United States at the UN Human Rights Council #USatHRC

One of 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the U.S. is serving its third three-year term beginning this year, after a hiatus in 2016. The ​​​​​​​​​​34th session of the UNHRC will commence next week and run from 27 February to 24 March in Geneva, Switzerland. As of writing, the new U.S. administration has yet to nominate its ambassador to the UNHRC.

UNHRC member and observers states meet three times a year (in addition to any emergency sessions) to debate and take actions on thematic and country situations, and to consider reports by the UN Secretary-General, High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Council’s independent human rights experts (known as the special procedures). They will also consider and adopt the outcomes for countries who have recently undergone a peer review process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Under the new U.S. administration, uncertainties reign over its international human rights policy. This #USatHRC series attempts to contribute, without being exhaustive, to the on-going international attention and debate in this regard, with a focus on U.S. action (or inaction) at the UNHRC level.


What is the UNHRC:

Homepage of the U.S. Delegation to the UNHRC: http://geneva.usmission.gov/us-hrc/

U.S. voting records at the UNHRC (2009–2015): http://www.right-docs.org/state/us/

Council on Foreign Relations Discussion Paper: “Bolstering the UN Human Rights Council’s Effectiveness,” January 2017: http://www.cfr.org/human-rights/bolstering-un-human-rights-councils-effectiveness/p38621

Session program/calendar: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session34/Pages/34RegularSession.aspx

List of reports to be considered during the session: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session34/Pages/ListReports.aspx

Live webcast: http://webtv.un.org

Current UNHRC Members: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/CurrentMembers.aspx

Social media hashtag: #HRC34, #USatHRC