Search Results

The universal protection of human rights remains the core challenge of the United Nations if it is to achieve its mission of a world of peace, development and justice. Yet, at a time of seismic changes in the world, when shocking violations of human rights are taking place world-wide, the UN human rights system is in need of urgent modernization. This book, written by a foremost scholar-practitioner who previously exercised the functions of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, advances a series of ideas to modernize the UN protection system. Among a dozen key proposals are that the UN human rights system should help alleviate the plight of the poorest, pay greater attention to the national protection system of each country, and establish a World Court on Human Rights that can deal with countries which grievously violate human rights. Unlike other texts that have focused on those topics, this book not only provides comprehensive analysis but, crucially, offers practical and workable solutions based on the author's significant expertise and experience. Scholars, practitioners, and students of international human rights will benefit immensely from its analysis, insights, perspectives, and proposals. It is a salutary contribution on the 75th anniversary of the UN (2020).
This book is a study of the future of international law as well as the future of the United Nations. It is the first study ever bringing together the laws, policies and practices of the UN for the protection of the earth, the oceans, outer space, human rights, victims of armed conflicts and of humanitarian emergencies, the poor, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged world-wide. It reviews unprecedented dangers and challenges facing humanity such as climate change and weapons of mass destruction, and argues that the international law of the future must become an international law of security and of protection. It submits that the concept of international security in the UN Charter can no longer be restricted to situations of armed conflict but must be given its natural meaning: whatever threatens the security of humanity. It calls for the Security Council to perform its role as the guardian of the security of humankind and sees a leadership role for the UN Secretary-General in analysing and presenting challenges of international security and protection to the Security Council for its attention.
Written by a seasoned scholar / practitioner of international law and the United Nations, who has served in key policy, peacemaking, peacekeeping and human rights positions in the United Nations, this book offers indispensable new vistas of international law and policy, and the future role of the United Nations.
This volume constitutes a valuable and unique history of the United Nations human rights programme and its secretariat. It offers interpretations of the history of the programme and its secretariat against the background of historical currents such as the Cold War, colonialism and decolonisation, and covers the seminal period during which the programme moved decisively towards human rights fact-finding and the denunciation of violations of human rights, which took place in the latter part of the 1970s and the 1980s. The author was a central player in this period, having served as the Special Assistant to three Directors of the Human Rights Division, and so provides historical materials that only he is aware of, having been at the heart of the action. He also provides snapshots of United Nations human rights leaders from the beginning of the United Nations, all of whom he knew personally, and writes about the contributions of NGOs and NGO leaders who served the cause of human rights with fortitude and determination.
The UN Human Rights Council is the leading human rights organ of the United Nations and, ten years after it was established, it has attracted commendation as well as severe criticism. Its universal periodic review is widely recognized as a valuable process of international cooperation to advance the universal implementation of human rights. However, it has been criticized for not acting effectively and fairly in dealing with situations of shocking violations of human rights in many parts of the world. It is an international organ with the highest responsibilities to uphold universal values but, at the same time, it is a political organ of United Nations Member States, and it shows the characteristics of both a values-based body and a theatre of political drama.

It is the merit of this book to present the Human Rights Council in terms of its mandates, roles and organization while seeking to remind the membership and the international community at large that the Council must be anchored in the modern human rights law of the Charter - of which the author gives a superb presentation. The book then proceeds to make the case that human rights are part of international constitutional law and this is exceedingly important at a time when universal values have come under stress from various quarters including from terrorist formations. The argument of the book is essentially that the modern human rights law of the Charter and the human rights provisions of international constitutional law must take precedence for everyone, everywhere.
Human rights fact-finding is at the heart of efforts for the international protection of human rights. Gross violations of human rights are still a tragic feature of life in many parts of the world and governments responsible for them go to great lengths to hide them from detection and to avoid international scrutiny. When scrutiny does occur, governments frequently attack fact-finding reports to avoid further processes and the need to accept responsibility for the violations perpetrated. For this and for many other reasons, it is crucial that careful attention is paid to the substantive and methodological integrity of fact-finding reports. At the time of its original publication in 1982, this ground-breaking volume sought to identify fundamental norms and standards which could help to guarantee the quality and integrity of fact-finding reports. A lot has happened in human rights fact-finding since then. There are numerous human rights fact-finding rapporteurs within the United Nations system and within regional organizations; there are many international commissions of inquiry; international criminal tribunals have helped clarify various areas of the law; NGOs are extremely active in the field. Despite, or perhaps because of these developments, controversies over fact-finding reports are very common. A source of reference to help fact-finders strengthen their work is sorely needed, and this volume remains of inestimable value in that regard. The guidance it provides has stood the test of time and is as valuable today as it was when it was first advanced, arguably it is more valuable today when the need for objective standards of human rights fact-finding has become of urgent importance in a world in which the political ground is shifting visibly. The current volume is a re-issued version of the original text, with new introductory materials.
This unique book, one of the first of its kind, discusses how human rights actually featured in UN peace operations in the deadly conflicts in the former Yugoslavia between 1992 and 1996. It is based on original materials in the possession of the author, who was Director of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslava from 1992 to 1996 and also served as Director of the Office of the UN Special Representative in charge of all peacemaking, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations in the region. The book brings out the strategic centrality of human rights in the wide-ranging humanitarian operations. It shows how the peacekeepers built in a human rights dimension for the first time in the history of UN peacekeeping. And it shows how the peace negotiators sought to build their peace proposals on the foundations of human rights. It shows the peacemakers advocating justice for the victims while proceeding with their negotiating efforts. The great value of this book is that the author, who was personally involved in all of the activities he writes about, shows how human rights were instilled in practice in UN peace operations over a period of some four years and it also reveals, for the first time, some innovative ideas advanced that might be helpful in future peace operations.
This book has emerged out of the author's experience as Director of an innovative peacemaking, peacekeeping and humanitarian initiative, the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, between 1992 and 1996. What was striking about this conference was the experiment of two full-time Co-Chairmen, one from the United Nations and one from the European Union, who laboured tirelessly for peace in different parts of the former Yugoslavia for three and a half years. The strategies and organization of the conference had to be pieced together from the start by the Co-Chairmen and their colleagues; only in retrospect could the question whether there might have been experiences of international peace conferences that might have been useful at the beginning of this process be reviewed. This research is contained in Part One of this book, which offers a review of the role of international peace conferences in history. Part Two contains a case study of the strategies and experiences of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia.
This book has a simple objective: to present the fundamentals of international human rights treaty law in a way that can be helpful to the national leader, official, or legal adviser whose duty it is to help put a human rights treaty regime into the law and practice in his or her country. It is a book of international law, as provided for in the principal international and regional human rights treaties and draws upon the jurisprudence and practice of their monitoring organs. Chapter I discusses the nature and characteristics of international human rights law. Chapter II discusses the concept of a national protection system which must be in place if a human rights treaty is to be adequately implemented. Chapter III discusses the jurisprudence and practice of treaty bodies on the foundation issues of democracy and the rule of law. Chapter IV discusses human rights in times of crises and emergencies. Chapter V discusses preventive strategies. Chapter VI discusses the duty of Governments to respect, to protect and to ensure human rights. Chapter VII discusses the duty of Governments to provide redress for violations that might take place. Chapter VIII discusses the essence of supervision in reporting systems. Chapter IX discusses the essence of petitions and fact-finding procedures. Chapter X concludes with a discussion of the bedrock principles of universality, equality and justice as they emerge from the jurisprudence and practice of human rights treaty bodies.
In: International Peace Conferences
In: International Peace Conferences