Universal Periodic Review

Introduction

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) refers to the formal review of the human rights records of all 192 UN Member States.  The UPR was created in 2006 with the UN General Assembly’s establishment of the Human Rights Council and direction for the Council to “undertake a universal periodic review, based on objective and reliable information, of the fulfillment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments in a manner which ensures universality of coverage and equal treatment with respect to all States.” The UPR seeks to improve the human rights situation of all Member States and provide technical assistance and the sharing of best practices for dealing effectively with human rights challenges.

UPR Process

All UN Member States are subject to a review every four years.  The reviews are conducted by the 47 member states which compose the Human Rights Council (the United States is a member).  The UPR process has three key stages:

  • The first stage involves the initial review.
  • The second stage allows for implementation of the recommendations and commitments made following the first review. 
  • The third stage is an assessment of the implementation period of the second stage.

NGOs are encouraged to submit information which will be added to the “other stakeholders” report for a Member State.  This report will be considered along with reports submitted by the Member State under review.  NGOs may also attend the UPR Working Group sessions and make statements at the regular session of the Human Rights Council when the Member State review is considered.

UPR Review of the United States

The United States was under review for the initial stage of the UPR in 2010-2011.  USICD was proud to have Executive Director David Morrissey serve as a private sector advisor to the U.S. delegation to the UPR.  The United States is now in its second stage of the UPR and is working on implementing the recommendations it accepted from its first review.  The next consideration of the United States by the Human Rights Council will occur in 2015. NGOs and civil society actors can submit reports until November 1, 2014 for consideration in the next review.