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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: From the Personal to the Institutional

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author highlights how the Office of the High Commissioner made the transition from the personal to the institutional. The discussion is about how one transforms institutions that are led by high-profile individuals into institutions that have a life and energy of their own. According to the author the High Commissioner must be the world’s ‘emergency human rights first-responder,’ someone always ready to go into the teeth of the human rights disaster, in a high-profile way, along with the humanitarian relief workers. The imperative is that the world needs a human face for human rights. A requirement is that the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner must be an explicitly hybrid creature: part politician, part bureaucrat, and part human rights expert without tipping too far in any direction. The High Commissioner must coordinate and play the role of point person for the human rights bureaucracy.

Keywords:High Commissioner; Human Rights; institutions; United Nations (UN)



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