States must act now to strengthen the UN’s human rights bodies
Thursday, 12 September 2013 19:28


Time is running out for States to take action to strengthen the UN treaty bodies. With the current General Assembly session coming to a close on September 16, NGOs have called on States to adopt a decision to conclude the process in December of this year.  This would allow the proposals debated in the context of the treaty body reform discussions that require budgetary action to be finalised in time for inclusion in the general budget for 2014-15. 



Joint NGO Open Letter to Member States of the UNGA re: Treaty Body Strengthening​, 12 September 2013


The end of the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly is fast approaching. States have an important opportunity to conclude the intergovernmental process on treaty body strengthening that was established in February 2012 through the adoption of resolution 66/254. The non-governmental organizations listed below call on all States to decide now to conclude the process in December 2013.


This is a key opportunity for States to take the necessary substantive and budgetary decisions to strengthen the system without further delay. States have debated some good proposals in the context of the intergovernmental process. Many of these will require budgetary action by the General Assembly and thus need to be finalised in time to be included in the general budget for 2014-15.


For years, the treaty bodies have faced many challenges in fulfilling their mandates, including through backlogs, insufficient meeting time, non-reporting and lack of implementation.  These challenges continue, with the High Commissioner for Human Rights describing the system as having reached its limits.


We therefore call on States to conclude the process by the end of the year so that those initiatives that enjoy broad support can be implemented to the benefit of the treaty bodies and rights holders everywhere.



Signatory organizations

  • Amnesty International
  • Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR)
  • Child Rights Connect
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW)
  • International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
  • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP)
  • Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI)
  • Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 19:45
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