Book Launch - The UN Commission on Human Rights: 'A Very Great Enterprise'
Dr John Pace
Senior Visiting Fellow
Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW
Seminar topic: Has the UN Human Rights Council lived up to the promise? Is it time to move on?
Date: Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Time: 5pm - 6pm
Venue: Zoom webinar online
RSVP: Register here
About this event
When the General Assembly established the Council in 2006, it asked for a review of its ‘work and functioning’ five years after its establishment. At the opening of the Council in 2006, Secretary-General Kofi Annan explained, “... For the moment the Council was a subsidiary organ of the Assembly. But within five years the Assembly [was to] review its status. I venture to hope—and I suggest it should be your ambition—that within five years your work will have so clearly established the Human Rights Council’s authority that there would be a general will to amend the Charter, and to elevate it to the status of a Principal Organ of the United Nations.”
The will to elevate the Council to a Principal Organ of the UN did not materialize by 2011, as the Secretary-General had hoped. In 2011 the Council put off that decision by another 10 to 15 years. That means that the Council should review its status between this year and 2026.
He was Secretary to the Commission on Human Rights (1978 to 1994) and Coordinator of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights (1991 to 1993).
His work The UN Commission on Human Rights: ‘A Very Great Enterprise’ was published by OUP in 2020. Attendees are eligible to a 30% discount to purchase the book.