Information note for National Human Rights Institutions
34th session of the Human Rights Council, from 27 February to 24 March 2017, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
1. BRIEF OVERVIEW
Panels and Annual discussions
The full list of panels and annual discussions is available on the following link.
Reports to be considered
The full list of reports to be considered during this session is available on the following link.
2. DOCUMENTATION FOR THE SESSION
Relevant documents and information, as well as reports submitted by Special Procedures mandate holders and the annotated agenda will be available on the HRC’s webpage
3. BROADCASTING THE SESSION
Media and outreach tools
The meetings of the Council are broadcast live via UN webcast:
Updates during the session are also shared through the HRC Alert: SMS service (free subscription through the Extranet for mobiles registered in Switzerland only) and Twitter (@UN_HRC & #HRC34)
4. NHRI PARTICIPATION
NHRIs with “A” status accreditation, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI – formerly known as the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights) and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs (speaking on behalf of its “A” status members) can:
- make an oral statement under all substantive agenda items of the Human Rights Council*;
- participate through video messages in the HRC plenary debates, including during the adoption of the outcome of the UPR of the country by the Council, the interactive dialogue following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedures mandate holder and panels or annual discussions;
- submit documents, which will be issued with UN document symbol;
- take separate seating in all sessions.
NOTE: According to paragraph 28 of Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 on the Review of the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council, the “A” status NHRI of the country concerned shall be entitled to intervene immediately after the country concerned during the interactive dialogue, following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedure mandate holder and also immediately after the State under review at the adoption of the UPR report in plenary. Resolution 16/21 also grants “A” status NHRIs the right to nominate candidates as special procedures mandate holders (paragraph 22(a)).
Technical Specifications for DOCUMENTATION and WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS
Documentation and Written Statements should be uploaded by the submitting National Human Rights Institutions according to UN documentation rules on the following link which will be accessible until 17 February 2017.
Download here the guidelines on how to use the online registration system for the Written submission in
Download here the guidelines on how to use the online registration system for the Oral Statements in
Technical Specifications for ORAL STATEMENTS and UPLOADING OF VIDEOSTATEMENTS TRANSCRIPTS
Registration on the list of speakers and uploading of the oral statements/transcript of videostatements should be done through the platform below.
Please refer to the Guidelines for oral statements.
5. NHRI DOCUMENTATION
In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, “A” status NHRIs are entitled to submit documentation at Council sessions. NHRIs may submit reports, policy papers, etc.
- should relate to a particular HRC agenda item;
- will receive an official UN document symbol (e.g. A/HRC/../NI/...);
- will not be edited;
- will not be translated (should therefore be in Arabic, English, French or Spanish); and
- should not exceed a reasonable number of pages (i.e. 20-30 pages maximum).
deadline for submitting documents for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council is 17 February 2017.
6. WRITTEN STATEMENTS
“A” status NHRIs may submit written statements to the Human Rights Council. Statements should be no longer than 2,000 words and should be relevant to the Council's Programme of Work of the 33rd session. Please refer to the Guidelines available on the HRC’s webpage for more information on the written statements.
Please kindly note that the
deadline for uploading of written statements
for the 34th session of the Human Rights Council is 17 February 2017
. The Secretariat will not be able to ensure the timely processing and circulation of statements submitted after the deadline.
7. ACCREDITATION TO ATTEND THE SESSION
Accreditation of NHRIs shall be given to:
- institutions which are accredited by GANHRI;
- the GANHRI as the representative body of NHRIs globally; and
- regional coordinating committees of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of “A” status institutions, in line with the strict
criteria agreed upon by the GANHRI at its 19th annual general meeting in March 2007.
NHRIs that wish to accredit representatives to the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council should
send a letter of request(s) as a scanned attachment to an email prior to the beginning of the session
. Accreditation request letters should be sent to Ms Biljana Pesut at
The accreditation request should:
- be submitted on official letterhead;
- clearly state the title and the dates of the session the NHRI wishes to attend, e.g. “[Insert name of NHRI] wishes to send the following members to attend the [insert relevant session number] session of the Human Rights Council ([insert dates of session])…”;
- be signed by the President or main representative of the NHRI;
- indicate the first name and family name of the person(s) who will represent the NHRI at the Council session (NB: names must appear exactly as they appear on the person’s ID document and family names must be capitalized).
