In this opinion piece, Anika John reflects on how the UPR has impacted how she views human rights issues in New Zealand. A short blog that reflects on her trip to Geneva, to observe New Zealand in the Universal Periodic Review in January of 2019.
In January 2019, New Zealand’s compliance with international human rights treaties and norms will once again come under scrutiny at the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Ahead of this five-yearly review by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, in October the New Zealand Human Rights Commission facilitated the first-ever in-country pre-sessions held in three locations around NZ.
This weekend we had a great time meeting our COP 19 delegates Natalie, Saskia, Lisa and Jerome for their Training Weekend at AUT Business School in Auckland.
The delegates were fortunate enough to hear from experts Jim Salinger, an Auckland-based climate scientist and author of the new book Living in a Warmer World, Barry Coates, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand, and Geoff Keey, Global Campaign Coordinator for Climate Action Network International, about the policy outcomes they should expect from the Conference.
Delegates also learned more about the logistics of the Conference, which will host 9,000 people in Warsaw over the course of two weeks, and about what to expect from the annual Conference of Youth which will take place in the final days before the negotiations commence.
Another highlight was Skyping fellow Kiwi youth from the New Zealand Youth Delegation (NZYD) at their training session in Wellington. NZYD sends a delegation of young New Zealanders to COP each year.
Our delegates will leave in exactly one week, after a morning briefing with the Government’s climate change negotiators on Monday.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Sarah Trotman and AUT Business School for allowing us to use the beautiful Sir Paul Reeves building for our training.