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FOCUS September 2010 Volume 61

Impact on the Ground


The universal periodic review (UPR) of the Human Rights Council provides United Nations member-states with the opportunity to show to the whole world how much effort at the national level has been made in pursuit of human rights promotion, protection and realization.
There is no better proof of achievement of this pursuit than concrete, on-the-ground examples of positive impact of the laws, mechanisms and projects on human rights. There is no better argument for the fulfillment of human rights commitments than the showing of minimized violation, and maximized protection and realization, of human rights.
The records of UPR do not lack statements pointing out major concerns in the human rights situation of the member-states whose reports had been reviewed. There is also no lack of recommendations on how these concerns can be addressed. The question remains on how far the member-states who underwent the UPR had taken new, concrete, on-the-ground measures that addressed the concerns expressed.
Non-governmental organizations, whose role in the UPR process is still limited, are important monitors of the post-UPR human rights situation of the concerned member-states.
Every government act on human rights promotion, protection and realization is important. But at almost every turn, there is doubt on how far are governments willing to sustain their human rights efforts. We need governments that would ensure that such doubt is erased.

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