IRRC No. 304

A comparison of self-evaluating state reporting systems

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ABSTRACTA self-evaluating state reporting system is a method for implementing international agreements. A self-evaluating state report provides information on the operation and implementation of a treaty regime. Self-evaluating means that a state monitors its own execution of an international agreement in its territory. The information may be submitted to an international institution with a supervisory role or to a technical secretariat.The key tasks of a supervisory international organization are: collecting information and data, receiving reports on treaty implementation by States, facilitating independent monitoring and inspection, and acting as a forum for reviewing the performance of states or the negotiation of further measures and regulations. Such bodies may acquire law-enforcement and law-making functions.This report describes the self-evaluating state reporting systems of the United Nations human rights conventions, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the disarmament treaties and the environment treaties.There are several characteristics of determining importance for the functioning of a reporting system. In short, these are: the sensitivity of the subject of a treaty; the economic value of the subject; the specificity of the subject; the popularity of the subject in the media; secretarial support; the flexibility of the reporting procedure; a permanent body to which to report; the quality and efficient functioning of the supervisory body; follow-up; admission to an international instrument and the existence of a national monitoring body or procedure.It should be noted that the allocation of sufficient human and financial resources will be essential to the effectiveness of a reporting system.

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