International Training Centre for Human Rights and Peace Teaching
Introduction to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR)
The Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism created by Resolution 60/251 of the UN General Assembly, which instituted the Human Rights Council. The Resolution stipulates that the mission of the Council will be to “[u]ndertake a universal period review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfilment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States.”
Work in the fields of civil society and education are directly concerned by this new procedure. In fact, Resolution 5/1 of the Council provides for an active commitment from NGOs within the UPR, which, as emphasised by the UPR, should “ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions, in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 of 25 July 1996, as well as any decisions that the Council may take in this regard.”
In order for civil society to carry out an effective and constructive role, it is necessary to ensure a wide distribution of information as well as an evaluative monitoring process, to bring into line NGO action on a regional and national level, to support the development of skills on a local level and to encourage the professionalization of NGO members who wish to serve as a counterweight to representatives of States. Furthermore, relying on information and communication technologies (ICT) is a highly useful means by which to foster dialogue over long distances.
For this purpose, CIFEDHOP has laid out a telecollaboration platform on monitoring the UPR.
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