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Global Coordinator - ILGA Stephen Barris, Global Coordinator - ILGA
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Working at the United Nations

in WORLD, 24/03/2011

As the only global federation of LGBTI organisations, ILGA voices its agenda in various United Nations fora. ILGA gives visibility to the struggles of its members lobbying at the Human Rights Council, helping them questioning their government's record on LGBTI rights in the frame of the Universal Periodic Review, organising a presence at the Commission on the Status of Women and campaigning for LGBTI organisations to gain the right to speak in their own name at the UN through its ECOSOC status.

THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW - UPR

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) started by the UN in 2006, aims at reviewing the situation of human rights in a given country. The first round for all countries ended in 2011; the second cycle started in June 2012 and will review forty-two countries every year, meaning that within four and a half years all UN Member States will be reviewed.

The reviews develop in five stages:

  • reporting,
  • interactive dialogue with Member States where other governments can ask questions to the country under review and make recommendations (Geneva, UPR session) and
  • adoption of the draft report with all the recommendations made (Geneva, UPR session)
  • formal acceptance of the report with all its recommendations (Geneva, Human ights Council), and, finally,
  • implementation and monitoring.

NGOs get to contribute at each stage of the process but more specifically on two separate occasions:

  • by submitting a report that will be included in the OHCHR report and informs the dialogue
  • by making an oral statement when the government which was reviewed previously accepts or rejects recommendations from other governments. 

ILGA acts as liaison between the local activists and the United Nations and facilitates their work within the UPR of their country:

  • prior to the session, by assisting in the drafting of their shadow report when necessary
  • at the Human Rights Council, accompanying them throughout their stay in Geneva, facilitating their work with diplomatic missions
  • assisting local activists on occasion of their oral statement at the UN when needed

ILGA also disseminates information regarding the UPR through its global networks, raising awareness of the importance of civil society participation in the UPR and the United Nations in general.

  • Read Statements by NGOs following the adoption of the reports of the Universal Periodic Reviews by governments:
  1. 12th session of the UPR (March 14 -16 March, 2012) / Adoption 20th Session of the Human Rights Council
  2. 13th session of the UPR (May 21 - June 4, 2012) / Adoption 21st Session of the Human Rights Council
  3. 14th session of the UPR (October 22 - November 2, 2012) / Adoption 22nd session of the Human Rights Council
  4. 15th session of the UPR (January 21 - February 1, 2013) / Adoption 23rd session of the Human Rights Council
  5. 16th session of the UPR (April 22 - May 3, 2013) / Adoption 24th session of the Human Rights Council

More information on the UPR


HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL

The Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. Among the various mechanism it is managing the Universal Periodic Review; other features include a new Advisory Committee which serves as the Council’s “think tank” providing it with expertise and advice on thematic human rights issues and the revised Complaints Procedure mechanism which allows individuals and organizations to bring complaints about human rights violations to the attention of the Council. The Human Rights Council also continues to work closely with the UN Special Procedures established by the former Commission on Human Rights and assumed by the Council.  

COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN - CSW

The UN Commission on the Status of Women was established in 21 June 1946 and is dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. It is the principal global policy-making body. Every year, representatives of Member States gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL - ECOSOC

The first way by which non-governmental organizations played a role in formal UN deliberations was through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Forty-one NGOs were granted consultative status by the Council in 1946. Today about 3,187 organizations have obtained the status. This accreditation allows NGOs to enter the United ­Nations and speak in their own name, enabling them to make oral interventions in the plenary ­sessions as well as organize panels on various subjects.

 

 

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