SOAS University of London

Is Donald Trump’s criticism of the UN Human Rights Council justified, and what are the prospects for reform of the UN’s apex human rights body?

Speaker: Marc Limon, Universal Rights Group

Date: 23 November 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 23 November 2017Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G3

Type of Event: Seminar

The Human Rights Council was formally established in 2006 with General Assembly resolution 60/251, which set down the new body’s objectives and mandate. The US, under the Administration of George W. Bush, voted against the resolution and subsequently disengaged from the Council’s institution building negotiations, and from the body’s early work. That decision was reversed by President Barack Obama, who made becoming a member of the Council one of his early foreign policy priorities. Today, President Trump agues that the Council is failing to fulfil its mandate, and has threatened to withdraw unless certain reforms are carried through. 2017 therefore offers an important opportunity to assess the achievements and shortfalls of the Council, as set against its founding mandate, and thus to understand whether President Trump’s criticisms are justified. The talk will also look at the prospects for reform of the Council, as it looks towards the next intergovernmental review of its work and status, due to begin in 2021.

Marc Limon is Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group (URG), a think tank focused on international human rights policy, with offices in Geneva, New York and Bogota. Prior to founding the URG in 2013, Marc Limon worked as a diplomat at the UN Human Rights Council from the body's establishment in 2006 until the end of 2012. He was lead negotiator on nine different UN resolutions dealing with issues such as human rights and climate change and human rights and the environment. Prior to entering diplomatic service, Marc worked as a government relations consultant in Brussels, advising a range of corporate and public clients on EU external relations, human rights, trade and environmental policy. Marc has written extensively on the international human rights system. He holds Masters degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and the Libre Universite de Bruxelles (Belgium).

This event will take place from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in Room G3 (main building) – All Welcome

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