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Rights activists discuss Jordan Universal Periodic Review at Dead Sea

By Rana Husseini - Feb 08,2018 - Last updated at Feb 08,2018

DEAD SEA — Local and international human rights activists and experts met on Wednesday to discuss the preparations for Jordan’s Universal Periodic Review 2018 that will be presented in Geneva later this year.

The two-day technical workshop on the 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Jordan-UPR submission for Jordanian civil society was held at the Dead Sea. The workshop was organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Amman and UPR Info, Geneva, Switzerland.

During the opening session, Programme Manager at UPR Info Aoife Hegarty addressed the gathering saying that the work of FES and UPR Info is “to put dialogue and cooperation at the forefront of all its activities”. 

“We aim to be the facilitator and the partner who is ready to support national efforts with technical expertise on the UPR, as well as sharing best practices that we have learnt with over a decade of experience in this area,” Hegarty said.

Turning to UPS Info, Hegarty said it is a “specialised” NGO, whose role is to promote all human rights for everyone by strengthening multistakeholder engagement in the UPR process.

The focus of the organisation, according to Hegarty, is to work with all UPR actors, including the government, civil society, journalists, national human rights institutions, parliamentarians and international organisations. 

“A defining feature of our engagement with partners is that we do not seek to impose any pre-set agenda on national voices,” Hegarty stressed.

FES Director Tim Petschulat said on Wednesday’s meeting was the first effort to present a national platform where all relevant stakeholders, coalitions and NGOs are gathering to draw the roadmap for the submission of the UPR stakeholders’ report.

“It is quite a demanding undertaking but I am confident that with all stakeholders on board and with all the good preparation from various individuals, it has an excellent chance to achieve its goal,” Petschulat told the gathering.  

Also speaking during the opening session, Government Coordinator for Human Rights Basil Tarawneh told the gathering that the government of Jordan “is working closely with the local organisations to further strengthen the human rights concepts”.

“The government, through my office, is always extending its hand to local and international organisations to address any human rights concern, draft comprehensive human rights policies, and also to draft Jordan’s reports to be presented at international conventions,” Tarawneh said.

He added that he looks forward to the outcome of the meeting that “will hopefully beef up the Kingdom’s UPR report”.

The participants, including stakeholders, civil society organisations, local coalitions, national human rights institutions and international bodies, are expected to come up with recommendations and policies to be included in Jordan’s UPR report.

UPR Info is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground in each of the 193 UN member states, according to its website.

Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN member states is reviewed every five years. Forty-two states are reviewed each year during three working group sessions dedicated to 14 states each. These three sessions are usually held in January/February, May/June and October/November.

The result of each review is reflected in the final report of the working group, which lists the recommendations the state under review will have to implement before the next review.

 

Meanwhile, FES, a German non-profit organisation, is committed to the values of social democracy and promoting and empowering democratic institutions by working towards strengthening human rights and social justice, contributing to international dialogue.

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