The KoreaCenter for United Nations Human Rights Policy (KOCUN) organized the 2ndCivil Society Forum on Follow-up to the UPR Recommendations in Northeast Asiaon 31 July – 2 August 2014, with financial support from the Voluntary Fund forfinancial and technical assistance in the implementation of the Universal PeriodicReview. Civil society organizations of China/Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, and theRepublic of Korea gathered to share good practices in the implementation of UPRrecommendations, discuss strategies to ensure the implementation of UPRrecommendations, and regional cooperation network of civil societyorganizations.
2.Conclusion of the Forum: Challenges in UPR follow-up
Theparticipant civil society organizations of the Forum jointly pointed out that oneof the main reasons for non-implementation of UPR recommendations is the lackof initiative of governments.
We recallthe objectives of the UPR as being the improvement of the human rightssituation on the ground and the fulfillment of the State’s human rightsobligations and commitments and assessment of positive developments andchallenges faced by the State, as set forth in paragraph 4 (a, b) of the HumanRights Council Resolution 5/1 (A/HRC/RES/5/1), adopted by the UN GeneralAssembly on 22 December 2007 (A/RES/62/219).
We alsofurther to section I of the Annex to Resolution 65/281 on UPR asadopted by the General Assembly (A/RES/65/281) on 20 July 2011 and take notethat outcomes of the reviews should be implemented primarily by the Stateconcerned. (paragraph 17)
Governmentsthereby have obligations to implement UPR recommendations, establish plans forfollow-up, and regularly review the status of implementation. In order toachieve this, governments should actively publicize and effectively disseminateUPR recommendations in their national languages, reflect UPR recommendations inthe National Plans of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights,and engage in substantive consultation with civil society and take their proposalsinto account when establishing the National Plans of Action for the Promotionand Protection of Human Rights. However, these obligations have not been well fulfilled.Governments have not shown the initiative to submit mid-term reports to theHuman Rights Council and there have not been adequate discussions for theeffective national implementation of UPR recommendations. Furthermore, there areissues related to the insufficient financial and human resources to beallocated in concerned ministries for implementation of UPR recommendations.
3. Civilsociety recommendations for UPR follow-up
In orderto ensure that all United Nations Member States are fully accountable for theimplementation of UPR recommendations, including in Northeast Asia, we proposeto the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution for effective implementationof UPR recommendations, and give the following recommendations to thegovernments of the United Nations Member States.
3.1. Translate received UPRrecommendations into the official language of the country and nationallypublicize and disseminate UPR recommendations both at national and local levelsthrough effective and progressive measures and provide support for civilsociety organizations in dissemination.
3.2. Engage in substantiveconsultation with civil society for UPR follow-up.
3.3. Ensure the participation ofcivil society in the process of implementation of UPR recommendations includingmonitoring.
3.4. Establish National Plans ofAction for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights with substantiveconsultation and engagement with civil society in the process of its draftingand implementation to ensure that proposals of civil society and UPRrecommendations are fully incorporated.
3.5. Submit mid-term evaluationreports on the implementation of UPR recommendations to the Human RightsCouncil.
3.6. Secure financial and humanresources to be allocated in concerned ministries for implementation of UPRrecommendations
3.7. Take steps to ensure that thelegislative and judicial branches are fully involved in the process of follow-upto UPR recommendations.
3.8. National human rightsinstitutions (NHRIs) should nationally publicize and disseminate UPRrecommendations. In addition, NHRIs should closely collaborate with civilsociety to urge the government to establish plans for the implementation of UPRrecommendations, recommend strategies to the government to meet UPRrecommendations, and independently monitor the status of implementation.
3.9. Facilitate sharing andexchanges of experiences and best practices at regional and internationallevels in the follow-up of UPR recommendations.
This statement is on behalf of the following organizations:
Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL),E-LOOM - Action for Anti-prostitution and Human Rights, Globe InternationalCenter, Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, Human Rights Now, International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), Joint Movement for NHRI and OP, Justice and Peace Commission of theHong Kong Catholic Diocese, Korea Center for United Nations Human Rights Policy, LGBT Centre of Mongolia, MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society, Mongolian Human Rights NGOs Forum, Open Society Forum,Society for Community Organization, Space Allies