Fourteen States will have their human rights records examined during the 45th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group to be held in Geneva from 22 January to 2 February 2024.
The UPR is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council that calls for each UN Member State to undergo a peer review of its human rights records every four-and-a-half years. The UPR Working Group comprises the entire membership of the 47-member Human Rights Council and other UN Member or Observer States wishing to take part.
The States to be reviewed by the UPR Working Group during this 45th session are, in order of scheduled review: Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria, Mauritius, Mexico, Jordan, Malaysia, the Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, the Congo and Malta. This will be the fourth time these 14 States will undergo a UPR examination.
High-level delegations representing the 14 countries are expected to present the efforts they have made to fulfil their human rights obligations and commitments, particularly since their last UPR, assessing positive developments and identifying challenges.
During the session, an interactive dialogue between the country under review and the UPR Working Group takes place. Each country review lasts three-and-a-half hours, and an additional half-hour for each country will be devoted to adopting the report containing the recommendations put forward by their peers.
The documents on which these reviews are based are:
- National Report: information prepared by the State concerned, presented orally during the review
- UN Compilation: information contained in the reports of relevant UN mechanisms and entities to be compiled in a report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
- Summary of Stakeholders: information provided by other relevant stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, academic institutions, research institutes, and regional organizations, also to be summarized by OHCHR
The review for each State is facilitated by groups of three Council members from different regional groups, also called troikas, who act as rapporteurs. The troikas were selected through a drawing of lots on 10 January 2024 during an organizational meeting of the Council.
The final outcome of the 45th session of the UPR Working Group will be adopted by the plenary of the Human Rights Council at its 56th regular session taking place in June/July 2024. For one hour, in addition to the State reviewed and other States, UN resident coordinators, country directors of UN entities, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations can also take the floor.
Objectives of the Universal Periodic Review
The objectives of the Universal Periodic Review are the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground; the fulfilment of the State’s human rights obligations and commitments and assessment of positive developments and challenges faced by the State; the enhancement of technical assistance, in consultation with, and with the consent of, the State concerned; the sharing of best practice among States and other stakeholders; support for cooperation in the promotion and protection of human rights; and the encouragement of full cooperation and engagement with the Council, other human rights bodies and OHCHR.
The implementation of UPR recommendations aims to strengthen national human rights protection systems. In addressing the root causes of human rights violations, the implementation of recommendations can have a preventive effect.
The OHCHR supports States in the follow-up and implementation of UPR outcomes. Additional information on the UPR mechanism can be found here.
Meetings of the 45th session of the UPR Working Group will take place in Room 20 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva and will be webcast live in the six official languages of the UN.
The timetable of State reviews and adoption of reports can be found below (contains links to the documentation page for each State under review):
Friday, 26 January
09h00 – 12h30 Review of the Central African Republic
15h30 – 18h00 Adoption of the reports on Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria and Mauritius
Wednesday, 31 January
09h00 – 12h30 Review of Malta
15h30 – 18h00 Adoption of the reports on Mexico, Jordan, Malaysia, the Central African Republic and Monaco
Thursday, 1 February
Friday, 2 February
16h00 – 18h00 Adoption of the reports on Belize, Chad, the Congo and Malta
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).