77 NGOs express concerns about the UPR process

Date: 10th June 2013
Category: General measures of implementation

UPR Info, together with 76 NGOs from all over the world, expressed concerns on the 10th June 2013 at Human Rights Council (HRC) 23rd session, about States' practice to modify Working Group Reports in order to weaken them, and called on the HRC President to issue a statement to end such practice.

The NGOs, including Together, submitted a joint statement that regretted current attacks on the format of the Working Group report and notably that during the UPR 16th session, two recommendations were taken out of the body of a draft report and added as footnotes because they were considered as "not relevant" by the State under review.

These organisations feared that this action would run the risk of setting a dangerous precedent. Many States had also raised their concerns about the issue of footnotes and the format of the Working Group Report.

The joint statement highlighted that the format of the Report of the Working Group should be the same for all countries in order to guarantee equal treatment. According to Resolution 5/1, the Report is a "summary of the proceedings" and should be drafted in an objective manner. Its content should reflect the discussion held in the room and should not be subjected to negotiations by countries, as stated in Presidential statement A/HRC/PRST/8/1 from 9th April 2008.

Indeed, both accepted and noted recommendations should be included in the report, irrespective of the country making them and the issue raised. Under no circumstances should States have the possibility to remove recommendations from the list, not even on the grounds that recommendations are considered as being "not relevant".

The 77 NGOs called on HRC President to issue a Presidential statement to immediately end any attempts to tamper with the Working Group Report and clarify its format as soon as possible.

UPR Info will be following closely the process in the coming weeks and months in order to get a Presidential statement in September.