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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Timothy Bayl Reports on the 7th Session of the Universal Periodic Review

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council that aims to improve the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 192 U.N. Member States. Having started only recently, in April 2008, the Working Group on the UPR has reviewed the human rights practices of half of the 192 States during its first 6 sessions, and will continue in reviewing all States in the world once every four years. When the UPR completes its first four-year cycle in December 2011, all UN member States will have been reviewed under this human rights mechanism.
The 16 States under review in this session are Qatar, Nicaragua, Italy, El Salvador, Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Angola, Iran, Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, Egypt and finally Bosnia and Herzegovina. More information about the reviews of these States can be found on the UPR page of the OHCHR extranet, some information is also available on the OHCHR website.
Each review consists of
  1. a National Report, prepared by the State under review;
  2. a Compilation Report, prepared by the OHCHR on “information contained in the reports of treaty bodies, special procedures, including observations and comments by the State concerned, and other relevant official United Nations documents" (Resolution A/HRC/5/1); and
  3. a Summary Report, prepared by the OHCHR based on all information on the human rights situation of the State under review sent to them by “other relevant stakeholders to the UPR” such as NGOs with or without U.N. Consultative status as well as local associations, for which the submission deadline is generally six to eight months before the relevant session of the UPR.
The result of each review is published in the form of a report containing the summary of the interactive dialogue that takes place during each review, responses by the State under review, recommendations by other States and voluntary commitments by the State under review. 

Check Human Rights Nexus website regularly for updates on the 7th Session of the Universal Periodic Review, 8-19 February 2010. The Session is also webcast live.


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