03 May 2018, GENEVA – The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue (“the Geneva Centre”) was cordially invited by the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council to participate in the first round of informal consultation session on the long-term efficiency of the Human Rights Council (HRC).
The one-day consultation session was held on 03 May 2018 at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Permanent Missions, national institutions, international organizations, NGOs and human rights bodies were present at the consultation session.
The first part of the session began with discussions on improving the annual programme of work of the HRC. This was followed by discussions on rationalization of resolutions and initiatives of the UN human rights body. The last session was dedicated to the use of information technology to enhance the facilitation of information and raise awareness about the activities of the HRC.
The Geneva Centre – represented by its junior project and communication officer Mr. Blerim Mustafa – attended the consultation session held at the United Nations Office at Geneva. In his statement to the participants, Mr. Mustafa highlighted that the value added of the HRC is being jeopardized by two factors.
“We are again giving precedence to naming and shaming over the development of cooperative action to enhance human rights. An idea that was upheld by several countries, such as the United States, during the review process was to backstop this cooperative approach by creating a fund provided with sizeable resources. This idea has not materialized,” stated the Geneva Centre’s communications officer.
In addition to this point, the Geneva Centre’s representative likewise asserted that the debate on how to reduce the speaking time of stakeholders in the HRC would “reduce the ability of involved stakeholders to contribute to the realization of the main objectives of the HRC.”
The solution to enhance the long-term efficiency of the HRC would be to follow-up on operative paragraph 6 of Resolution 60/251 which calls upon, inter alia, the Council to review the mandate of Special Procedure Mandate Holders.
“If we could consolidate mandates, whose numbers are constantly increasing with mandate holders likely to hit the 100 figure, by enhancing coherence and reducing overlap, we could save time while not compromising the Human Rights Council’s value added work,” concluded the Geneva Centre’s communications officer.
Further consultation sessions are planned at the United Nations Office at Geneva on the long-term efficiency of the Human Rights Council. Review exercises were also carried out in 2010 and 2011 to increase the value-added of the HRC in the debate on human rights and to provide a cooperative atmosphere that would be conducive to their advancement
The Geneva Centre will regularly attend forthcoming sessions and present its viewpoints on the solutions required to enhance the effectiveness of the work of the HRC.
The Geneva Centre's statement can be downloaded: Statement: Geneva Centre