NGO Proposal on the Structure for the 2011 Review of the Human Rights Council’s Work and Functioning
Amnesty International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM‐ASIA), Asian Legal Resource Centre, Association for the Prevention of Torture, Baha’i International Community, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Child Rights Information Network (CRIN), FIACAT, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Democracy Coalition Project, Human Rights Council of Australia, Human Rights Watch, International Commission of Jurists, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), International Service for Human Rights , Lutheran World Federation, NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
6 May 2010
As the Human Rights Council begins discussions on the format and modalities for the review of its work and functioning as required by General Assembly Resolution 60/251, we would like to make some proposals for the review process.
The proposals are based on the emerging consensus among States that renegotiating the Council’s institutional framework (Resolution 5/1 and Resolution 5/2) should not be the basis of the review process. The review process should only supplement this framework where necessary to ensure that the Council fulfils its mandate to ‘promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction and in a fair and equal manner’ (operative paragraph 2 of Resolution 60/251).
The institutional framework was adopted by the Council, at the end of the arduous institution‐building year, by consensus. It is a finely balanced framework that was agreed as a package. Similarly, the outcome of the review process should be achieved through consensus.
Our proposals are firmly rooted in the mandate and responsibilities given to the Council by the General Assembly. We believe that the Council’s ‘work and functioning’ should be reviewed against this mandate as it sets the standard for what is expected of the Council.
The review process should focus on the identification of good practices and challenges with a view to making concrete proposals to improve the Council’s work and functioning. The format for the review proposed below will ensure that the identification of good practices and challenges takes place against clear and established benchmarks, and not in a vacuum.