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Land of Blue HelmetsThe United Nations and the Arab World$
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Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286931

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286931.001.0001

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On Behalf of the United Nations

On Behalf of the United Nations

Serving as Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council for Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967

Chapter:
(p.74) Three On Behalf of the United Nations
Source:
Land of Blue Helmets
Author(s):

Richard Falk

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520286931.003.0004

This chapter reflects on the role as special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), which investigated the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The chapter first provides an overview of the role and office of special rapporteur, noting that UN concerns about Israel and responses to Palestinian grievances are highly politicized within the organization, before discussing some of the characteristics that distinguish the mandate established by the HRC and made applicable to Occupied Palestine. It also explains what was accomplished in six years as special rapporteur of the HRC and details the controversies and pressures attached to that job. It shows that the “UN” comprises different layers, agendas, and interests. The chapter claims that while the United Nations secretary-general in New York permitted personal attacks against the special rapporteur, the leadership and professionals of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva strongly supported his efforts in what the chapter calls the “legitimacy war”.

Keywords:   special rapporteur, United Nations, Human Rights Council, human rights, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel, United Nations secretary-general, HRC, legitimacy war, Palestine

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