Universal Periodic Review

Lessons, Hopes and Expectations

image of Universal Periodic Review
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.



The First Two Years of the UPR: An Analysis and Summary

The new human rights architecture at the United Nations has been a subject of speculation and, as it has become better established, it now becomes a topic of analysis. There has been discussion on the nature of engagements at the Human Rights Council and the potential of moving away from what has been characterised as the politicised Commission that predated it. Both hope and cynicism – or perhaps scepticism – have entered these debates and although the breadth of activity and areas of interest should rightly be part of these discussions, much attention has turned to the UPR. Are the discussions a repeat of the past in which there were ‘usual suspects’ repeatedly targeted for human rights violations? Would the big political players be excused critique? Would the human rights debates simply become a proxy for political score settling?


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error