16 May 2019, GENEVA – A panel debate will be organized jointly by the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to UN in Geneva to explore how UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders could become more effective and efficient in fulfilling its functions and to constructively respond to global human rights violations.
The debate entitled “In Defence of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council: An Alternative Narrative from the South” will be held on 24 May, from 10:30 – 12:00, in room S4 at the United Nations Office in Geneva.
The meeting will be opened by the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Philippines to UN in Geneva HE Evan P. Garcia. It will be attended by Ambassadors of the Like-Minded Group for Developing Countries consisting of the following members:
Algeria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.
The meeting will explore the recommendations made by the Executive Director of the Geneva Centre Ambassador Jazairy in the latter’s book holding the same name as the conference of 24 May.
In 2015, Ambassador Jazairy in his capacity as an independent researcher was commissioned by the Geneva Centre to undertake a major review of the Special Procedures Mandate-Holders that form an integral part of the UN Human Rights Council and the international human rights system.
The study firstly assesses the current weaknesses of the mechanism and, secondly, devises innovative solutions aimed to address some of the challenges faced by the Special Procedures. It discusses opportunities and challenges for the promotion of transparency, independence, impartiality and accountability of the Human Rights Council Special Procedures in order to strengthen their role and authority.
In the study, the author calls upon experts from the North and the South to revive the discussion in the Human Rights Council and outside as to how best Special Procedures Mandate-Holders and other mechanisms can be supported and guided to advance the cause of human rights worldwide.
The debate will therefore serve as a timely opportunity to review the system of UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders as stipulated in Resolution 60/251, paragraph 6, which directs the Human Rights Council to, inter alia, “where necessary, improve and rationalize all mandates […] in order to maintain a system of special procedures […].”
Copies of the book will be provided during the event to the participants.