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Lebanon: Importance of UPR submission hailed by 40 lawyers

Coming all the way from North Lebanon, 40 lawyers of the Tripoli Bar Association converged in Beirut on Tuesday 4 February to prepare for the submission of the civil society’s report to the upcoming third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session of November 2020.

The lawyers exchanged on recent human rights developments in Lebanon and highlighted the challenges ahead, in an event jointly organized by the Middle East and North Africa Regional Office of United Nations Human Rights, and the United Nations Development Program in Lebanon (UNDP), in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission for Human Rights.

The attendees were acquainted with the UPR process and its reporting modalities, in addition to the necessary skills needed to address the implementation of recommendations.

“This joint initiative plays a major role in helping us develop the performance of civil society and the specialized unions to follow up on the implementation of the recommendations of international human rights mechanisms,” said Roueida El Hage, U.N. Human Rights Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, insisting that, at the end, “we are all responsible for promoting and protecting human rights, and finding adequate solutions.”

Mohammad Mourad, President of the Tripoli Bar Association, praised the latter’s role in raising issues concerning the protection and strengthening of human rights “under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and legal profession.”

“Lawyers and judges play a fundamental role in facilitating access to justice, ensuring accountability of the state and upholding the rule of law. When the legal profession is not able to function independently or effectively, this gives rise to human rights violations, impunity and injustice,” Mourad said.

Lebanon participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva in 2015 and presented its report before the Human Rights Council (HRC) for the second time after year 2010. Lebanon received 147 recommendations in the first round, 100 of which were accepted, in addition to 257 recommendations in the second round, 139 of which were accepted.