NHRI representatives should request their UNOG identity badge in person at the security entrance at
Pregny Gate, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix, Geneva.(Open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 17.00 pm non-stop, throughout the session)
Representatives must present:
- an identity document, and
- a copy of the accreditation request letter
They will then be issued an appropriate photo-badge (designating participants as a National Human Rights Institution, the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs, or other coordinating committee of NHRIs, respectively) that will be valid for the duration of the Council session.
8. ORAL INTERVENTIONS
“A” status NHRIs, the GANHRI, and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of “A” status accredited members, may present oral interventions to the Human Rights Council.
NHRIs wishing to make an oral intervention are required:
Oral statements and registration on the list of speaker may be done on the platform starting from 22 February 2017.
Please note that the NHRI registration system uses the same platform for the submission of written statements as the one used for requests for oral statements speaking slots.
Please note that those accredited institutions wishing to make an oral statement are responsible for bringing 25 copies of their statement, if they want it to be distributed in the Room XX. Copies should be provided to conference services at the List of Speakers’ Desk for circulation.
All persons addressing the Council as “A” status NHRIs or the GANHRI must be accredited as representing such institutions (see procedure above in paragraph 7). Accredited NHRIs or the GANHRI may have other NHRIs associate with their statements. In such a case, the statement should clearly identify the institutions on whose behalf the statement is presented.
Regional coordinating committees may present an oral statement, provided that they only speak on behalf of their member NHRIs that are in full conformity with the Paris Principles, evidenced by an “A” status accreditation with the GANHRI. At the beginning of the statement, the regional coordinating committee must state the names of the NHRIs on whose behalf they speak.
9. NHRI PARALLEL EVENTS
NHRIs accredited for the 34th session of the Council may organize parallel events of relevance to the work of the Human Rights Council, subject to availability of conference rooms. The relevant forms for booking conference rooms and annexed guidelines on how to fill out the forms are available on the webpage of the Human Rights Council's 34th session.
Room reservation requests for intergovernmental consultations and events organized by specialized agencies, NHRIs and special procedures mandate-holders should be made by filling the form (See
Annex II). The form should be submitted by fax or as a scanned attachment to an email to the Human Rights Council Secretariat, details provided below.
Attention of: Laura Giardini
Tel: +41 (0)22 917 9255
Fax: +41 (0)22 917 9011
firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to: email@example.com Subject reference: NHRI Room booking request.
Conference room booking requests will be received by the Secretariat as of now, and will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability of conference rooms.
Please be advised that the Secretariat does not provide interpretation for parallel meetings. NHRIs should therefore provide their own interpreters, if they so wish, and inform the Secretariat accordingly ahead of time.
The NHRI in charge of organizing the meeting is requested to provide the Secretariat with a complete list of its guests (in excel format, with the first name in one column and the family name in a second column) at least 48 hours prior to the day of the meeting to Ms Biljana Pesut at
Persons not accredited to the Human Rights Council session, who are invited to take part in parallel meetings, should present themselves to the Pregny gate with an identity document, where they will be issued with a "Parallel Event" photo-badge. Please note that the badge will be valid for the duration of the meeting only.
10. VIDEO STATEMENTS
At its 19th session, the Human Rights Council adopted a decision1 to endorse the report of the Task Force, including its recommendations, on secretariat services, accessibility for persons with disabilities and use of information technology.
This decision gives the opportunity to NHRIs with “A” status GANHRI accreditation to participate in the Human Rights Council sessions through pre-recorded video messages in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, to be delivered to enhance their participation in the plenary debate under any Human Rights Council agenda item. Only the Head, Secretary General or their designated representative in possession of a written authorization may be entitled to deliver a video message.
The credentials of the NHRIs and the identity of individuals delivering the video message will be duly verified by OHCHR.
