Skip to main content

United Nations: Human Rights

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals she has for reform and strengthening of UN human rights mechanisms. (140078)

The UK continues to support reform of the UN’s human rights mechanisms, begun at the UN World summit in 2005. We worked actively for the establishment of the new UN Human Rights Council (HRC). We stood for election to the HRC last year to enable us to contribute to the Council’s early development to the fullest possible extent. That development is ongoing, with key decisions on the Council’s future shape and tools due in June this year. Throughout negotiations on these, we have consistently pushed for the strongest and most effective mechanisms possible. We believe that a balanced and fair system of universal periodic review, and the continued independence and autonomy of the Council’s special procedures, are particularly important. We have also encouraged innovative working methods at the Council, such as focused panel discussions. We continue to support efforts, including those of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to mainstream human rights throughout the UN system in order to enhance the UN’s human rights work overall. We also support efforts to improve the efficiency of the UN treaty monitoring bodies, and to increase ratifications and improve implementation of UN human rights treaties. The ultimate success of these reform efforts, however, inevitably lies with the UN membership as a whole.