Information note for National Human Rights Institutions


45th Session of the Human Rights Council, 14 September – 06 October 2020
Assembly Hall, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Documentation for the Session

Relevant documents and information, as well as reports submitted by Special Procedures mandate holders and the annotated agenda will be available on the Documentation page of this session.

Broadcasting the Session

Media and outreach tools

The meetings of the Council are broadcast live via UN webcast.
Updates during the session are also shared through the HRC Alert: SMS service (free subscription through the Extranet for mobiles registered in Switzerland only) and Twitter (@UN_HRC & #HRC45)

NHRI Participation

NHRIs with “A” status accreditation, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI – formerly known as the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights) and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs (speaking on behalf of its “A” status members) can:

  • make an oral statement under all substantive agenda items of the Human Rights Council1;
  • participate through video messages in the HRC plenary debates, including during the adoption of the outcome of the UPR of the country by the Council, the interactive dialogue following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedures mandate holder and panels or annual discussions;
  • submit documents, which will be issued with UN document symbol;
  • take separate seating in all sessions.

NOTE: According to paragraph 28 of Human Rights Council resolution 16/21 on the Review of the work and functioning of the Human Rights Council, the “A” status NHRI of the country concerned shall be entitled to intervene immediately after the country concerned during the interactive dialogue, following the presentation of a country mission report by a special procedure mandate holder and also immediately after the State under review at the adoption of the UPR report in plenary. Resolution 16/21 also grants “A” status NHRIs the right to nominate candidates as special procedures mandate holders (paragraph 22(a)).

Technical Specifications for DOCUMENTATION and WRITTEN SUBMISSIONS

Documentation and Written Statements should be uploaded by the submitting National Human Rights Institutions according to UN documentation rules onto the Written Statement Registration website which will be accessible until 8 September 2020.

NHRI Documentation

In accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, “A” status NHRIs are entitled to submit documentation at Council sessions. NHRIs may submit reports, policy papers, etc.

The documents:

  • should relate to a particular HRC agenda item;
  • will receive an official UN document symbol (e.g. A/HRC/../NI/...);
  • will not be edited;
  • will not be translated (should therefore be in Arabic, English, French or Spanish); and
  • should not exceed a reasonable number of pages (i.e. 20-30 pages maximum).

The deadline for submitting documents for the 45th session of the Human Rights Council is 8 September 2020.

Written Statements

“A” status NHRIs may submit written statements to the Human Rights Council. Statements should be no longer than 2,000 words and should be relevant to the Council's Programme of Work of the 45th session. Please refer to the Guidelines available on the HRC’s webpage for more information on the written statements.

Upload the written statements onto the Written Statements Registration website.

Please kindly note that the deadline for uploading of written statements for the 45th session of the Human Rights Council is 8 September 2020. The Secretariat will not be able to ensure the timely processing and circulation of statements submitted after the deadline.

Guidelines on how to use the online registration system for the Written submission in English - French

Accreditation to attend the Session

Accreditation of NHRIs shall be given to:

  • institutions which are accredited by GANHRI;
  • the GANHRI as the representative body of NHRIs globally; and
  • regional coordinating committees of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of “A” status institutions, in line with the strict criteria agreed upon by the GANHRI at its 19th annual general meeting in March 2007.

NHRIs that wish to accredit representatives to the 45th session of the Human Rights Council should:

  • register online
  • and upload the request on official letter head on the online platform (clearly state the title and the dates of the session the NHRI wishes to attend, e.g. “[Insert name of NHRI] wishes to send the following members to attend the [insert relevant session number] session of the Human Rights Council ([insert dates of session])…”; be signed by the President or main representative of the NHRI; indicate the first name and family name of the person(s) who will represent the NHRI at the Council session (NB: names must appear exactly as they appear on the person’s ID document and family names must be capitalized).

Additional information on the accreditation to the Council’ session.

Each member of a national institution delegation has to be individually registered online.

NHRI representatives should request their UNOG identity badge in person at the security entrance at Pregny Gate, 8-14, Avenue de la Paix, Geneva.(Open from Monday to Friday from 8.00 am to 17.00 pm non-stop, throughout the session)

Representatives must present:

  • an identity document, and
  • a copy of the “confirmation email” received upon accreditation and/or of the accreditation request letter

They will then be issued an appropriate photo-badge (designating participants as a National Human Rights Institution, the Global Alliance of National –Human Rights Institutions, or other coordinating committee of NHRIs, respectively) that will be valid for the duration of the Council session.

Oral Interventions

"A" status NHRIs, the GANHRI, and regional coordinating bodies of NHRIs, speaking on behalf of "A" status accredited members, may present oral interventions to the Human Rights Council.

NHRIs wishing to make an oral intervention are required:

  • to send a request to the GANHRI Geneva Representative, Ms. Katharina Rose ( A pre-inscription form (see Annex I) is available for this purpose.
  • to register and upload the oral statement on the Debate Registration platform.

Submission of oral statements may be done through the following link:

Please note that the same platform is used for:
- the submission of written statements;
- and for uploading the transcript of the oral statements (choose “debate registration”).

All persons addressing the Council as "A" status NHRIs or the GANHRI must be accredited as representing such institutions(see procedure above in paragraph 7). Accredited NHRIs or the GANHRI may have other NHRIs associate with their statements. In such a case, the statement should clearly identify the institutions on whose behalf the statement is presented.

