Applying Insights from the UPR Process to Improve Reporting on SDG 16

Merle Jasper
Merle Jasper

SDG16 seeks to promote peaceful, just and inclusive societies. In reporting on their progress in achieving this aim, states are encouraged to conduct regular reviews, which are country-led and country-driven. While the 2030 Agenda calls for these reviews to be inclusive and draw on contributions from civil society, they are ultimately voluntary and entirely state-led, hence the title of “Voluntary National Reviews” (VNRs). Unfortunately, they are often not inclusive, and an incomplete picture is presented in many VNRs. 
Civil society organisations (CSOs) are one of the most prominent oversight actors on the reporting processes of states’ commitments to SDG16 and the 2030 Agenda. Nonetheless, the level of influence CSOs have in reporting on SDGs is limited and dependent on the engagement by states. This lack of involvement of CSOs has a serious impact on the quality of reporting and the achievement of the SDGs, and much could be learned from other global human-centred initiatives. Geneva Peace Week provides an opening to break down barriers between sectors, and learn from another prominent field: human rights. The Human Rights Council (HRC) and its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process shares many objectives with the 2030 Agenda, and can offer lessons to those working on the SDGs and VNRs. 
The UPR is a mechanism of the HRC aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation in every state is reviewed every 4.5 years in Geneva. The UPR is unique for its broad participation and for its inclusive nature; the UPR permits civil society to advocate and to take part in implementation of human rights obligations. Amplifying the engagement of CSOs in the reporting processes will improve the quality, inclusivity, accountability and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. 

Please join us for a roundtable discussion in partnership with the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) and UPR Info at the Geneva Peace Week 2021 on ‘Applying Insights from the UPR Process to Improve Reporting on SDG16’ on Tuesday, November 2nd from 13:30 to 15:00 (Geneva)/ 8:30 to 10:00 (New York). 

This event will draw on the lessons of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process and evaluate how they could be applied to the SDGs, as well as potential lessons to be drawn from the SDGs to be applied to the UPR. Recognizing SDG16’s enabling effect for achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and realizing human rights, this discussion is particularly relevant to human rights and development actors. This event is a continuation of the HRC intersessional meetings for dialogue and cooperation on human rights and the 2030 Agenda. It will also contribute to bridging the Geneva-New York gap. 
This event will function as a roundtable discussion. Approximately 20 experts working on human rights and/or sustainable development will be invited to share their experiences with reporting through these two UN mechanisms in the form of a moderated discussion. For this reason, there will be no designated speakers, but rather all experts will have an equal opportunity to contribute to the conversation. 
Space at the table will be limited to 20 persons to allow for more fluid discussion. However, there will be no limit on space for those who want to listen to and watch this roundtable discussion. By registering for this event, you will be able to listen, watch, and participate via the chat feature in Zoom. 


To register for this virtual event, click here