Information note for National Human Rights Institutions
23rd session of the Human Rights Council, 27 May to 14 June 2013, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
1. BRIEF OVERVIEW
Panel on the contribution of parliaments to the HRC/UPR
Panel on business and human rights
Panel on democracy and the rule of law
Annual full day discussion on women’s human rights
Reports to be considered
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights
- Report of the Independent expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons
- Report of theWorking Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
- Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
- Special Rapporteur on the right to education
- Report of the Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity
- Report of the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
- Report of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice
- Report of the intergovernmental Working Group on the draft United Nations declaration on the right to peace
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
- Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea
- Report of the Social Forum
- Report of the Forum on business and human rights
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
- Report of the Inter-Governmental Working Group
- Report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire
Additional reports are available on the following link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session23/Pages/ListReports.aspx
2. NHRI RELATED DOCUMENTATION FOR THE SESSION
Relevant documents and information, including the report of the Secretary-General “National institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights” (A/HRC/23/27) and the report of the Secretary-General “Activities of the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in accrediting national institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles” (A/HRC/23/28), as well as reports submitted by the Special Procedures mandate holders and the annotated agenda will be available on the HRC’s webpage:
To access the HRC Extranet, select the link on the left hand toolbar of the OHCHR Council webpage.
When prompted, enter:
- Username: hrc extranet
- Password: 1session
NOTE: The Secretariat strongly encourages NHRIs to consult the HRC Extranet, as well as the OHCHR Human Rights Council website on a regular basis, as they are regularly updated as and when documentation becomes available.
3. BROADCASTING THE SESSION
New media and outreach tools
The meetings of the Council are broadcast live on the OHCHR 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 (http://twitter.com/#!/UN_HRC)
4. NHRI PARTICIPATION
NHRIs with “A” status accreditation, the ICC 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 and the interactive dialogue following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedures mandate holder;
- 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)).
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 English, French or Spanish); and
- should not exceed a reasonable number of pages (i.e. 30-40 pages maximum).
The deadline for submitting documents for the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council is 17 May 2013.
Documents should be emailed to Ms. Cynthia Radert, NIRMS, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mr. Banuar Falcon (email@example.com), Mr. Bruce Adamson, ICC Representative in Geneva (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Sarah Pallesen, Assistant ICC Geneva Representative (email@example.com).When emailing documents, please indicate the agenda item under which they should be made available.
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 22nd session. Please refer to the Guidelines available on the HRC’s webpage for more information on the written statements.
Written statements should be sent electronically to Ms. Cynthia Radert, NIRMS (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mr. Banuar Falcon (email@example.com), Mr. Bruce Adamson, ICC Representative in Geneva (firstname.lastname@example.org), and to Ms. Sarah Pallesen, Assistant ICC Geneva Representative (email@example.com).
Please kindly note that the deadline for submitting written statements
for the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council is 17 May 2013
. The Secretariat will not be able to ensure the timely processing and circulation of statements submitted late.
7. ACCREDITATION TO ATTEND THE SESSION
Accreditation of NHRIs shall be given to:
- institutions which are accredited by the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC);
- the ICC 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 ICC at its 19th annual general meeting in March 2007.
NHRIs that wish to accredit representatives to the 23rd 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.
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).
Accreditation request letters should be faxed to Ms. Zenaida Lugon at:
+41 (0) 22 928 9018 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 ICC, 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 requested to fill out the NHRI statement form (see Annex I) and hand-carry it to the List of Speakers Desk in the plenary room. Also note that there is a pre-inscription fax form (see Annex II).
Please note that those accredited institutions wishing to make an oral statement are responsible for bringing 250 copies of their statement, if they want it distributed in the room.
All persons addressing the Council as “A” status NHRIs or the ICC must be accredited as representing such institutions (see procedure above). Accredited NHRIs or the ICC 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 ICC. 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 23rd session of the Council may organize parallel events of relevance to the work of the Human Rights Council, taking into account 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 23rd session at
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. 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
email@example.com with copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject reference: 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. Zenaida Lugon email@example.com
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 decision to endorse the report of the Task Force to study the issues of secretariat services, accessibility for persons with disabilities and use of information technologies.
NOTE: This decision gives the opportunity to NHRIs with “A” status ICC accreditation to participate in the Human Rights Council sessions through video messages under any Human Rights Council agenda item plenary debate. 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 need to be addressed to the Human Rights Council Secretariat or the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms 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 focussed 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.
NHRIs are encouraged to include captioning on the video statement, and to consider including international sign language, to enhance participation of persons with disabilities. A transcript of the video statement must be submitted in order to facilitate interpretation.
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.264
- 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 pause 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-RECORD VIDEO MESSAGES together with their TRANSCRIPTS MUST BE UPLOADED BEFORE 17 MAY 2013 TO THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE:
NHRIs wishing to participate in the Human Rights Council session through video messaging need to send a request to Mr. Banuar Falcon (firstname.lastname@example.org). They will then receive a username and a password to upload their video message.
11. ICC REPRESENTATIVE IN GENEVA
For further information on the work and sessions of the HRC, NHRIs may also wish to contact the ICC Geneva Representative, Mr. Bruce Adamson (email@example.com).
NHRIs accredited by the ICC with “A” status that are not able to attend the session but would like the ICC Geneva representative to make a statement on their behalf should contact Mr. Bruce Adamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a copy to Ms. Cynthia Radert (email@example.com), Mr. Banuar Falcon (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ms. Sarah Pallesen, Assistant ICC Geneva Representative (email@example.com).
OHCHR - National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
For further information, please contact the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Mr. Vladlen Stefanov
Chief, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9377
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 928 9018
Ms. Cynthia Radert
Associate Human Rights Officer
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9122
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 928 9018
HRC Agenda Items
As per Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1 the agenda items are as follows:
Item 1. Organizational and procedural matters
Item 2. Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General
Item 3. Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development
Item 4. Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Item 5. Human rights bodies and mechanisms
Item 6. Universal Periodic Review
Item 7. Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
Item 8. Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action
Item 9. Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action
Item 10. Technical assistance and capacity-building
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 (nationalhuman rights institution of the State under review) and paragraph 28 (national human rights institution of the State concerned)”