UPR 소개 2012.01.10 17:27

[English] The universal periodic review at a glance

Reference: OHCHR, Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society, pp. 137-152. 


What is it?

Established by General Assembly resolution 60/251, the universal periodic review (UPR) is a new human rights mechanism. Through it the Human Rights Council reviews, on a periodic basis, the fulfilment by each of the 192 United Nations Member States of their human rights obligations and commitments. The UPR is a cooperative mechanism and is intended to complement, not duplicate, the work of the human rights treaty bodies.

How does it work?

Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 sets out the periodicity and process. The UPR operates on a four-year cycle and consists of several stages, for instance: 

  • Preparation of the information upon which reviews are based, including: information prepared by the State under review (national report); a compilation of United Nations information on the State under review prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and a summary of information submitted by other stakeholders (including civil society actors), also prepared by OHCHR; 
  • The review itself takes place in Geneva in the Working Group on the UPR, which is composed of the 47 member States of the Council, and takes the form of an interactive dialogue between the State under review and the member and observer States of the Council. The Working Group meets in three two-week sessions each year and reviews 16 States at each session—a total of 48 States each year;
  • A group of three rapporteurs (“troika”), drawn from among the Council’s member States, facilitates the review of each State; 
  • The Working Group's adoption of an outcome document at the end of each review; 
  • The Council's consideration and adoption of the UPR outcome document, normally at its next regular session; and
  • Follow-up by reviewed States and other stakeholders, including civil society, on the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations contained within outcome documents.
How to engage with the universal periodic review

Resolution 5/1 provides for the participation of all relevant stakeholders in the process. Accordingly, the participation of regional intergovernmental organizations, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), as well as civil society representatives, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), human rights defenders, academic institutions and research institutes, is envisaged at relevant stages. 

Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is required to attend sessions of the Working Group on the UPR and sessions of the Human Rights Council. However, civil society actors may contribute to work of the UPR, inter alia, by:

  • Participating in consultations held by Governments to prepare their national reports on the human rights situation in their countries;
  • Preparing submissions on the human rights situation in States under review for potential inclusion in the summary of stakeholders’ submissions prepared by OHCHR. The OHCHR summary is taken into consideration by the Working Group when reviewing States; and
  • Contributing to the follow-up to the implementation of review outcomes.

The Working Group’s sessions are broadcast live on an OHCHR webcastand a broad range of UPR documentation and information is available on the UPR section of the OHCHR website and on the UPR page on the Human Rights Council’s Extranet.