The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Middle East and North Africa (OHCHR-MENA) inaugurated today a discussion forum for the members of the national mechanism for reporting and follow up (NMRF) in preparation for the submission of Lebanon to the third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review in 2020. The forum was inaugurated with the participation of Mr. Gianni Magazzenni, Chief, UPR Branch, Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division, OHCHR Geneva via skype and with the presence of H.E Ambassador Caroline Ziade, Director of International Organizations, Conferences and Cultural relations, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lebanon and the Regional Representative of the United Nations Human Rights for the MENA Region Ms. Roueida El Hage. The forum will be conducted for two days Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 April 2019 building on the technical capacities of the NMRF members in drafting Lebanon’s UPR national report.
The methodology applied in the forum will involve overview of best practices from the world and the region, work group on the key functions of the NMRF in collecting, validating and analysing data, interacting with national and local stakeholders including civil society organizations and a practical simulation on the UPR session. “The goal of this forum is to assist Lebanon in achieving tangible results and attain the highest possible standard of reporting. We aim to build on the existing technical capacities of NMRF members to create a straightforward plan for the drafting of the third national report for Lebanon”, Ms. Roueida El Hage, United Nations Human Rights Regional Representative. Mr. Gianni Magazzenni stressed the importance for the international community to look closely at how the UPR mechanism of the Human Rights Council can contribute to addressing root causes of human rights violations while at the same time supporting stronger national human rights protection systems.
For her part, Ambassador Caroline Ziade said:” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs highly values the opportunity of this forum as another demonstration of the cooperation between the United Nations agencies and Lebanon. It is also an occasion to bolster the capacities of the members of the National Mechanism for Reporting and Following-up (NMRF) ahead of so many milestones, the UPR being one of them. This forum is an additional step in the right direction toward strengthening the transparency of the Lebanese process”.
In November 2015, Lebanon submitted its report for the second cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). In March 2016, Lebanon accepted 128 out of 219 UPR recommendations. Among the accepted recommendations was the establishment of key human rights structures such as the national mechanism for reporting and follow up (NMRF) established under the Prime Minister’s Office in May 2018. With the assistance of OHCHR, the NMRF acquired the technical know-how related to the reporting process to the international human rights mechanisms, including treaty bodies and UPR. As a result, by the end of 2018, Lebanon’s timely submissions to Treaty Bodies has extensively improved.