For all interventions through video messages a letter of request will have to be addressed to the Human Rights Council Secretariat or the National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section and comply with all the below requirements:
- Letter submitted on official letterhead and signed by the head of the NHRI or the Secretary General;
- Indication of the HRC session concerned, agenda item an specific segment of the programme of work in which the oral statement through video-messaging will be made;
- Indication of the full name (FAMILY NAME, First name) and functional title of the person who will deliver the statement (name of the person must appear exactly as it appears in his/her passport or formal identity document) as a designated representative;
- Colour copy of the person’s passport or of formal identity document.
Rules regarding the content and technical specifications
Oral statements delivered by video message are subject to the same rules as oral statements delivered in person. The video messages are subject to the same time limits as, and should mirror as closely as possible, the oral statements delivered in person. In particular, the following rules must be strictly observed:
- The video statement must consist of a single shot of one individual delivering a statement, seated against a neutral, monochrome background;
- The camera should be focused on the person’s face, and should not move during the shot;
No symbols, flags, banners or other images are permitted in the shot, either in the background or on the clothing of the person delivering the statement.
The video statement mustinclude captioning. NHRIs are encouraged to consider including international sign language, to enhance participation of persons with disabilities. A transcript of the video statement must also be submitted in order to facilitate interpretation. In the absence of captioning and transcript, the video statement will not be admissible. The transcript must be uploaded on the following link https://nhrireg.ohchr.org/DebateRegistration (cf. paragraph on Oral statements).
The minimum technical specifications for the video are as follows:
- video resolution min 640x480 max 1024x768, frame rate 30 fps
- audio resolution 44100 Hz, 16 bits, stereo
- video encoding WMV3 (Windows Media Video 9)
- audio encoding WMA2 (Windows Media Audio 2)
- video encoding H.274
- audio encoding MP3 or AAC
Delivery of the video statement
The video statement will be projected in the room under the same conditions as an oral statement delivered in the room.
The rules of procedure and practices of the Council apply in the same manner to video statements as to all other statements.
Whenever a point of order is raised during the projection of a video statement, the President of the Human Rights Council will interrupt the intervention and address the issue in accordance with the rules of procedure and practices of the Council. The President will then resume the projection of the video statement unless a second point of order is raised or the President considers that the message infringes the Council’s rules of procedure or practices, in which case the President may interrupt the projection of the video statement.
As the speaker will not be present in the room, a written communication recalling the applicable rules of procedure and practices of the Council shall then be forwarded to the organization concerned.
The transcript of the video message will be posted on the HRC extranet along with other oral statements.
NOTE: All pre-recorded video messages together with their transcripts must be uploaded before 23rd February 2017 to the following website: https://extranet.ohchr.org/sites/video/SitePages/Home.aspx
NHRIs wishing to participate in the Human Rights Council session through video messaging need to send a request to Ms. Cynthia Radert (firstname.lastname@example.org). They will then receive a username and a password to upload their video message.
11. GANHRI Representative in Geneva
For further information on the work and sessions of the HRC, NHRIs may also contact the GANHRI Geneva Representative, Ms. Katharina Rose (email@example.com). Tel + 41 (0) 22 917 16 74
NHRIs accredited by GANHRI with “A” status that are not able to attend the session but would like the GANHRI Geneva representative to make a statement on their behalf should contact
Ms. Katharina Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and copy
Ms. Agnès Gràcia Corberó (email@example.com).
12. Contacts - OHCHR
For further information, please contact the National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section (NRCS) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mr. Vladlen Stefanov
Chief, National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9377
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 928 9018
Ms. Cynthia Radert
Human Rights Officer
National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9122
1. A/HRC/DEC/19/19 (recommendation 46):
“In the case of national human rights institutions compliant with the Paris Principles:
(a) Video messages may be pre-recorded in order to enhance participation in the plenary debates of the Human Rights Council, in particular in accordance with the provisions described in the annex to Council resolution 16/21, paragraph 13 (national human rights institution of the State under review) and paragraph 28 (national human rights institution of the State concerned)”