On 30 November, our office organized in partnership with the NHRI in Lebanon and UPR info, a Swiss NGO, a virtual pre-session on UPR for Lebanese CSOs and residing diplomats in the country. The objective of this pre-session is to connect CSOs in Lebanon with the diplomats and discuss key human rights issues in the country, two months ahead of Lebanon’s session for the UPR third cycle scheduled to take place on 18 Jan 2021.
Prior to the pre-session on 30 Nov, our office and partners had organized two sessions of technical capacity building for NHRI, NPM and local CSOs on how to better advocate for human rights issues through UPR and how to formulate statements for advocacy. The diplomats also received a training session on how to formulate SMART (Specific, Measurable, Applicable, Relevant and Timely) recommendations.
A total of 51 participants attended the pre-session on 30 Nov, including diplomats, NHRI and NPM members and representatives from local CSOs. NHRI and nine local CSOs were given the opportunity to record their statements on different categories of rights and present them to the diplomats during the pre-session today. Diplomats and CSOs had the room to directly interact around key human rights issues in Lebanon, especially the ones that emerged or were exacerbated by the port blast and the outbreak of covid-19. Participants discussed as well the impact of the financial and economic crisis on human rights and criticized the government approach in managing the crisis that is intensifying the negative impact of the crisis on most of the Lebanese and refugees populations in the country.