Padova model UPR, 2° edition, November 2019
The Master’s degree in Human Rights and Multi-level Governance at the University of Padova, with the support of the Department of Political Science, Law and International Studies and of the Human Rights Centre “A. Papisca” of the University of Padova,
is organising the
Padova Model UPR 2019, a UN Model (MUN) at the University of Padova
What’s a UN Model (MUN)?
A “Model United Nations”, or MUN, is a widespread type of academic projects in which well-prepared students replicate the diplomatic activities that take place within the UN bodies. Similar projects replicate other international organizations, such as the EU institutions or the ILO bodies. MUNs drive students to learn by engagement, rather than just by reading books.
What’s the UPR?
The “Universal Periodic Review” (UPR) is a unique procedure within the UN human rights machinery. It is a mechanism of the Human Rights Council based on dialogue and peer-to-peer cooperation among UN Member States. Any Country can address recommendations to the States under review, which can either support or “note” them, and must implement those accepted. The aim of this procedure is to keep track of all Member State actions and performances in the field of human rights and encourage Governments to improve the human rights situation in their Countries. UPR sessions are conducted three times a year in Geneva by the Human Rights Council Working Group, composed by the 47 Member States of the Council, with the participation of any other Member State of the UN and with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The output of the Working Group, consisting in a list of recommendations addressed by any States to the State under review, is then approved by the Council in a subsequent ordinary session. Over the UPR cycles, the procedure drives the States to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to prioritise their strategies for the fulfillment of human rights.
What’s the Padova Model UPR?
The Padova Model UPR consists of a simulation of the actual UPR procedure. The main phases include: the articulation and drafting of the State positions on human rights implementation, both domestically and vis-à-vis the others’ States performances; the interactive dialogue within the Human Rights Council Working Group; the adoption of the final UPR report on States under review and the comments of civil society organisations.
The Padova Model UPR offers master’s students and qualified undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in a non-formal education activity, which will provide them with an in-depth understanding of the UPR, supported by a team of peers and experts/officers from the OHCHR.
Teams must thoroughly analyse the human rights performance of the State they represent and of the other States included in the exercise. Teams set up their positions and play their roles in the simulation trying to reflect the political environment of the assigned State. Each team will therefore give a voice not only to the Government, but also to civil society actors and other relevant stakeholders including, as appropriate, National Human Rights Institutions.