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The High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Council

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Chapter Summary

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s increased activity came in reaction to the emergence of significant political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa that commenced in late 2010. The High Commissioner must also urgently undertake institutional reforms within the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to enable it to adequately conduct sustained human rights fact-finding and monitoring as needed on a global scale. The observations on the work of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and her Office during this time period detailed in this chapter are derived from first-hand experience. Suzanne Nossel served as US deputy assistant secretary of state for international organizations from August 2009 through October 2011 and had significant responsibility for US engagement at the UN Human Rights Council. The reflections in this paper are thus confined to that catalytic, though limited, period of time.

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



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