Human Rights Conversations
US Mission Photo: Eric Bridiers
Join us online for our first Human Rights Conversation of the year to discuss what the United States’ return to the UN Human Rights Council means for the work of the Council and the overall promotion and protection of human rights.
On 8 February, United States (US) Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced that the US will ‘reengage immediately and robustly with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’, stating that ‘it is our view that the best way to improve the Council is to engage with it and its members in a principled fashion. We strongly believe that when the US engages constructively with the Council, in concert with our allies and friends, positive change is within reach’.
What does this return of the US as an observer to the Human Rights Council (HCR) mean for the work of the Council and the overall promotion and protection of human rights?
Back in 2018, we discussed the legal implications of the US’s withdrawal of the Council. Now, at a time when the global crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions are making strong stands on human rights even more necessary, we want to turn to the political and institutional questions about its re-engagement.
This panel discussion will look into the priorities of the US in the HRC, see what their re-engagement could mean for a number of substantive initiatives and resolutions, and the institutional importance of this reengagement, including the implications for the political weight of the UN’s main human rights organ. The discussion will also touch upon the impact that the US participation might have on the 2021-2026 HRC review process, to be undertaken by the UN General Assembly. With no country currently formally abstaining from the HRC, panelists will also discuss whether this is a moment to strengthen the understanding of, and agreement on the universality of human rights.
Human Rights Conversations are a series of events, hosted by the Geneva Human Rights Platform, aimed at discussing contemporary issues and challenges related to the promotion and protection of human rights in Geneva and beyond.
European Action External Service
Sima Samar, former Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, will deliver the keynote speech at the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Registration for the 2021 Annual Conference of the Geneva Human Rights Platform that will take place online and in Geneva on 12 October 2021 is open.
The Geneva Human Rights Platform contributes to this review process by providing expert input via different avenues, by facilitating dialogue on the review among various stakeholders, as well as by accompanying the development of a follow-up resolution to 68/268 in New York and in Geneva.
Cámara de Diputadas y Diputados de Chile
This project aims to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses affecting different National Human Rights Systems.
UN PHOTO /Jean Marc Ferre