New publication examines achievements and challenges facing UN’s top human rights official
On the eve of International Human Rights Day, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay praised the “important niche” occupied by the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights at an event at UN Headquarters marking the 20th Anniversary of the UN’s top human rights post.
The event launched a JBI publication that is the first comprehensive study on the High Commissioner, entitled The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: Conscience for the World. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School and former Legal Adviser to the US State Department Harold Koh, and editors Felice Gaer and Christen Broecker of the Jacob Blaustein Institute, all contributors to the study, addressed the crisis in Syria and other human rights challenges worldwide.
High Commissioner Pillay, in a statement delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović, thanked JBI for its “crucial role in the creation of the High Commissioner’s office.” She noted the timeliness of the book, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the High Commissioner post, and added, “The office has been using this anniversary to take stock of where we are, what we have achieved and not achieved and what challenges lie ahead. And for our evaluation, it is extremely helpful to have an external expert and academic analysis, which this book provides.”