The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Current High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein assumed his functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 1 September 2014, following the General Assembly’s approval on 16 June 2014 of his appointment by the United Nations Secretary-General. He will be the seventh individual to lead the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the first Asian, Muslim and Arab to do so.
A veteran multilateral diplomat, Zeid was previously Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, a post he held from September 2010 until July 2014, and which he also held from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, with the rank of Ambassador, from 1996 to 2000. In January 2014, he was President of the UN Security Council and chaired the Security Council’s 1533 and 1521 committees with regard to two sanctions regimes regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.
Zeid’s professional experience demonstrates his long familiarity with international criminal justice, international law, UN peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building, international development, and counter- nuclear terrorism. He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, chairing the complex negotiations regarding the elements of individual offences amounting to genocide; crimes against humanity; and war crimes. Courts around the world now cite as authoritative the definition for ‘crimes against humanity’ refined by the ‘elements’.
In September 2002, Zeid was elected the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At that time, the Court was only a plan on paper, and over the next three years he oversaw the election of the first 18 judges, mediated selection of the Court’s first president, and led efforts to name the Court’s first prosecutor – laying out a functioning institution, despite considerable budgetary pressures and criticism of the Court from several leading nations.
Subsequently, in 2009, he was asked to chair the closing stages of the intricate negotiations over the crime of aggression -- identified by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg as that "supreme international crime" – specifically with respect to its legal definition and the conditions for the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over it. Those negotiations ended successfully and with consensus in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2010.
In 2004, Zeid was appointed by his government as Jordan’s representative, and head of delegation, before the International Court of Justice in the matter relating to the wall being built by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He also represented Jordan before the International Court of Justice in December 2009 in the advisory proceedings relating to Kosovo's declaration of independence.
Zeid also represented Jordan on Nuclear Security following the Washington Summit on Nuclear Security, convened in April 2010, which kicked off a concerted international effort to blunt the threat of nuclear terrorism. In this context, he spearheaded work on one of the main pillars of the summit: the establishment of counter nuclear-smuggling teams.
Zeid’s knowledge of peacekeeping is extensive. He served as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR, in the former Yugoslavia, from February 1994 to February 1996. In 2004, following allegations of widespread abuse being committed by UN peacekeepers, he was named Advisor to the Secretary-General on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. His report, produced in 2005, provided, for the first time, a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations, and has been called “revolutionary” by experts. In 2012, Zeid was chosen by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as one of five experts to serve on his “Senior Advisory Group” regarding reimbursements to countries contributing peacekeeping troops.
He also chaired the Consultative Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and led an effort to establish greater strategic direction for the Fund (2004-2007).
Zeid holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University (Christ’s College). On 14 June 2008, he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the Southern California Institute of Law for his work on international justice. In 1989, he also received his commission as an officer in the Jordanian desert police (the successor to the Arab Legion) and saw service with them until 1994.
Zeid has been a member of the advisory committee to “The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation” based in The Hague. He further served on the international advisory councils of “The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation”; the “International Peace Institute” and “The Security Council Report”. He has been an honorary member of the advisory board of “The Center for Global Affairs” at New York University; a member of the international advisory board of “The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life” at Brandeis University; and a member of the Advisory Board for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He also served as a member of the World Bank's Advisory Council for the World Development Report 2011.
He is married to Princess Sarah Zeid, and they have two daughters and a son.
High Commissioner for Human Rights is Ms. Navanethem Pillay
Ms. Pillay was born in 1941 in a poor neighborhood of Durban, Natal Province, Union of South Africa. She is of Tamil descent and her father was a bus driver. She married Gaby Pillay, a lawyer, in January 1965.
Supported by her local Indian community with donations, she graduated from the University of Natal with a BA in 1963 and an LLB in 1965. She later attended Harvard Law School, obtaining an LLM in 1982 and a Doctor of Juridical Science degree in 1988. Pillay is the first South African to obtain a doctorate in law from Harvard Law School.
In 1967, Ms. Pillay became the first non-white woman to open her own law practice in Natal Province. She says she had no other alternative: "No law firm would employ me because they said they could not have white employees taking instructions from a coloured person". As a non-white lawyer under the Apartheid regime, she was not allowed to enter a judge's chambers.
During her 28 years as a lawyer in South Africa, she defended anti-Apartheid activists and helped expose the use of torture and poor conditions of political detainees. When her husband was detained under the Apartheid laws, she successfully sued to prevent the police from using unlawful methods of interrogation against him. In 1973, she won the right for political prisoners on Robben Island, including Nelson Mandela, to have access to lawyers. She co-founded the Advice Desk for the Abused and ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence. As a member of the Women’s National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion in South Africa’s Constitution of an equality clause prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation. In 1992, she co-founded the international women's rights group Equality Now.
In 1995, the year after the African National Congress came to power, Mandela nominated Pillay as the first non-white woman to serve on the High Court of South Africa. She noted that "the first time I entered a judge's chambers was when I entered my own."
