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Bertrand G. Ramcharan of Guyana, a former United Nations official who once held functional diplomatic status, was from 2011 to 2015 President of UPR Info,an NGO working to promote and strengthen the Universal Periodic Review. He is also former Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies and currently visiting professor of international law in Lund University, Sweden. Dr. Ramcharan is the first holder of the HEI Swiss Chair of Human Rights at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies. He has a doctorate from the London School of Economics and is a barrister of Lincoln's Inn.
Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America. It is often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the south and southwest, Venezuela to the west, and Suriname to the east. With 215,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi), Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that was tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, and is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi, and Vienna. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law. The UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
UPR Info is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) headquartered in Switzerland, with a regional office in Kenya. The organisation main goal is to raise awareness and provide capacity-building tools to the different actors of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, such as United Nations Member States, NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) and civil society actors. It was established in 2008 and is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Ramcharan was in the UN Secretariat for 32 years. He served in the position of Deputy and then Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2003–2004), before Madam Louise Arbour, at the level of Under-Secretary-General, having previously worked for Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, when she subsequently became UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Previously he had been Director with the International peacemakers and peacekeepers in the Former Yugoslavia, Director of the Africa I Division of the Department of Political Affairs, and head of the speech-writing service of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and at the Geneva Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI). He is the author of numerous books on international law, human rights and the United Nations.
Louise Arbour, is a Canadian lawyer, prosecutor and jurist. She is currently the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration.
An Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (USG) is a senior official within the United Nations System, normally appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Secretary-General for a renewable term of four years. Under-Secretary-General is the third highest rank in the United Nations, after the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General. The rank is held by the heads of different UN entities, certain high officials of the United Nations Secretariat, and high-level envoys. The United Nations regards the rank as equal to that of a cabinet minister of a member state, and under-secretaries-general have diplomatic immunity under the UN Charter.
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson is an Irish Independent politician who served as the seventh President of Ireland, becoming the first woman to hold this office. She also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and a Senator for the University of Dublin from 1969 to 1989. She first rose to prominence as an academic, barrister and campaigner. She defeated Fianna Fáil's Brian Lenihan and Fine Gael's Austin Currie, in the 1990 presidential election, becoming the first Independent candidate nominated by the Labour Party, the Workers' Party and Independent Senators. She was the first elected President in the office's history not to have had the support of Fianna Fáil.
A 2010 article by him, "The Protection Concept of the UN Human Rights Council," was published in International Criminal Law and Human Rights, Manoj Kumar Sinha (ed.) (Manak Publications, New Delhi, 2010).
Dr. Ramcharan is married and has one son.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is a department of the Secretariat of the United Nations 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.
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is an American lawyer, writer, historian, expert in the field of human rights and international law and retired high-ranking United Nations official. Since 2012, he has been the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.
The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world. The UNHRC has 47 members elected for staggered three-year terms on a regional group basis. The 38th session of the UNHRC began June 18, 2018. It ended on July 7, 2018. The headquarters of UNHRC is in Geneva, Switzerland.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is an international human rights non-governmental organization.
The University of Guyana, in Georgetown, Guyana, is Guyana’s sole national higher education institution. It was established in April 1963 with the following Mission: "To discover, generate, disseminate, and apply knowledge of the highest standard for the service of the community, the nation, and of all mankind within an atmosphere of academic freedom that allows for free and critical enquiry."
Lyal S. Sunga is a well-known specialist on international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law.
Salim Ahmed Salim is a Tanzanian politician and diplomat who has worked in the international diplomatic arena since the early 1960s.
Manfred Nowak is an Austrian human rights lawyer, who served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004 to 2010. He is Secretary General of the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC) in Venice, Italy; Professor of International Human Rights and Scientific Director of the Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and a former judge at the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2016, he was appointed Independent Expert leading the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty.
Dr. Fatsah Ouguergouz is an Algerian national born in France. He is a Justice of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights since 2006 and Vice-President of this Court since September 2012. He has been elected Judge in 2006 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and reelected in 2010 for a six-year mandate.
Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein is a Jordanian diplomat who served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018. He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and was elected the first president of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court in September 2002. He also served as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR in the former Yugoslavia from 1994 to 1996.
UN Watch is a Geneva-based non-governmental organization whose stated mission is "to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter". It is an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council and an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information.
The International Network to Promote the Rule of Law (INPROL) is a global, online community of practice, comprising 3,000+ rule of law practitioners from 120 countries and 300 organizations. INPROL works to assist specialists in the rule of law to stabilize war-torn societies.
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, or the Graduate Institute (in French: Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement, abbreviated IHEID is a post-graduate university located in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a mechanism of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council (HRC) that emerged from the 2005 UN reform process. Commonly referred to as the UN-UPR, it was established by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 3 April 2006, the UN-UPR periodically examines the human rights performance of all 193 UN Member States. It is intended to complement, not duplicate, the work of other human rights mechanisms, including the UN human rights treaty bodies.This is the first international human rights mechanism to address all countries and all human rights. The Working Group on the UPR, which is composed of the HRC’s 47 Member States and chaired by the HRC President, conducts country reviews.
Eric Paul Schwartz is the current president of Refugees International and former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.
Rajsoomer Lallah was a Mauritian lawyer and judge who played a leading role in International Human Rights cases.
Laura Dupuy Lasserre is a Uruguayan diplomat, and since 2009 the Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the United Nations Office at Geneva with the rank of Ambassador. She was elected President of the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2011.
The Geneva Academy of international Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a postgraduate joint center located in Geneva, Switzerland. The faculty includes professors from both founding institutions and guest professors from major universities.