From Geneva to New York to Discuss the Future of UN Treaty Bodies

Our Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) staff – Felix Kirchmeier, Chloé Naret and Domenico Zipoli – travelled to New York last week to discuss the future of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs) with TB Chairpersons, governments, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs).

In these exchanges, they focused on the implementation of the recommendations stemming from the 2020 TB review by the UN General Assembly.

‘We accompanied the whole process leading to these recommendations by bringing academic inputs into the discussion and making concrete proposals to improve the work of TBs. It is now equally important for us to work on the implementation of these recommendations in order to make sure that TB continue their crucial work for the protection and promotion of human rights at the national level’ explains Felix Kirchmeier, Executive Director of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.

The GHRP team in New York

Inputting Discussions at the Annual Meeting of TB Chairpersons

The GHRP attended the opening and the public sessions of the Annual Meeting of TB Chairpersons, including two sessions specific to the 2020 TB review, including presentations by stakeholders on the follow-up given to these recommendations and on the progress made on TBs’ alignment of working methods and practices.

‘We contributed to the discussions by sharing our findings under the different TB procedures, including on the predictable schedule of reviews as well as on the possible establishment of an inter-Committee structure with a coordinated working methods agenda for all treaty bodies’ says Dr Zipoli, GHRP Project Coordinator.

The GHRP also attended the TB Chairs’ consultation with NHRIs and civil society, advising on recommended next steps for TBs and recalling its continued support to the 2020 review process through a number of dedicated activities including research and the piloting of new procedures (the focused review pilot series) and opportunities for inter-Committee cooperation (the TB Members Platform and its digital version, the TB Members Platform 2.0).

A Dedicated Side Event

A dedicated side event to the Annual Meeting of TB Chairs – organized with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Commonwealth SecretariatTB-Net and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York. – provided an opportunity to discuss with relevant stakeholders the future of the TB system.

Attended by 30-40 people – TB Chairpersons, staff from OHCHR and other relevant UN agencies including UNDP, civil society representatives and diplomats from several missions to the UN in NY – and broadcasted live on UN WEB TV, it allowed for a fruitful discussion on a number of chore themes stemming from the Report of the 2020 review co-facilitators and the Chairs’ agreed vision on the future of the TB system.

‘Ample time was dedicated to an updated review of the upcoming digital transformation concerning the work of the TBs and OHCHR, as well as on the proposed introduction of a follow-up review in between a new 8-year cycle of reviews for all TBs’ underlines Chloé Naret, GHRP Project Assistant.

Side event organized by the Geneva Human Rights Platform at the UN in New York

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