On November, 6th, 2017, the 28th session of the UPR began in the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. This session occurred during the third Review Cycle. The sessions took place through 17th of November. The following countries have undergone review: Check Republic, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Switzerland, Republic of Korea, Benin, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan, Ukraine and Sri Lanka. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a cyclical review process of all 193 UN Member States. Once every four years the human rights situation in each State is reviewed. The State under...

On November 21, 2017, representatives of the IIMA Human Rights Office attended the meeting on the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) Official Management Plan 2018-2021. The presentation was held by the Deputy High Commissioner Mrs. Kate Gilmore and addressed several NGO’s involved in Human Rights advocacy. The meeting took place in Room VII in Palais des Nations, Geneva. Mrs. Gilmore reaffirmed that the Human Rights promotion in the United Nations is guided by the principle, “Leaving no one behind”. She noted that respecting human rights shall not merely...

On November 20, 2017, as part of the “UN Library Talks Geneva” series, there was a presentation of the book “Indispensable ONU” by its author, the former French high diplomat Mr. Jean-Marc de La Sablière. The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva Mr. Michael Møller participated in the meeting, as well as the distinguished journalist Mrs. Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga. In the audience, the Ambassadors of France, Togo and Benin honoured the presentation of the book with their presence. After a lifelong career in the French top diplomacy, Mr. de La...

On October 23, 2017, as part of the “UN Library Talks Geneva” series, there was a discussion focused on cultural diplomacy. The main ideas came from a report titled “The art of soft power: A study of cultural diplomacy at the UN Office in Geneva” co-authored by James Doeser- a research associate at King’s College London. The UN at Geneva was chosen as the site to gather information for the report since it was seen as a microcosm of global politics. Moreover, H.E. Mr. Lomonaco, Ambassador of Mexico, gave great insights...

October 17, 2017, is the 25th anniversary of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The day is a time for raising awareness calling to mind one of the most vulnerable groups among us- the poor. By bringing special attention to the plight of the poor the hope is that their difficulties will be highlighted and that the world will come together to meet the challenges necessary to remedy the situation and eliminate poverty entirely. Mr. Philip Alston (Australia) has been the current Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human...

On Friday, October 6, 2017 the Intersessional panel discussion on human rights, climate change, migrants and persons displaced across international borders was held at the Palais de Nations. The discussion’s focus regarded the impact of climate change on migration. The talks premised on an understanding of the negative effects that severe weather can have on the stability and functionality of governments as it relates to providing for their citizens. With these limitations in mind, panelists turned their attention to the “human element” of the crises- this means that they examined...

On Friday, 6 October, representatives from IIMA and Vides attended the "Seminar on the  Implementation of Effective Safeguards to Prevent Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment During Police Custody and Pretrial Detention" held in the Palais des Nations. The seminar followed the adoption of resolution 31/31 (2016) of the Human Rights Council. The different panelists discussed the question of prevention from several angles: the legal and juridical safeguard, the practical measures to prevent torture, the role of medical professionals and lawyers, the role of oversight and complaint...

On Friday, 29 September ended the 36th session of the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva. This last meeting, occurring from Thursday 28th to Friday 29th, has been dedicated to the exam of Item 1, or the “Organizational and procedural matters”. In other words, during these last two days, all of the resolution projects elaborated during the last 3 weeks of HRC regular session have undergone the vote of the member States. Moreover, the “Election of the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee members” as well as...

On September 20, 2017 the Human Rights Council held its panel discussion on the rights of indigenous peoples. The backdrop for this event was the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The panel was headed by Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore who noted that many years ago the chief of the Iroquois, a historical North American native tribe, came to what was then the League of Nations and felt an atmosphere of indifference. This begs the question,...

During the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council from September 11-29, 2017, IIMA and VIDES contributed to the Universal Periodic Review of Brazil, Ecuador, Tunisia and India. While expressing satisfaction in seeing that the concerned countries accepted most of the recommendations relating to the protection of children, young people and women- especially those in the most vulnerable situations, IIMA and VIDES voiced specific concerns and made concrete recommendations in order to achieve full implementation of human rights for these vulnerable groups. With regard to Brazil, recommendations were given to...