Expert Workshop on the Right to Participate in Public Affairs, took place on 18 May 2016 10.00 to 13.00 and 15.00 to 18.00, Geneva, Palais des Nations, Conference room VII

Concept note for the expert workshop: [Concept note]

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights organized an expert workshop on the right to participate in public affairs.

Methodology and programme

The workshop consisted of three sessions. After experts for each session have presented, States, civil society representatives and other stakeholders participating in the meeting participated in an interactive dialogue with the panellists. 

The topics for the sessions were as follows:

Session 1: The right to participate in public affairs and existing guidance

Intervention of Mr Olivier de Frouville, Member, UN Human Rights Committee

Session 2: Current challenges to the implementation of the right to participate in public affairs

Session 3: Innovations and trends on the right to participate in public affairs

Intervention of Mr Fernando Mendez, Centre for Research on Direct Democracy (C2D), University of Zurich

The programme of the expert workshop is now available. [Programme]

Participants and Logistical Arrangements

OHCHR invited States, relevant United Nations bodies, funds and programmes, intergovernmental organizations, treaty bodies, special procedures, regional human rights mechanisms, civil society organizations, academia, national human rights institutions and other relevant stakeholders to participate actively in the workshop.

All travel related-expenses, accommodation and insurances are the responsibility of the participant.

The workshop was held in all six official languages of the United Nations.

Outcome

OHCHR issued a summary report (A/HRC/33/25) on the workshop, which was presented to the thirty-third session of the Human Rights Council.

Background

In its resolution 30/9 on "Equal participation in political and public affairs”, the Human Rights Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to organize an expert workshop to discuss the existing guidance on the implementation of the right to participate in public affairs, with the aim of identifying possible gaps and making recommendations in this regard, as well as new developments, trends and innovations with respect to full, effective and equal participation in political and public affairs.

Resolutions

Reports

  • OHCHR report A/HRC/30/26 “Study on best practices, experiences and challenges and ways to overcome them with regard to the promotion, protection and implementation of the right to participate in public affairs in the context of the existing human rights law”
  • OHCHR report A/HRC/27/29 “Report on factors that impede equal political participation and steps to overcome those challenges”