bring us closer to full reporting compliance and universal engagement with the TBs’ says Domenico Zipoli, Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy.
This recommendation is a key outcome of the 2020 review (A/75/601) and has been supported by the GHRP since 2018. It is also in line with the call by 45 states – as voiced in their letter to the TB Chairpersons on the occasion of this meeting – to replace every second review with a focused review.
‘We are ready to support Un TBs in this endeavour by piloting this focused review at country-level with interested states and TB members ’ explains Felix Kirchmeier.
From 23 to 24 March 2022, the Geneva Human Rights Platform conducted in Grenada, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, its second pilot of a UN treaty bodies (TBs) focused review – designed to discuss how countries implement specific recommendations issued by UN TBs between sessions.
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