Regional coordinating committees may present an oral statement, provided that they only speak on behalf of their member NHRIs that are in full conformity with the Paris Principles, evidenced by an “A” status accreditation with the GANHRI. At the beginning of the statement, the regional coordinating committee must state the names of the NHRIs on whose behalf they speak.

NHRI Parallel Events


Video Statements

At its 19th session, the Human Rights Council adopted a decision2 to endorse the report of the Task Force, including its recommendations, on secretariat services, accessibility for persons with disabilities and use of information technology.

NOTE: This decision gives the opportunity to NHRIs with “A” status GANHRI accreditation to participate in the Human Rights Council sessions through pre-recorded video messages in one of the six official languages of the United Nations, to be delivered to enhance their participation in the plenary debate under any Human Rights Council agenda item. Only the Head, Secretary General or their designated representative in possession of a written authorization may be entitled to deliver a video message.

The credentials of the NHRIs and the identity of individuals delivering the video message will be duly verified by OHCHR.

For all interventions through video messages a letter of request will have to be addressed to the Human Rights Council Secretariat or the National Institutions, Regional Mechanisms and Civil Society Section and comply with all the below requirements:

  • Letter submitted on official letterhead and signed by the head of the NHRI or the Secretary General;
  • Indication of the HRC session concerned, agenda item an specific segment of the programme of work in which the oral statement through video-messaging will be made;
  • Indication of the full name (FAMILY NAME, First name) and functional title of the person who will deliver the statement (name of the person must appear exactly as it appears in his/her passport or formal identity document) as a designated representative;
  • Colour copy of the person’s passport or of formal identity document.

Rules regarding the content and technical specifications

Oral statements delivered by video message are subject to the same rules as oral statements delivered in person. The video messages are subject to the same time limits as, and should mirror as closely as possible, the oral statements delivered in person. In particular, the following rules must be strictly observed:

  • The video statement must consist of a single shot of one individual delivering a statement, seated against a neutral, monochrome background;
  • The camera should be focused on the person’s face, and should not move during the shot;
  • No symbols, flags, banners or other images are permitted in the shot, either in the background or on the clothing of the person delivering the statement.

The video statement must include captioning. NHRIs are encouraged to consider including international sign language, to enhance participation of persons with disabilities. A transcript of the video statement must also be submitted in order to facilitate interpretation. In the absence of captioning and transcript, the video statement will not be admissible.

The transcript must be uploaded onto the Debate Registration platform. (cf. paragraph on Oral statements)

The minimum technical specifications for the video are as follows:

- video resolution min 640x480 max 1024x768, frame rate 30 fps
- audio resolution 44100 Hz, 16 bits, stereo

- video encoding WMV3 (Windows Media Video 9)
- audio encoding WMA2 (Windows Media Audio 2)

- video encoding H.274
- audio encoding MP3 or AAC

Delivery of the video statement

The video statement will be projected in the room under the same conditions as an oral statement delivered in the room.

The rules of procedure and practices of the Council apply in the same manner to video statements as to all other statements.

Whenever a point of order is raised during the projection of a video statement, the President of the Human Rights Council will interrupt the intervention and address the issue in accordance with the rules of procedure and practices of the Council. The President will then resume the projection of the video statement unless a second point of order is raised or the President considers that the message infringes the Council’s rules of procedure or practices, in which case the President may interrupt the projection of the video statement.

As the speaker will not be present in the room, a written communication recalling the applicable rules of procedure and practices of the Council shall then be forwarded to the organization concerned.

The transcript of the video message will be posted on the HRC extranet along with other oral statements.

NOTE: All pre-recorded video messages together must be uploaded before 10 September 2020. onto the video messages website on Extranet.

NHRIs wishing to participate in the Human Rights Council session through video messaging need to send a request to Ms. María Navarro Blanco ( will then receive a username and a password to upload their video message.

GANHRI Representative in Geneva

For further information on the work and sessions of the HRC, NHRIs may also contact the GANHRI Geneva Representative, Ms. Katharina Rose (, Tel + 41 (0) 22 917 16 74

NHRIs accredited by GANHRI with “A” status that are not able to attend the session but would like the GANHRI Geneva representative to make a statement on their behalf should contact Ms. Katharina Rose ( and copy Ms. Laia Evia (

Contacts - OHCHR

For further information, please contact the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (NIRMS) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. Vladlen Stefanov
Chief, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Tel: + 41 (0) 22 928 9377
Fax: + 41 (0) 22 928 9018

Ms. María Navarro Blanco
Individual Contractor, National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section


1. Please note that following the current health and safety instructions, issued by the Swiss authorities, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary travel abroad. Additionally, travelers entering Switzerland from countries and areas with a high risk of infection must go into quarantine ( Therefore, online participation is highly recommended.

2. A/HRC/DEC/19/119 (recommendation 46): “In the case of national human rights institutions compliant with the Paris Principles:
(a) Video messages may be pre-recorded in order to enhance participation in the plenary debates of the Human Rights Council, in particular in accordance with the provisions described in the annex to Council resolution 16/21, paragraph 13 (national human rights institution of the State under review) and paragraph 28 (national human rights institution of the State concerned)”.