UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

Single title

Strategies of Authoritarian States in the UN Human Rights System

by Adrien-Claude Zoller

A Closer Look at the UN Human Rights Council

After the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), it took years for the Organisation of the United Nations (UN) to elaborate and adopt legal instruments and control mechanisms. This resulted in a global human rights system, still far from perfect, but thanks to which concerns for human rights gradually emerged in international diplomacy. However, as never before, this system is currently under pressure by authoritarian States.

After the proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), it took years for the Organisation of the United Nations (UN) to elaborate and adopt legal instruments and control mechanisms. This resulted in a global human rights system, still far from perfect, but thanks to which concerns for human rights gradually emerged in international diplomacy. However, as never before, this system is currently under pressure by authoritarian States.

This essay focuses on the Charter based bodies and mechanisms and does not cover the system of the 'treaty monitoring bodies' established by several main human rights treaties. The essay opens with a brief survey on the achievements of the Commission on Human Rights and its Sub-Commission. Part II is devoted to the UN Reform process, which led to the replacement of the Commission by the Human Rights Council (2006), whose major developments are described in Part III. Finally, the strategies of certain hardliner States are discussed in Part IV before a number of recommendations are offered in the concluding remarks.

Please find the full analysis here.

Contact

Dr. Olaf Wientzek

Olaf Wientzek bild

Director of the Multilateral Dialogue Geneva

olaf.wientzek@kas.de +41 22 748 70 70