Together’s Director attends Geneva meeting on strengthening UN Treaty Bodies

Date: 30th July 2019
Category: Reporting to and monitoring the UNCRC, Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

The meeting on 1-2 July 2019 gathered NGOs from across the world to discuss mechanisms to strengthen UN Treaty Bodies, ahead of the 2020 review process.

2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, and the start of a review of the major UN human rights treaties. The review will consider whether the UN system is in need of reform, including looking at Treaty Body monitoring processes.

The NGO meeting, attended by Together’s Director, was called with the objective of preparing a common proposal from civil society. Discussion was based on the Geneva Academy’s 2018 report ‘Optimising the UN Treaty Body System’, a submission made by TB-Net coalition of NGOs and related discussions.

NGOs agreed that the current Treaty Body System could be considerably improved but were clear that the objective of any reform of the Treaty Body system must be the promotion and protection of human rights. The NGOs agreed that periodic monitoring of States human rights records was crucial. They brainstormed ways of harmonising the processes of the different UN Treaty Bodies, for example through the Simplified Reporting Procedure, and other measures such as improving the use of technology in reporting processes (e.g. video link) and strengthening civil society engagement.  

The NGOs considered the recent proposal by the Treaty Body Chairs, welcoming this as a step in the right direction but not sufficient to address the current challenges.

This marks the beginning of a consultation process in which Together will remain involved.