The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. It was created through the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the Human Rights Council itself. The UPR is a cooperative, State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council. It provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and explain how they have fulfilled their human rights obligations. The UPR is also designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.
The first cycle of UPRs took place between 2008 and 2011 and all 193 UN member States were reviewed. The second cycle is taking place between 2012 and 2016. China's second UPR took place on Tuesday 22 October 2013.
The UN published the following documents in advance of the UPR session:
30 July 2013 - NGO Compilation - a summary of 82 stakeholders' submissions to the UPR
7 August 2013 - UN Compilation - a summary of the information contained in the reports of treaty bodies and special procedures, including observations and comments by the State concerned, and of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and in other relevant official United Nations documents.
The UN also published the advance questions which some countries took the opportunity to submit. These were published in three separate documents. Part 1 contains the questions from Australia, Bangladesh, Cuba, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Slovenia, United Kingdom and United States of America. Part 2 contains the questions from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic and Myanmar. Part 3 contains the questions from Spain. The questions from Canada, Sweden and the United States of America included specific references to Tibet.
In the run up to the main session, we met with officials from the UK Foreign Office to discuss their approach and lobby for the inclusion of key Tibetan issues. We also wrote to over 50 other national governments, asking them to raise Tibet and briefing them on specific issues of concern.
During the main session on 22 October, Tibet was specifically mentioned by 11 countries. This is significantly better than the four countries that mentioned Tibet by name during China's first UPR. The countries which referenced Tibet were Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.