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Quiz on the Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council was established earlier this year and is replacing the Commission on Human Rights as the principal UN body in charge of monitoring and promoting human rights worldwide.

The Council just concluded its 3rd session in Geneva, Switzerland. During its first year, the new body is focusing on institution building: reviewing procedures of the Commission and setting up new mechanisms.

Take the quiz to learn more about the work of the Human Rights Council.


1. Why was the Commission on Human Rights abolished?

A: It had reached the end of its mandate
B: It was considered to be inefficient and too politicised
C: It was running at a high cost and members failed to pay their fees


2. Which major power opposed the creation of the Human Rights Council?

A: The United States
B: China
C: Russia


3. How many members does the Human Rights Council have?

A: 43
B: 47
C: 53


4. Which UN body does the Human Rights Council report to?

A: The UN General Assembly
B: The UN Security Council
C: The UN Economic and Social Council


5. How much power do NGOs have within the Human Rights Council?

A: They are not allowed to participate in debates
B: They are allowed in plenary sessions as observers
C: They are allowed to contribute to debates and Resolutions


6. What is the name of the main Group of child rights NGOs lobbying the Human Rights Council?

A: CRIN
B: The International Save the Children Alliance
C: The Subgroup for the Human Rights Council


7. What are the 'Special Procedures' of the Human Rights Council?

A: A new set of working methods designed during the creation of Council
B: Experts and Working Groups reporting to the Council
C: Emergency measures taken by the Council to tackle gross violations of human rights


8. What is the Universal Periodic Review?

A: A mechanism reviewing the human rights records of UN Member States periodically?
B: A yearly assessment of the performance of the Human Rights Council by the General Assembly?
C: The Human Rights Council elections system?


9. How many sessions has the Council had since its inception?

A: 3
B: 5
C: 6


10. In a recent message to the Human Rights Council, what did Secretary-General Kofi Annan ask Council members to do?

A: Accelerate negotiations on the establishment of its procedures
B: Focus on children's rights
C: Be more impartial