The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. It is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations. The process allows local Civil Society Organisations to participate through, among others, participating in the national consultations held by the State under review and sending information on the human rights situation in their country.
We have just completed a regional Human Rights training with specific focus on UPR which was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This training, which started on 27th January to 1st February 2014, was organized by Pax Romana ICMICA (through a close collaboration between MaCMICA, the national affiliated federation of Pax Romana in Madagascar, Pax Romana ICMICA Africa and the Pax Romana ICMICA international). We also received tremendous support from the Africa Regional and national office of IMCS. In attendance were over 10 CSOs involved in Human Rights work in Madagscar- with Pax Romana mainly playing a coordinating role. The training, attended by ‘who is who’ in Madagascar CSO circles, received media coverage on one of the national TV in Madagascar.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAPACITY BUILDING AND ADVOCACY TRAINING
Since the General Assembly (GA) of the UN established the Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006, one of the most important tools is the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which aims to have a universal scrutiny of all members of the UN on their human rights record.
Such mechanism provides an excellent opportunity of coordinated actions for the civil society and HR NGOs. The UPR has demonstrated that a cooperative framework can be used to debate human rights situations and that resolutions are not the only way in the Council to address human rights problems.