Our Publication on the United Nations Treaty Bodies Presented in New York

UN Headquarters in New York: a view of the UN headquarters complex, as seen from the Visitors’ Entrance UN Headquarters in New York: a view of the UN headquarters complex, as seen from the Visitors’ Entrance

On 29–30 May 2018, our Manager of Policy Studies, Felix Kirchmeier, presented our publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System in New York to the Chairpersons of United Nations (UN) treaty bodies (TBs), diplomats and civil society representatives.

‘It was important for us to present this publication in New York as it directly feeds into the upcoming review of UN TBs by the UN General Assembly’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier. ‘While Geneva is the place where delegations interact with UN TBs, New York is where TBs members are elected and where political decisions on the TBs system are taken’ he adds.

Presentation at the Annual Meeting of UN TBs Chairperons

Presentations in New York started with the annual meeting of Chairpersons of UN TBs . The discussion aimed at outlining the report’s main recommendations, notably on the structure of reporting and dialogue with state parties. It showed that the proposals entailed in the report build on TBs practice developed by the various TBs over the last years.

‘The report highlights that TBs have a large discretion over their own working methods, which means that they could already move towards a more aligned approach and a clustering of dialogues, without waiting for a new resolution from the General Assembly’ stresses Felix Kirchmeier.

Exchanges with Diplomats and Civil Society Representatives

At meeting hosted by the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Costa Rica to the UN in New York, more than 30 New York-based diplomats and civil society representatives discussed the main recommendations entailed in the report.

‘This report is an important contribution to the ongoing discussions in the context of the 2020 review, while the review itself provides an opportunity to secure a sustainable future for the TBs as a coherent and efficient system, with the committees as complementary and mutually reinforcing components’ stresses Ambassador Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York.

‘Participants welcomed the work of our Academic Platform on TB Review as well as our report and provided interesting feedbacks’ underlines Felix Kirchmeier. ‘They also recognized its contribution to the 2020 discussions’ he adds.

About the Publication

The publication Optimizing the UN Treaty Body System outlines a series of recommendations related to the functioning of UN treaty bodies TBs, considered a cornerstone of universal human rights protection. It provides detailed and innovative solutions for optimizing the system.

This work is the outcome of a three-year consultative process coordinated by the Geneva Academy – the Academic Platform on Treaty Body Review 2020 – to collect academic inputs and ideas for the 2020 review via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional consultations, annual and expert conferences, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders: states, treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other parts of the UN.

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