In the framework of the Inter-University Cooperation Project Lao-Luxembourg, the University of Luxembourg organised a special online lecture on the Universal Periodic Review Process (UPR) on the 11th of May 2022. We had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Seán O’Connell, the Head of Governance of the United Nation Development Programme in Lao PDR (UNDP Lao PDR). Previously Seán was the Human Rights and Rule of Law Officer with UNDP Viet Nam, working on international human rights reporting mechanisms and business and human rights.
The speaker introduced the participants to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is undertaken by the UN Human Rights Council and involves a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States. It allows States to assess each other and report what actions they have done to improve the human rights situation in their country (see for more details: https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/upr/basic-facts).
Mr. O’Connell explained the three steps of the review process. There is first a “pre-review”, based on information provided by the State under review (national report), on UN reports and on information from other UN members institutions and civil society. The second step is the review which consists in an interactive discussion between the State under review and other UN Member States, where recommendations can either be accepted or noted. The third step is the post-review where monitoring of the implementation of the recommendation takes place.
The presentation also gave some examples of good recommendations from States taking part in the UPR.
At the end of the session, Mr. O’Connell ran a Kahoot quiz to test the students’ knowledge. Students actively engaged in the quiz as well as in the Q & A session.
The lecture was attended via Zoom by 73 participants, including students of the FLP, as well as Human rights lecturers and academic staff from the Faculty of Law and Political Science.
On the UPR in Lao language, see: http://www.mofa.gov.la/images/legal-documents/upr.pdf