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UN to examine NZ's human rights performance next week

UN to examine NZ's human rights performance next week

Starting on Monday, 27 January, the government's overall performance on human rights will be examined for the second time through the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The UPR is a mechanism established in 2006 whereby the UN Human Rights Council reviews whether or not UN member states are fulfilling their human rights obligations and commitments. The UPR will be broadcast live, and the details of when and how you can watch it, as well as information on the UPR process is included below.

A wide range of human rights obligations will be assessed during the UPR, and Peace Movement Aotearoa will be monitoring the second UPR and providing regular updates as the process proceeds. Our particular focus will be on the issues raised in the NGO coalition UPR submission on Indigenous Peoples' Rights and the Treaty of Waitangi, coordinated by Peace Movement Aotearoa and the Aotearoa Indigenous Rights Trust, and jointly submitted and supported by twenty-four NGOs, hapu and iwi organisations. The NGO coalition submission - together with other NGO UPR submissions and analysis of the government's draft UPR report - is available at http://www.nzupr.org

The government's approach to indigenous peoples' rights is already a focus of interest to other UN member states; for example, the Netherlands has submitted a written question in advance of Monday's session asking: "Can the government of New Zealand indicate which measures in law, policy and practice will be prioritized to protect and promote indigenous rights?".

The current stage of the UPR process

The government's overall performance on human rights will be considered during the 18th session of the UPR Working Group, which will be held from 27 January to 7 February 2014, in Geneva.

On Monday, 27 January, the Working Group of the UPR (composed of the 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council) will review New Zealand's performance during a three and a half hour session in which government representatives will present their UPR report, followed by an interactive dialogue with Human Rights Council member and observer states. The interactive dialogue will be informed by documents summarising NGO and other stakeholder submissions, and information from UN human rights monitoring bodies.

The report presentation and interactive dialogue will be webcast live at http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp from 9am to 12.30pm, on Monday, 27 January (Geneva time), from 9pm on Monday, 27 January, to 12.30am on Tuesday, 28 January (NZ time).

Following the interactive dialogue, the report of the Working Group will be prepared - it will contain the summary of the interactive dialogue, responses by the government representatives, recommendations by Human Rights Council member and observer states, and any voluntary human rights commitments made by the government. The government can accept or refuse any of the recommendations; both accepted and refused recommendations will be included in the report.

On Friday, 31 January, the report will presented to the Working Group for adoption during the session from 3pm to 6pm (Geneva time), 3am to 6am on Saturday, 1 February (NZ time).

The next stage of the process will be the adoption of the report by the Human Rights Council during a regular session of the Council later this year. Following the adoption of the report, the government is required to implement the recommendations contained in it.

Links to updates and information about New Zealand's UPR
• On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/notes/peace-movement-aotearoa/un-to-examine-nzs-human-rights-performance-next-week/624496010931105
• Live webcast of the review of New Zealand: from 9pm on Monday, 27 January, to 12.30am on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 (NZ time) at http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/index.asp - alternate link: http://webtv.un.org
• Updates will be added to the page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzupr14.htm as New Zealand's second UPR progresses
• NGO UPR submissions and analysis of the government's draft UPR report are available at http://www.nzupr.org - alternate link: http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzupr2-ngos.htm
• Background information on the UPR process and New Zealand's second UPR is available at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzupr13.htm
• Information about New Zealand's first UPR is available on the index page at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nzupr.htm
• Information about the UPR mechanism is available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx


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