Skip to main content

UN good practices: How the UPR supports sustainable development

As the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review process has drawn to a close – maintaining 100% participation by States in the reviews, with the involvement of all branches of the Government at the highest level - we see great merit in launching this Repository of UN good practices on how the Universal Periodic Review process supports sustainable development.

As a living document, the Repository captures how the UPR has been able to advance the promotion and protection of human rights and to secure greater compliance, in law and in practice, with international human rights norms or with commitments made by States in UN and regional human rights mechanisms, in all regions of the world.

Over 60 experiences from across the UN system

Captured from over 60 experiences shared from across the UN system, key findings show that UNCTs and UN entities in all regions are supporting governments to engage throughout the UPR process and integrating the UPR into UN programming and planning in line with their specific mandates.

UPR recommendations are increasingly integrated and aligned in UN efforts at achieving the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. The UPR has been essential to support dialogues and advocacy efforts by UNCTs and UN entities, as a practical problem-solving tool to address sensitive and priority development challenges, leading to concrete results.

Several aspects of the UPR have encouraged greater coordination, implementation and follow-up action within the structures of the State. Those include:

  • The predictability of the UPR, with the calendar set well in advance, for a period of 4.5 years;
  • The sovereign decisions made by States in front of their peers
  • The information provided by the UN and other stakeholders for the reviews
  • The tools developed as a result of the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights – especially the UPR Practical Guidance [العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español]

These aspects have also increasingly engendered the pro-active participation of local and regional governments, national human rights institutions and civil society, before, during, and after the reviews.

Role of UN system key as UPR 4th cycle focuses on implementation

The fourth cycle of the UPR focuses on enhanced implementation of recommendations received and accepted by the State. The role of Resident Coordinators and the entire UN System therefore becomes even more relevant in maximizing the use of this human rights mechanism as an entry point for national policies and action on human rights. We encourage colleagues across the UN system to take inspiration from this initial set of concrete, positive, national experiences.

(Foreword signed by OHCHR, UNDP and DCO)

Some UPR Good practices:

UPR good stories:

Padua UPR Model: