DOHA: (QNA: 7/3/2009): A training course on the UN Human Rights Council and universal periodic review kicked off in Doha Four Seasons Hotel today.
The three-day course, organized by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), aims to introduce the participants to the nature of the Human Rights Council’s work and its specialties, as well as the universal periodic review.
The course was opened by the NHRC’s Assistant Secretary General Sultan al-Jamal.The three-day event is being attended by more than 20 legal researchers representing ministries, the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking and Qatar Foundation for Protecting Women and Child.
The key speakers in the workshop are Mohamed Jadallah, legal advisor at NHRC, Dr Ibrahim Badawi, legal advisor to the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ahmad Fuad, legal expert at NHRC.
Jadallah explained that the Human Rights Council was an inter-governmental body within the UN system with members from 47 states responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The council was created by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006 with the main purpose of addressing incidents of human rights violations and making recommendations on them.
The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights record of all 192 UN member states once every four years. The UPR is a state-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each state to declare what action it has taken to improve the human rights situation in its territory and to fulfill its human rights obligations. As one of the main features of the council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when its human rights situation is assessed.
On September 21, 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted a calendar detailing the order in which the 192 UN member states will be considered during the first four-year cycle of the UPR (2008-2011).
Qatar’s human rights record is scheduled to be reviewed in 2010.
The workshop will shed light on the procedures followed in compiling a national human rights report, the agencies that participate in monitoring the rights record and the review process during the UPR.
The reviews are based on information provided by the state under review, which can take the form of a ‘national report’, information contained in the reports of independent human rights groups and information from other stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations and national human rights institutions.