Universal Periodic Review

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The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. 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 actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

Latest news


Latest press releases related to the UPR

Repository of UN good practices on how the UPR supports sustainable development

“As the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review process draws to a close – maintaining 100% participation by States in the reviews, with the involvement of all branches of the Government at the highest level - we see great merit in launching this Repository of UN good practices on how the Universal Periodic Review process supports sustainable development. As a living document, the Repository captures how the UPR has been able to advance the promotion and protection of human rights and to secure greater compliance, in law and in practice, with international human rights norms or with commitments made by States in UN and regional human rights mechanisms, in all regions of the world.

Captured from over 60 experiences shared from across the UN system, key findings show that UNCTs and UN entities in all regions are supporting governments to engage throughout the UPR process and integrating the UPR into UN programming and planning in line with their specific mandates. UPR recommendations are increasingly integrated and aligned in UN efforts at achieving the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the UPR has been essential to support dialogues and advocacy efforts by UNCTs and UN entities, as a practical problem-solving tool to address sensitive and priority development challenges, leading to concrete results.

The predictability of the UPR, with the calendar set well in advance, over a period of 4.5 years,  the sovereign decisions made by States in front of their peers, the information provided by the UN and other stakeholders for the reviews and the tools developed as a result of the Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights – especially the UPR Practical Guidance, [العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español]  have encouraged greater coordination, implementation and follow-up action within the structures of the State. They have also increasingly engendered the pro-active participation of local and regional governments, national human rights institutions and civil society, before, during, and after the reviews.

With the fourth cycle of the UPR commencing in November 2022, and with a focus on enhanced implementation of recommendations received and accepted by the State, the role of Resident Coordinators and the entire UN System becomes even more relevant in maximizing the use of this human rights mechanism as an entry point for national policies and action on human rights. We encourage colleagues across the UN system to take inspiration from this initial set of concrete, positive, national experiences”. (Foreword signed by OHCHR, UNDP and DCO)

Human Rights Council President on end of UPR 3rd cycle

Federico Villegas President of the Human Rights Council Federico Villegas stated at the closing of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review Working Group on 11 February 2022:

“With today’s adoption, we are concluding the last session under the 3rd cycle. The 100 % participation of the States under review throughout the 3rd cycle, their high-level and diverse attendance, including members of governments, parliaments, and judiciary, demonstrated once again the interest that the Universal Periodic Review generates in the international community, and the importance of this process at the national level.

The consultation and participation of other stakeholders in the UPR process has been fundamental during this cycle too, and I would like to highlight in particular the contribution of: National Human Rights Institutions, NGOs, Regional Human Rights Mechanisms, Special Procedure Mandate-Holders, Human Rights Treaty Bodies, Fact Finding Missions/Commissions of Inquiry, UN country teams, and OHCHR Field Presences.

As the 3rd cycle concludes, it is essential that States and all other stakeholders analyse the implementation of UPR recommendations under the three cycles and their impact on the ground.

The 4th cycle will be an opportunity to take stock of the developments during the previous reviews, and to renew efforts towards enhanced implementation of recommendations.

The Secretary-General’s Call to Action for Human Rights and Our Common Agenda of 2021 refer to the UPR mechanism as key to advance the SDGs with human rights at their core.

A UPR Practical Guidance developed by OHCHR for Heads of UN Missions worldwide will be able to maximize the use of this HRC mechanism for engagement on human rights at country level.

This allows OHCHR and the UN system to better support States in their efforts to implement human rights recommendations, while strengthening national human rights protection systems and conformity of laws and practices with international standards.

Doing so systematically – especially as we move towards the 4th cycle - will go a long way to advance prevention and the success and sustainability of the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.”

UPR Practical Guidance
In launching the Call to Action for Human Rights, on 24 February 2020, at the opening of the 43th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN Secretary-General stated that “new practical guidance to every UN country leader around the world to strengthen our platforms of cooperation to address human rights challenges utilizing the power and potential of the Universal Periodic Review” would soon be issued.  A UPR Practical Guidance, [العربية | 中文 | English | Français | Русский | Español] prepared by OHCHR, in consultation with the entire UN system, was finalised on 18 August 2020 and aims at providing advice on how UN entities at country level can engage in the UPR process to support progress by Member States on human rights and the SDGs, as well as on the prevention and sustaining peace agendas.

UPR - Tips for engagement at country level for NHRIs and NGOs
(Español)

UPR - UPR Tips for Members of Parliament
(Français | Español)

Meetings and events

UPR Webcast

40th session (24 January-11 February 2022)

HRC 49
Item 6 UPR adoptions (23-24 March 2022)

HRC 50
Item 6 UPR adoptions (June/July 2022)

Highlights

Third UPR cycle

3rd cycle

The third UPR cycle started on 1 May 2017.

See relevant third cycle documents, including:

  • the calendar of reviews;
  • country-related reports;
  • letters by the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Foreign Ministers; and
  • webcast videos.

UPR infographics

UPR Timeline
UPR Pre-session documentation
UPR Review Process
UPR Timeline
UPR Review Process
UPR Pre- and Post-Review Session Documentation

Contact information

Further information may be sought at the following address:

For States:

For Stakeholders:

For UPR Secretariat:

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