In a note verbale, the United States (US) informed the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) on 20 of June 2018 that they have ‘resigned (their) membership in the Human Rights Council, effective at 1700 Eastern Daylight Time, June 19, 2018’ and that ‘the United States will not participate further in the June HRC session or future sessions and will not serve out the remainder of its term’. Upon receipt of the formal notification, the US ceased to be a member. As from that date onwards, they were considered an Observer State to the HRC.
In a debate, the Geneva Academy introduced a legal discussion on the US’ decision to leave the HRC. Experts and participants discussed the legal consequences of this withdrawal, its impact on the functioning and credibility of the HRC, as well as the extent will the decision affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review. They concluded that the US might come back any time through new elections, although the question about their human rights commitments remains open. They also underlined that US' engagement with other mechanisms like UN Special Procedures or the Universal Periodic Review remains open.
Panelists discussed the legal consequences of the US' withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council for the functioning and credibility of this major human rights body, and for the promotion and protection of human rights. They also addressed the extent to which this decision will affect US’ collaboration with UN Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Review, as well as the impact on the UN and multilateral diplomacy.
Last week, at our annual seminar held in the context of the Geneva Human Rights Platform and its focus on the use of force, participants discussed human rights challenges related to the use of less-lethal weapons and the development of new international standards.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.
The Geneva Academy is coordinating the academic input to the 2020 review of UN treaty bodies by the UN General Assembly via the creation of an academic network of independent researchers, a call for papers, a series of regional consultations, annual conferences in Geneva, as well as ongoing interactions with key stakeholders.
After having provided academic support to the negotiation of the UN Declaration during ten years, this research project focuses on the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.