UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW (UPR)
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique exercise in the United Nations human rights system, where the practice of human rights in each Member State will be reviewed. This process is presently anchored by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC).
As a founding member of the HRC, Malaysia had fully supported proposals for the establishment of a State-driven peer-review mechanism (which later evolved into the UPR) as a much preferred alternative compared to country-specific resolutions (CSRs) that often failed to enjoy consensus.
Undergoing the UPR exercise is an obligation for all UN member states. It is essentially a 3 ½ hour structured dialogue process between the State under Review (SuR) and other UN member states.
During this dialogue, other Member States can request for clarification on the issues discussed, offer their comments, and recommend steps to be taken to improve the situation of human rights of the SuR. After the conclusion of the dialogue, the SuR is given approximately 48 hours (2 working days) to indicate their position on the recommendations raised during the dialogue.
The UPR represents a collaborative and cooperative effort on the part of all UN member states to engage positively and constructively in a dialogue process to share knowledge, experience and best practices, as well as constraints and challenges faced in promoting and protecting human rights in their respective countries.
Malaysia underwent its first UPR in February 2009. At that time, the Government accepted outright 62 out of 103 recommendations addressed to it by various countries. Malaysia further clarified its position on a further 19 recommendations raised during the adoption of Malaysia’s UPR report in June 2009 and did not support 22 recommendations.
Malaysia underwent its second UPR in October 2013. Malaysia stated its position on the 232 recommendations it had received, where 150 recommendations were able to enjoy support, and the remaining 82 were not. Malaysia also delivered a statement to clarify the national position on human rights issues in the country, especially in relation to recommendations which did not enjoy the support of the Government.