Universal Periodic Review

Lessons, Hopes and Expectations

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The UN Human Rights Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism has been in place for over two years. 2008 and 2009 saw this mechanism succeed in promoting dialogues on human rights in countries from all continents and all regions, including 25 Commonwealth states.

Since the inception of the UPR, the Commonwealth Secretariat has engaged with Commonwealth countries on UPR. It has offered training and helped share information and good practices, research and observations.

Governments have held consultations, prepared national reports, responded to questions and recommendations during the review in Geneva and are now beginning to implement those recommendations. National human rights institutions and civil society organisations have engaged with the process through stakeholder reports and advocacy.

This publication presents the experiences of key UPR actors, as shared at the Commonwealth Mid-Term Review of UPR held in 2010. It then provides timely analysis and evaluation of the UPR mechanism at all three stages of the process: preparation of the UPR report, the review in Geneva; and UPR follow up and implementation, including country by country analysis of recommendations received by each Commonwealth country.

Universal Periodic Review: Lessons, Hopes and Expectations draws together the lessons of Commonwealth countries’ experiences in 2008 and 2009, and hopes and expectations for the future of UPR.



Hopes and Expectations for the UPR

Having witnessed seven successive sessions of the Universal Periodic Review working group, I am strengthened in my belief in the immense possibilities and promise of the UPR, as envisaged in UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251, and as further elaborated in Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1. Not only do these two documents affirm the universality, transparency and inclusiveness of the process, but they both speak to the great potential of the UPR mechanism in the promotion and protection of human rights globally.


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