8. juillet 2022
Geneva Cities Hub, Avenue de la Paix 9, 1202 Genève
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a State-driven collaborative process, under the auspices of the UNGA and its subsidiary body, the Human Rights Council. Up until now, cities have been seen as places of implementation (or unfortunately, of violations of human rights) in the context of UPR. But they are only rarely considered as actors, decision- or policy-makers, despite their central role for numerous human rights in the areas of housing, education, law enforcement, etc., for which they usually have autonomy to decide and act upon.
GCH is leading constant reflection on the ways and means to adapt UPR to the reality of multilevel diplomacy. This has led to the launch of a Coalition “Local and Regional Governments in the UPR” on 8 June 2022 at the Villa Rigot. As stated by Kamelia Kemileva, Co-Director of the GCH, “adding a new dimension to UPR through the participation of local and regional governments enables us to draw the mechanism closer to the reality on the ground.”
The coalition will concretely seek to involve local and regional governments (LRGs) in UPR by garnering support for human rights at all levels of governments to enhance their implementation on the ground.
Partners of the Coalition are the Geneva Human Rights Platform, UPR-Info, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, OHCHR and UN-Habitat, together with the Geneva Cities Hub. These organizations agreed to reflect collectively and foster LRGs’ participation in UPR, including by working on a common narrative related to the benefits of LRGs’ involvement in UPR, for LRGs of course, but also for States and for the implementation of human rights.
The Coalition is open to new members and will deploy its activities at the beginning of the 4th cycle, in November 2022. It will start by encouraging a few pilot cities to participate in the UPR, in particular those who have already engaged with the UN system through Voluntary Local Reviews on SDGs. More information will be published closer to the beginning of the 4th cycle.