World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Former Political Prisoner 1st Adviser On Genocide

Annan Chooses Former Political Prisoner As His First Special Adviser On Genocide

Secretary-General Kofi Annan informed the United Nations Security Council today that he has chosen a human rights advocate, lawyer and former political prisoner from Argentina as his first Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.

Juan E. Méndez is currently the President of the International Centre for Transitional Justice, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that helps countries emerging from conflict or misrule to make human rights violators accountable for their crimes.

In a letter to the Council President for July, Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc of Romania, the Secretary-General outlined the mandate of the Special Adviser position.

Mr. Méndez's role will be to act as an early-warning mechanism to the Secretary-General and the Security Council about potential situations that could develop into genocide, and to make recommendations to the Council about how the UN can prevent these events.

His appointment follows a pledge by Mr. Annan earlier this year, as the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide neared, to designate an official to collect data and monitor any serious violations of human rights or international law that have a racial or ethnic dimension and could lead to genocide.

Mr. Méndez, 59, served as a lawyer for political prisoners in the 1970s before Argentina's military junta jailed him twice for his activities. During this period Amnesty International adopted him as a "Prisoner of Conscience."

After moving to the United States following his release from detention, Mr. Méndez worked for Human Rights Watch for 15 years, specializing in Western Hemisphere issues.

In addition, he has worked for other NGOs and as an academic, most recently teaching law at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, United States, where he also headed the campus Center for Civil and Human Rights.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC