- October 24, 2019

In two new public calls, NGOs are jointly calling on States to provide suitable funding to the UN treaty bodies, and proposing a model for enhanced predictability and coordination of treaty body reviews.

In a joint call to States endorsed by 42 organisations, signatories urged States to fulfil their respective obligations as set out in General Assembly resolution 68/268 and provide adequate funding to the treaty bodies so that they can function effectively in accordance with their mandates. UN member states must provide adequate resources for all aspects of the treaty bodies’ work, including the budgetary support that has not been provided since 2017. NGOs want to avoid a potentially risky scenario whereby new discussions at the General Assembly invite efforts to threaten the independence of treaty bodies and restrict their effectiveness.  

In a separate joint NGO proposal endorsed by 30 organisations, signatories are proposing that treaty bodies should enhance the predictability, regularity, and universality of States parties periodic reviews, with the introduction of a fixed calendar.

The Joint NGO Proposal suggests that treaty bodies could schedule their periodic reviews of States in a coordinated way, and introduce a two levels review cycle with regular full reviews in Geneva every eight years, followed by focused reviews on a limited number of priority recommendations, which could possibly take place in country or in the region. States parties would therefore be reviewed every four years, with full reviews followed by focused reviews.

The Proposal is the outcome of a process of civil society consultation, including with regional and national NGOs, initiated by TB-Net (the NGO network on UN human rights treaty bodies including IDA) and it builds on the model put forward by the treaty body Chairs. Its aim is to contribute to the discussions about strengthening the treaty body system, which has been under stress for some years now due to a heavy workload and decreasing resources. Both joint NGO calls reiterate the need for an open, transparent, and participatory process around the 2020 review that ensures the protection of rights-holders and the promotion of human rights on the ground.

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