THE Philippine Government will present today the Philippines’ achievements on human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva.
“The Philippines welcomes the forthcoming UPR session as an opportunity to highlight the country’s significant and sustained achievements in upholding, promoting and protecting the human rights of every Filipino through a whole-of-government approach and in partnership with all stakeholders,” stressed Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who co-leads the Philippine delegation to the UPR with Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
Cayetano said, “The Philippines has been a strong supporter of the UPR and the Philippines attaches utmost importance to the work of the Human Rights Council, especially as it contributes to building the capacity of States to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The Philippines and thirteen (13) other countries will comprise the first batch of countries in the UPR third cycle and will present during sessions in Geneva national reports on actions they have taken from 2012 onwards to improve the human rights situations in their respective countries and to overcome challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.
This UPR session will be a progressive step following the successful completion by the Philippines of the first and second cycles of the UPR process in 2008 and 2012. The Philippines was also on the first batch of countries on the 1st and 2nd cycle of the UPR.
Cayetano also said that the Philippines believes that the UPR mechanism of the Human Rights Council is a very useful tool for effecting real change on the ground, as it fosters genuine dialogue and cooperation through the sharing of best human rights practices and technical assistance to enhance the capacity of states to meet these commitments.
The UPR is a state-driven voluntary process that involves all UN Member States under the auspices of the HRC. It is aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN Member States. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 5 years. Forty-two States are reviewed each year during three Working Group sessions dedicated to 14 States each. The third cycle of the UPR will cover all UN Member States and run until 2021.
The Philippines was one of the first 47 members of the newly-created Human Rights Council in 2006. It is currently serving its 4th term in the Human Rights Council.