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

A session of the focused review in Grenada. News

New Report Confirms the Potential of UN Treaty Bodies’ Focused Review for Human Rights Implementation

18 May 2022

The report of the second focused review pilot – conducted in St. George’s, Grenada, by our Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) with the Commonwealth Secretariat – shows the benefits that this exercise brings to both the work of UN treaty bodies and the implementation of human rights in countries.

Read more

The Geneva Academy team with their coach News

Our 2022 Mandela Moot Court Team

24 March 2022

Helmer Jonelid and Edward Millett – enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights – represent this year the Geneva Academy at the 14th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.

Read more

A Girl Looks on Among Afghan Women Lining Up To Receive Relief Assistance, During The Holy Month of Ramadan in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Event

The Rights of Women and Girls in Afghanistan

30 June 2022, 15:00-16:45

This event aims at raising international awareness on the human rights situation of women and girls in Afghanistan and propose recommendations for effective action by the international community.

Read more

Cover page of the Istanbul Protocol Event

One Step Closer to a World Without Torture: Launch of the Istanbul Protocol 2022

29 June 2022, 14:00-16:00

This event marks the official launch of the updated Istanbul Protocol, with Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with representatives of the core UN anti-torture mechanisms and other international human rights bodies.

Read more

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

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Spring 2023

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

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

7-11 November 2022

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

A session of the UN Human Rights Committtee at Palais Wilson Project

Implementing International Humanitarian Law Through Human Rights Mechanisms

Completed in April 2019

This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.

Read more

Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Started in July 2021

This project aims to further identify and clarify policies and practices for States and business, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more

Cover of the publication Publication

Implementing the Treaty Body Review 2020 – Where do we stand

published on May 2022

Felix Kirchmeier, Chloé Naret, Domenico Zipoli

Read more