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Yearbook of the United Nations 2008

image of Yearbook of the United Nations 2008

With its comprehensive coverage of political and security matters, human rights issues, economic and social questions, legal issues, and institutional, administrative and budgetary matters, the Yearbook of the United Nations is the most authoritative reference work available on the activities and concerns of the Organization. Fully indexed, the Yearbook includes the texts of all major General Assembly, Security Council and Economic and Social Council resolutions and decisions. This latest volume, the sixty-second, highlights the attention given by the United Nations in 2008 to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Georgian province of Abkhazia, and the Sudan, along with the challenges posed by the global food security crisis, severe economic recession, climate change, natural disasters, piracy and terrorism.

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Promotion of human rights

Efforts to promote human rights were boosted in 2008 by several notable developments. The new machinery of the Human Rights Council, created in 2006, began working in earnest with the launch of the Universal Periodic Review mechanism (upr). Under upr, the Council examined the human rights record of 48 countries—the first step in reviewing the record of all Member States every four years. Several countries under review undertook firm commitments to better implement human rights, ratify human rights instruments and strengthen their cooperation with the Council’s special procedures. Moreover, the Advisory Committee, established to provide expertise to the Council, held its first session and submitted 13 recommendations, while the Council’s new complaint procedure, made up of the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations, addressed consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the world.

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