Human Rights Council

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UN Human Rights Council Brings to an End the First Cycle for Universal Periodic Review

Today marks the beginning of the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, scheduled to run from February 27 to March 23, 2012. This session will also mark the official end of the first cycle of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which has seen all 193 member states of the UN undergo a review of their human rights record, creating a baseline for future reviews. The unofficial end of “UPR” (as it is known) happened in October 2011, but with the adoption of the last remaining reports at the 19th session, the international community is officially at a point where we can look back on the first run-through of this new mechanism and discuss changes for the second. Universal periodic review was one of the proposals made in the lead-up to the World Summit of 2005, with the outcome of the World Summit confirming the creation of a standing Human Rights Council out of the ashes of the old part-time Commission on Human Rights (A/RES/60/1). The idea of the Council serving as a…

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The development on the international human rights framework on sexual orientation and gender identity

Allehone Mulugeta Abebe is an Ethiopian diplomat based in Geneva, Switzerland. He serves as a co-chair of the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Commission on HIV/AIDS and Law.  Opinions expressed in this piece do not necessary reflect the views of the institutions he is affiliated with. On 15 June 2011 the Human Rights Council’s adopted an extremely significant Resolution…

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Goldstone Report on Gaza: A Question of Trust

I have just skimmed through the Goldstone Fact-Finding Mission’s Report on Gaza that was released yesterday. It is a beast at almost 600 pages, so I was necessarily more quick than thorough. All in all, my impression of the Report is that it is balanced, corroborated and credible. But this is, mind you, no more than an impression. I…

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