About the UPR & Role of NGOs

  • What is the Universal Periodic Review?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established when the Human Rights Council was created on 15 March 2006 by the UN General Assembly in resolution 60/251. The UPR is a process which involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. It provides an opportunity for all States to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights. The UPR also includes a sharing of best human rights practices around the globe. Currently, no other mechanism of this kind exists.

The UPR Cycle:



  • When will States have their human rights records reviewed by the UPR?

During the first cycle, all UN Member States have been reviewed, – with 48 States reviewed each year.  The reviews take place during the sessions of the UPR Working Group which meets three times a year. Libya's UPR review is on 13 May 2015. 

  • Who conducts the review?

The reviews are conducted by the UPR Working Group which consists of the 47 members of the Council; however any UN Member State can take part in the discussion/dialogue with the state under review. Each State review is facilitated by three States, known as “troikas”, who serve as rapporteurs. Libya's troika are Elsalvadore, South Africa and the Maldives. 

  • How are the reviews conducted?

Reviews take place through an interactive discussion between the State under review and other UN Member States which last for 3.5 hours. This takes place during a meeting of the UPR Working Group. During this discussion any UN Member State can pose questions, comments and/or make recommendations to the States under review. The troikas may group issues or questions to be shared with the State under review to ensure that the interactive dialogue takes place in a smooth and orderly manner. 

  • What is the outcome of the review?

Following the review by the Working Group, a report is prepared by the troika with the involvement of the State under review and assistance from the OHCHR. This report, referred to as the “outcome report”, provides a summary of the actual discussion. It therefore consists of the questions, comments and recommendations made by States to the country under review, as well as the responses by the reviewed State.


  • Can non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participate in the UPR process?

Yes. NGOs can participate in the following ways:

  • Submit information which can be added to the “other stakeholders” report which is considered during the review.
  • Participate in the UPR pre-session.
  • Attend the UPR Working Group sessions
  • Make statements at the regular session of the Human Rights Council when the outcome of the State reviews are considered.
  • Monitoring and advocacy.
  • Media campaigns to increase awareness! 






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