Australia’s Multilateral Initiatives

Human Rights Council

The Australian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva represents Australia's interests in the Human Rights Council. The Council was created in March 2006 to replace the former Commission on Human Rights as the United Nations' pre-eminent human rights body and Australia has been an active participant as a non-member of the Council at all sessions.

Australia has announced its candidacy for election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term. This is the first time Australia has sought membership of the Council and reflects our strong commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. Australia’s latest statements to the Human Rights Council are available from the Australian Mission's Statements page.

Australia's Universal Periodic Review

The Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States once every four-to-five years.

Australia's National Report for Universal Periodic Review was lodged with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in October 2010 and reviewed during the Tenth UPR Session in January 2011. Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy, then Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, led the Australian delegation to the Human Rights Council.

Australia’s National Report, statements from the interactive dialogue before the Human Rights Council and Australia’s response to the UPR recommendations are available from the Attorney-General’s Department. The next review is scheduled for 2015.

Social, Humanitarian Cultural Affairs Committee (Third Committee)

The Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York works to advance Australia's human rights priorities, primarily through the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. Australia’s latest statements from the New York Mission are available from the Australian Mission’s Statements page.

Last Updated: 1 October 2014