United States Participation in the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 15, 2009

The Department of State has created a new website in connection with our participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of each of the 192 UN Member States once every four years. The United States human rights record will be reviewed in December of next year based on a report that the U.S. government will submit as well as input from civil society organizations.

The website may be found at: 2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/upr

This website will facilitate communication between civil society and the United States government before, during, and after the preparation of the U.S. report to the UN Human Rights Council. An important feature of the website will be an inbox, through which the Department of State will invite ideas, comments and analysis from civil society on issues relating to human rights in the United States. As part of our outreach process, an inter-agency U.S. government team will be travelling to selected cities across the United States to engage directly with civil society including grassroots organizations, not-for-profits, and citizens groups. The email address and travel/consultation schedule will be listed on the website.

The Universal Periodic Review is a significant innovation of the Human Rights Council which ensures that no country is outside the Council’s scrutiny. It provides an opportunity for all states to describe actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to reflect on ongoing challenges to the enjoyment of human rights.

The United States Government has made a commitment to utilizing the UPR process to increase dialogue between the State Department and domestic groups concerning the human rights situation within the United States. The UPR will also provide the U.S. the opportunity to share with the world the challenges, the success stories and best practices of promoting and protecting human rights within our borders.

PRN: 2009/1286