UPR Voluntary Funds
Established in 2007 by Human Rights Council resolution 6/17, and further strengthened in 2011 by resolution 16/21, the Voluntary Fund for Participation in the UPR (UPR VF for Participation) and the Voluntary Fund for Financial and Technical Assistance in the implementation of the UPR (UPR VF for Implementation) are complementary tools to support States throughout the UPR process. They facilitate greater engagement of States, particularly least developed countries and Small Island Developing States, in the UPR and support the implementation of UPR recommendations at national level.
Since its establishment, the UPR Voluntary Fund for Participation has effectively promoted greater inclusion in the UPR process bysupporting States in the preparation of their national reports and facilitating the travel of delegates from 112 countries to attend the Working Groups during which their country was reviewedand to the Human Rights Council plenary sessions during which the corresponding outcomewas adopted.During the same period, the UPR Voluntary Fund for Implementation has supported projects in 76 countriesin a number of thematic areas, including the implementation of priority UPR recommendations, the establishing of national mechanisms for implementation, reporting and follow-up and the strengthening of the United Nations country teams' capacity to integrate recommendations emanating from the UPR and other human rights mechanisms into national efforts aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Strengthening support to States in the 4th cycle of the UPR (2022-2027)
In 2022, in order to mark the 15th Anniversary of the UPR Voluntary Funds, two side events were held on the margins of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council and of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, in September and November respectively.
The events provided the opportunity for States representatives and other stakeholders to share concrete examples of the financial and technical assistance received to implement recommendations and build national capacities to address broader human rights issues. They also discussed progresses in integrating UPR recommendations with other relevant frameworks, including efforts to achieve the SDGs at the national level.
Finally, the events served as a forum to raise further awareness of tools available to States and other stakeholders to facilitate greater follow-up to and implementation of recommendations and emphasized the importance of strengthening the financial basis of the Voluntary Funds.
[…] the UPR system and the UPR Fund are two sides of the same coin. On one side, we have the recommendations that as States we accept, but on the other we need this cooperation, which for us is really, really important […]
Ambassador Christian Guillermet, Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs of Costa Rica
Upscaling UPR dedicated capacity in the regions - Resolution 51/30 on the strengthening of the Universal Periodic Review Voluntary Funds
In order to ensure that States receive adequate support during the 4th cycle of the UPR, in October 2022 the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 51/30 on “Strengthening the voluntary funds for the universal periodic review mechanism of the Human Rights Council”. The resolution, co-sponsored by 73 States, and adopted by consensus, acknowledged the significant and impactful support provided by the UPR Voluntary Funds to States; decided to convene, at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, a high-level panel discussion on the achievements, good practices and lessons learned in the implementation of the Funds; requested the Secretary-General to further strengthen the dedicated capacity of OHCHR to implement the Funds’ mandates, including by scaling up the dedicated capacity of the Universal Periodic Review Branch in each regional office; and encouraged all States to consider contributing to the UPR Voluntary Funds.
Following the approval of the corresponding budget by the General Assembly in December 2022, UPR dedicated focal points (11 P-4s from the Regular Budget) are to be deployed in every OHCHR regional office around the world. The UPR focal points will promptly and effectively respond to requests by States for assistance in connection with implementation of accepted UPR recommendations or with preparation of mid-term reports or the next cycle of the UPR. Generally, the focal point will assist countries to strengthen coordination mechanisms; develop action/implementation plans; facilitate integration with the SDGs and the UNSDCFs in close cooperation with the RC/UNCT and thus support UN engagement with the UPR, in line with the UPR Practical Guidance on Maximizing the use of the UPR at country level. UPR focal points will also provide comprehensive advisory services to UN Country Teams to promote a better alignment and integration of the recommendations from the UPR and other human rights mechanisms with Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals planning and programming, harnessing from good practices in the strategic use of the UPR to advance the SDGs.
Building from the 100 % participation of all States throughout 3 cycles, and having identified the need for additional resources to bridge the implementation gap, the UPR focal points will support a sustained and meaningful engagement with the UPR process for Member States and the UN System. They will provide guidance on programmatic action to achieve SDG implementation, by better linking SDG related processes, such as Voluntary National Reviews, with international and regional human rights standards, including through the use of the UPR VF for Implementation and other sources of support such as South-South Cooperation.
For information please contact: [email protected]