Launch of a new initiative: Local and Regional Governments in the UPR
Two months ago, (8 June 2022) the Geneva Cities Hub (GCH) launched a new initiative called "Local and Regional Governments in the UPR". The GCH, a platform that aims to better connect cities, local and regional governments (LRGs) to the International Geneva ecosystem, developed this initiative to facilitating their participation in relevant multilateral processes and bodies.
The aim of the coalition is to involve more and more LRGs in the UPR mechanism in order to facilitate and improve the implementation of human rights recommendations on the ground.
In this framework, the coalition adds “a new dimension to UPR through the participation of LRGs. This enables us to draw the mechanism closer to the reality on the ground", stated Kamelia Kemileva, Co-Director of the GCH.
UPR recommendations are formulated by States and are addressed to other States (States under Review). Subnational authorities can play significant role to support the implementation of recommendations. Cities, for example, have decision-making power at the local level and the capacity to implement decisions to improve human rights, including on issues relevant to them such as rights to housing. In addition, the experience gained by LRGs in preparing voluntary local reviews (VLRs) of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development can be useful to support the implementation of UPR recommendations.
The “LRGs in the UPR Coalition" will start its activities in November 2022, for the beginning of the 4th UPR cycle. Below you may find a few concrete recommendations for States to engage more actively LRGs in the UPR:
- Invite LRGs in the national consultation processes in view of the UPR;
- Take into account the relevant aspects of VLRs of SDGs implementation conducted by LRGs when preparing the national report to the UPR;
- Consider the participation of LRGs as “observers” in the national delegation representing the State at the next cycle of the UPR;
- Involve LRGs ins the consultations that occur between the review itself and the adoption of UPR recommendations, as well as during the preparation of UPR mid-term reports;
- Involve LRGs in the development and implementation a national human rights actions plan and of policies aiming at implementing UPR recommendations and strengthening human rights at the local level.