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The United Nations' Human Rights Machinery: Developments And Challenges

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Chapter Summary

The main pillars of the United Nations human rights machinery are: the Secretariat; the human rights treaties and their monitoring bodies; the Human Rights Council (HRC); and the General Assembly. The small human rights division of the Secretariat was about to be transferred from the UN headquarters in New York to Geneva, a move that the then small non-governmental organisation (NGO) community and the tiny press corps interested in human rights tended to describe as further marginalisation of activities that were already attracting little interest. Today, the situation is fundamentally different from the one described under all the main pillars of the UN human rights system. This chapter describes some of the developments that have taken place and discusses some of the challenges that lay ahead. The debates on country situations and resolutions at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the HRC are characterised by allegations of double standards.

Keywords: commission on human rights (CHR); human rights council (HRC); human rights treaties; non-governmental organisation (NGO) community; secretariat; United Nations human rights machinery

10.1163/ej.9789004162365.i-728.14
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