By Bertrand Ramcharan
In contemporary international relations the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is a central actor, promoting human rights laws and institutions within countries, speaking out against gross violations of human rights, integrating human rights into efforts for conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, development and humanitarian affairs. The author exercised the functions of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in a turbulent period involving the conflict in Iraq, the conflict in Cote dIvoire, and the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. In this unique work he tells the story of the role of the High Commissioner in leadership and advocacy, crisis response, diplomatic initiatives, mainstreaming human rights, and strengthening the Office of High Commissioner. The texts of the principal reports referred to the essays contained in Part One are reproduced in Part Two, offering the reader important insights into the reasoning, the methods and the techniques used in the work of the High Commissioner. This is the first book ever written by a serving High Commissioner in the history of the institution. It is obligatory reading for all students and practitioners of human rights.