Joint open NGO letter on the functioning of the UN Treaty Bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the work of the Treaty Bodies, with the postponement, cancellation and scaling-down of nearly all sessions scheduled for 2020. Since July 2020, most of the Treaty Bodies have met virtually and limited their activities, rescheduling all the reviews of states parties planned. The effects of the pandemic have been exacerbated by the financial crisis that the OHCHR and the UN are undergoing. This is an unprecedented situation which requires exceptional efforts from all stakeholders to overcome it. In this letter, 522 civil society organisations address the functioning of the UN Treaty Bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic and urge the Treaty Bodies and their Secretariats to schedule States reviews no later than 2021 and to prioritise resources and tools for this.