47 NGOs calls on States to focus on quality, not quantity at UPR

ARTICLE 19 joined 46 other NGOs calling for greater focus on quality rather than reducing the number of recommendations within the UPR process.

Mr President,

By the end of the second cycle, over 50’000 recommendations will have been made at the UPR. This figure is impressive. However, according to some actors, this figure is too high: since the beginning of the second cycle, we have heard repeated calls to decrease the number of recommendations made by each Recommending State.

As discussions are emerging on what the third cycle of the UPR should look like, we believe it is misguided to focus on the quantity of recommendations. Indeed, limiting the number of recommendations could be detrimental to the UPR process for mainly two reasons:

Firstly, if fewer recommendations were made, important issues would be left aside. Only mainstream issues would be raised at the UPR, thus narrowing the scope of the review on a given country;

Secondly, having many similar or identical recommendations on a given issue demonstrates how important
that issue is. Repetition does not overload the State under Review as it calls for similar action but, rather, it
shows the concerns of the international community on a specific issue.

Mr. President, UPR recommendations are the main added value and outcome of the review. Reducing their number voluntarily could, in fact, weaken the whole mechanism. While the number of recommendations has increased, unfortunately, the number of quality recommendations has decreased. The proportion of weak, unspecific recommendations is the main problem we see in the UPR – not the overall number itself. States should make an effort to improve the quality, measurability, and specificity of recommendations, which would
better guide implementation.

Thank you.

AFD international
Association pour l’Intégration et le Développement Durable au Burundi
Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII
Cairo Institue for Human Rights Studies
Canada for Population and Development
Casa Alianza Switzerland
Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales
Civilis Human Rights and Acción Solidaria on HIV/Aids
Colombian Commission of Jurists
Congregation Of Our Lady of Charity Of The Good Shepherd
Defence for Children International
Dominicans for Justice and Peace
East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project
Edmund Rice International
Franciscans International
Freedom House
Geneva Institute for Human Rights
Human Rights Watch
Istituto Internazionale Maria Ausiliatrice
International Disability Alliance
International Lesbian and Gay Association
International Partnership for Human Rights
International Platform against Impunity
International Service for Human Rights
Irish Council for Civil Liberties
London Legal Group
Marist International Solidarity Foundation – FMSI
Minority Rights Group International
Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Pax Romana
Plan International
Save the Children
Sinergia, Venezuelan Association of Civil Society Organizations
Stefanus Alliance International
The Bahá’í International Community
Together – Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights
UPR Info
VIDES International – International Volunteerism Organization for Women, Education,
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
World Vision International

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