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Civil society experts discuss Universal Periodic Review of Jordan

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 of 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 workshop for Jordanian civil society,is being held at the Grand East Hotel- Dead Sea.  The workshop was organised by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Amman and Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Info, Geneva, Switzerland.

Programme Manager at UPR Info Aoife Hegarty addressed the gathering during the opening session 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 explained.

Turning to UPS Info, Hegarty said it is a specialised NGO, whose role is to promote all human rights for everyone by strengthening multi-stakeholder 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, NHRIs, 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 Wednesday’s meeting is the first activity 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 was Government Coordinator for Human Rights Basil Tarawneh who told the gathering that the government of Jordan “is working closely with the local organisations to further strengthen the human rights concepts through”.

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

Tarawneh 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 institution 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 (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 United Nations (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.

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