In this first systematic examination of the role of the top United Nations human rights official, editors Felice Gaer and Christen Broecker analyze the achievements, leadership styles of, and obstacles encountered by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and propose recommendations for the future. The editors are joined by 18 expert contributors including present and former UN policymakers, human rights practitioners, legal scholars, and current High Commissioner Navi Pillay.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Conscience for the World examines how the six individuals who have served in this post have worked to end atrocities, hold perpetrators of abuses to account, promote equality and justice, and provide protection and redress to victims.
Felice D. Gaer is Director of the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. She is Vice Chair of the Committee against Torture, a UN treaty monitoring body, and author of over 40 articles on international human rights.
Christen L. Broecker is Associate Director at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. She was previously the NYU School of Law Fellow at Human Rights Watch.
Table of contents
Foreword; List of Contributors; Editorial Acknowledgements;
Felice D. Gaer and Christen Broecker;
Part One: The Promise of the High Commissioner: Reflections on the Past and Proposals for the Future
1. Rights Inflation and Role Conflict in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
2. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: From the Personal to the Institutional
Harold H. Koh;
3. Address by the High-Commissioner at the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
4. A Conversation with the High Commissioner; Transcript;
5. Future Preventive Strategies of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Bertrand G. Ramcharan;
Part Two: Promoting Universality of Rights: Global Leadership in an Era of Growing Particularism and Relativism
6. The High Commissioner and the Treaty Bodies
7. The High Commissioners’ Promotion of Universality of Human Rights
Part Three: Preventing Human Rights Violations and Effective Response
8. The High Commissioners and the Special Procedures: Colleagues and Competitors
Felice D. Gaer;
9. Protection Through Presence: The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Field
10. Enhancing UN Human Rights Work on the Ground
William G. O’Neill;
11. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and National Human Rights Institutions
Part Four: Influencing Other Bodies to Act
12. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council
Suzanne Nossel and Christen Broecker;
13. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and International Justice
Part Five: Hard Cases: Can the High Commissioner Make a Difference?
14. The High Commissioner, OHCHR, and China 1998-2005: Challenges and Achievements
15. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and North Korea
16. The Role of the High Commissioner in Protecting and Promoting Human Rights in Afghanistan and Sudan
17. The High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation
Karinna Moskalenko, Masha Goldman, and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick;
18. The High Commissioner for Human Rights and Burma (Myanmar)
19. The Impact of the High Commissioner on Human Rights Protection in Colombia
Scholars, students, advocates, policymakers, and diplomats worldwide with an interest in international organizations and human rights law and policy.