In 2006, the General Assembly of the UN, as part of the programme of reform of the UN, replaced the UN Human Rights Commission with a newly-created Human Rights Council (HRC). The Kingdom of Bahrain was fully supportive of this reform and was successfully elected to membership in the inaugural election of the HRC in May 2006 and successfully re-elected on May 21st 2008. Since then, the Kingdom of Bahrain has sought to cooperate with the Council in efforts to establish itself as a credible and effective mechanism for international dialogue and cooperation on human rights, helping member states meet their human rights obligations through dialogue, capacity building and technical assistance.
In late 2007 by system of draw, Bahrain was the very first country to undergo the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which took place on April 7, 2008. The UPR is the main mechanism for reviewing each and every member state of the United Nations with regard to the fulfillment by each State of its human rights obligations and commitments.
The Kingdom of Bahrain prepared its UPR Report for submission by the deadline of February 25, 2008 adopting a transparent, inclusive and participatory approach involving a media campaign and culminating in a National Stakeholders Consultation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) was responsible for preparing the Report and requested the support of UNDP. Since December 2007, UNDP has provided support to MoFA to support Bahrain’s UPR process. Bahrain views the UPR not as an event, but as a process comprising several activities and events, over consecutive four-year timeframes. The General Assembly Resolution creating the HRC and the UPR stresses that the UPR should be “with the full involvement of the country concerned”.