Preserving the Integrity of the Universal Periodic Review: The Case of Israel’s Non-Cooperation

On January 29, 2013, the State of Israel was scheduled
to undergo its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR), but the Israeli Mission
to the UN did not present its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council
(HRC), or attend the designated session.

 Other States made statements regarding this
unprecedented occurrence. Many shared the concern that by breaking the pattern
of cooperation, Israel has opened the door to non-cooperation by others.
All States
present expressed enormous respect for the UPR, but disagreed about how to
respond to the situation in order to preserve the universality and integrity of
the mechanism, and thus, its unique role in promoting human rights.


HRC President, Mr. Remigiusz Henczel, distributed
a draft decision proposing a way forward in the case of Israel, and as a
precedent for any future instances of non-cooperation.   The proposal called for the President to engage
with Israel and urge it to resume its cooperation.  If he succeeds, its UPR will be rescheduled
for 2013.


As the meeting concluded, the resolution passed by
consensus. Many States and observers hope that the on-going formation of a new
Israeli government will lead to re-engagement with the HRC.