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Press releases Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group May 2020 Session Postponed

20 March 2020

GENEVA, 20 March 2020 -- Given the current situation with the spread of COVID-19 and the emergency measures that have been taken by affected countries worldwide, including the host country, Switzerland, the Bureau of the Human Rights Council has decided that the 36th session of the Universal Periodic (UPR) Working Group, scheduled to take place from 4 to 15 May 2020, will be postponed to 2 to 13 November 2020 - the dates currently envisaged for the 37th session of the UPR.

"This decision is the most responsible course of action we can take under these unprecedented circumstances, and one which allows for the equal treatment of all States in the UPR process", stated Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council.  "States and civil society have invested a lot of time and energy into the human rights reviews that should have taken place in May.  We want to ensure they are able to engage constructively and in a safe environment to allow the best possible outcomes for the benefit of all rights holders in the 14 countries to be reviewed during this session", she added.

The 37th session of the UPR Working Group will thus be postponed to January 2021, to the dates currently envisaged for the 38th session of the UPR.  All subsequent sessions of the UPR will be postponed accordingly, meaning that the last UPR session of the 3rd cycle will take place in January 2022.

"Despite the postponement of the UPR session, and the suspension of the Council's 43rd regular session announced last week, our work at the Human Rights Council to address human rights abuses across the globe and the needs of the most vulnerable continues unabated", Ambassador Tichy-Fisslberger added.

Media contact:  Rolando Gómez, Media Officer, Human Rights Council Branch, OHCHR, [email protected] or +41 79 477 4411

For more information about the Universal Periodic Review, visit the UPR website