47 NGOs: Reducing the number of UPR recommendations could weaken the entire process

United Nations Human Rights Council: 28th Session

Oral statement Item 6 – General Debate

20 March 2015

47 NGOs: Reducing the number of UPR recommendations could weaken the entire process

Thank you. This statement is made on behalf of 47 NGOs.

Mr President,

By the end of the second cycle, over 50’000 recommendations will have been made at the UPR. This figure is impressive. However, according to some actors, this figure is too high: since the beginning of the second cycle, we have heard repeated calls to decrease the number of recommendations made by each Recommending State.

As discussions are emerging on what the third cycle of the UPR should look like, we believe it is misguided to focus on the quantity of recommendations. Indeed, limiting the number of recommendations could be detrimental to the UPR process for mainly two reasons:

  • Firstly, if fewer recommendations were made, important issues would be left aside. Only mainstream issues would be raised at the UPR, thus narrowing the scope of the review on a given country;
  • Secondly, having many similar or identical recommendations on a given issue demonstrates how important that issue is. Repetition does not overload the State under Review as it calls for similar action but, rather, it shows the concerns of the international community on a specific issue.

Mr. President,

UPR recommendations are the main added value and outcome of the review. Reducing their number voluntarily could, in fact, weaken the whole mechanism. While the number of recommendations has increased, unfortunately, the number of quality recommendations has decreased. The proportion of weak, unspecific recommendations is the main problem we see in the UPR — not the overall number itself. States should make an effort to improve the quality, measurability, and specificity of recommendations, which would better guide implementation.

Thank you.

List of co-signatories:

  1. AFD international
  2. Alkarama
  3. Article 19
  4. Association pour l’Intégration et le Développement Durable au Burundi-AIDB
  5. Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII
  6. Cairo Institue for Human Rights Studies
  7. Canada for Population and Development
  8. Casa Alianza Switzerland
  9. Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights
  10. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales
  11. CIVICUS
  12. Civilis Human Rights and Acción Solidaria on HIV/Aids
  13. CODAP
  14. Colombian Commission of Jurists
  15. Congregation Of Our Lady of Charity Of The Good Shepherd
  16. CREA
  17. Defence for Children International (DCI)
  18. Dominicans for Justice and Peace
  19. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
  20. Edmund Rice International
  21. FIACAT
  22. Franciscans International
  23. Freedom House
  24. Geneva Institute for Human Rights (GIHR)
  25. Human Rights Watch
  26. IIMA – Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice
  27. International Disability Alliance
  28. International Lesbian and Gay Association
  29. International Partnership for Human Rights
  30. International Platform against Impunity
  31. International Service for Human Rights
  32. Irish Council for Civil Liberties
  33. London Legal Group
  34. Marist International Solidarity Foundation – FMSI
  35. Minority Rights Group International (MRG)
  36. Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  37. Pax Romana
  38. Plan International
  39. Save the Children
  40. Sinergia, Venezuelan Association of Civil Society Organizations
  41. Stefanus Alliance International
  42. The Bahá’í International Community
  43. Together – Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights
  44. UPR Info
  45. VIDES International – International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education, Development
  46. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  47. World Vision International