Her tenure on the High Court was short, however, as she was soon elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as a judge at theInternational Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). She served for eight years, including four years as president. She was the only female judge for the first four years of the tribunal. Her tenure on the ICTR is best remembered for her role in the landmark trial of Jean-Paul Akayesu, which established that rape and sexual assault could constitute acts of genocide. Pillay said in an interview, "From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong signal that rape is no longer a trophy of war."
In February 2003, she was elected to the first ever panel of judges of the International Criminal Court and assigned to the Appeals Division. She was elected to a six-year term, but resigned in August 2008 in order to take up her position with the UN.
Ms. Navanethem Pillay
Navanethem "Navi" Pillay (born 23 September 1941) is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. A South African of Indian Tamil origin, she was the first non-white woman on the High Court of South Africa, and she has also served as a judge of the International Criminal Courtand President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Her four-year term as High Commissioner for Human Rights began on 1 September 2008 and was extended an additional two years in 2012.
In South Africa, as a member of the Women's National Coalition, she contributed to the inclusion of the equality clause in the country’s Constitution that prohibits discrimination on grounds of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. She co-founded Equality Now, an international women's rights organization, and has been involved with other organizations working on issues relating to children, detainees, victims of torture and of domestic violence, and a range of economic, social and cultural rights.
Ms. Pillay received a BA and a LLB from Natal University South Africa. She also holds a Master of Law and a Doctorate of Juridical Science from Harvard University. She was born in 1941, and has two daughters. .
Credits : Wikipedia.org | www.ohchr.org
About The OHCHR
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. We have a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is a United Nations agency that works to promote and protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The office was established by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 1993 in the wake of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights.
The office is headed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who co-ordinates human rights activities throughout the UN System and supervises the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The current High Commissioner is South African lawyer Navanethem Pillay, whose four-year term began on 1 September 2008 and then was extended an additional two years in 2012.
As of 2008, the agency had a budget of US$120m and 1,000 employees based in Geneva. It is an Ex-Officio member of the Committee of theUnited Nations Development Group.
The mandate of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights derives from Articles 1, 13 and 55 of the Charter of the United Nations, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, by which the Assembly established the post of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In connection with the programme for reform of the United Nations (A/51/950, para. 79), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights were consolidated into a single Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 15 September 1997.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
Promotes universal enjoyment of all human rights by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of the world community as expressed by the United Nations;
Plays the leading role on human rights issues and emphasizes the importance of human rights at the international and national levels;
Promotes international cooperation for human rights;
Stimulates and coordinates action for human rights throughout the United Nations system;
Promotes universal ratification and implementation of international standards;
Assists in the development of new norms;
Supports human rights organs and treaty monitoring bodies;
Responds to serious violations of human rights;
Undertakes preventive human rights action;
Promotes the establishment of national human rights infrastructures;
Undertakes human rights field activities and operations;
Provides education, information advisory services and technical assistance in the field of human rights.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is divided into organizational units, as described below. The Office is headed by a High Commissioner with the rank ofUnder-Secretary-General.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (Under-Secretary-General)[edit source | editbeta]
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is accountable to the Secretary-General.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
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The Main Bodies of The United Nations
The General Assembly | The Security Council | The Economic and Social Council | The Trusteeship Council | The International Court of Justice | The Secretariat |
The United Nations (UN; French: Organisation des Nations Unies, ONU) is an international organization whose stated aims include promoting and facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, political freedoms, democracy, and the achievement of lasting world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.
At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. From its offices around the world, the UN and its specialized agencies decide on substantive and administrative issues in regular meetings held throughout the year. The organization has six principal organs: the General Assembly (the main deliberative assembly); the Security Council (for deciding certain resolutions for peace and security); the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (for assisting in promoting international economic and social cooperation and development); the Secretariat (for providing studies, information, and facilities needed by the UN); the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial organ); and the United Nations Trusteeship Council (which is currently inactive). Other prominent UN System agencies include the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The UN's most prominent position is that of the office ofSecretary-General which has been held by Ban Ki-moon of South Korea since 2007. NGOs may be granted consultative status with ECOSOCand other agencies to participate in the UN's work.
The United Nations Headquarters resides in international territory in New York City, with further main offices at Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states, and has six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
Credits : Wikipedia.org
In 194S there were 51 Member States. To see the growth : In 1960 : 99 Member States | 1970 : 127 Member States | 1980 : 154 Member States | 1990 : 159 Member States | 2000 : 189 Member States | 2011 : 193 Member States .
United Nations Secretariat Building | New York City
Secretary - General Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations in brief & How The United Nations Works
The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 193 countries.
When States become Members of the United Nations, they agree to accept the obligations of the UN Charter, an international treaty that sets out basic principles of international relations. According to the Charter, the UN has four purposes:
to maintain international peace and security;
to develop friendly relations among nations;
to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.