So, You Want to be the Next High Commissioner? 2014

Day 2 - 22 July 2014

  1. After an intense Day 1, Day 2 of our training started with the morning recap and a UNA simulation game where participants were asked to devise advocacy strategies around three issues: anti-gay legislation, freedom of speech and asylum matters.
  2. Irene Martinetti, our Director of Programs, discussed the importance of strategies for NGO advocacy at the United Nations. She explained the definition of the consultative status at the UN Economical and Social Council (ECOSOC) and provided information on advocacy methods during Human Rights Council sessions – organizing side events, for instance.  

    Our first guest speaker, Mr. Kevin I. Koh, from the Human Rights Treaties Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, held a session on the Treaty Body System. 

  3. Mr. Koh gave an overview of the architecture of the UN system and ways to deal with current human rights accountability gaps for State and non-State actors. He particularly insisted on the work of UN institutions in strengthening enforcement and sanctioning mechanisms for human rights violations.

  4. Mr. Stee Asbjornsen, from the Special Procedures Branch of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, was next to speak. After explaining the function of the Special Procedures Branch in the Human Rights Council as well as the complaints mechanism, he gave feedback on his experience as a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education and shared success stories on the evolution of human rights.

  5. Finally, Aziel Philippos-Goulandris, our Education Officer, presented on the Universal Periodic Review by tracking down the origins of the UPR initiative and its goals.

  6. Naïs Mouret, our Program Assistant, introduced the UPR simulation role-play. Participants were presented the rules of procedure and UPR mechanisms. In order to review the fictitious "Arfuna" State, participants were divided into three groups: NGOs, States and Departments of State.

  7. The Arfuna national consultation process will be held tomorrow, as well as other exciting events. Stay tuned!
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