UN Authority Figures

Human Rights Council Advisory Committee Expert:
Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann

Getty Images
Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, then UN General Assembly President, embraced President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad immediately following a speech on September 23, 2008 in which the Iranian president said:

"In Palestine, 60 years of carnage and invasion is still ongoing at the hands of some criminal and occupying Zionists. They have forged a regime through collecting people from various parts of the world and bringing them to other people's land by displacing, detaining, and killing the true owners of that land. With advance notice, they invade, assassinate, and maintain food and medicine blockades, while some hegemonic and bullying powers support them. The Security Council cannot do anything and sometimes, under pressure from a few bullying powers, even paves the way for supporting these Zionist murderers....The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner...These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and occupations and the threats of the Zionist network against their will...Today, the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters."

Advisory Committee's mandate:
"The function of the Advisory Committee is to provide expertise in the manner and form requested by the Council, focusing mainly on studies and research-based advice...The Advisory Committee should be implementation-oriented. The scope of its advice should be limited to thematic issues pertaining to the mandate of the Council; namely promotion and protection of all human rights." (Advisory Committee web-site)

"The technical and objective requirements for the submission of [experts'] candidatures [to the Advisory Committee]... should include: Recognized competence and experience in the field of human rights; High moral standing; Independence and impartiality." (Human Rights Council (Decision 6/102 ) Follow-up to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1, September 27, 2007

Term of office: 2010-2012

Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann's record on human rights, independence and impartiality:

  • Statement at the General Assembly on the Question of Palestine, November 24, 2008.

      "...Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories appear so similar to the apartheid of an earlier era, a continent away...Today, perhaps we in the United Nations should consider following the lead of a new generation of civil society, who are calling for a similar non-violent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions to pressure Israel to end its violations."

  • Statement on Gaza, December 27, 2008.

      "The behavior by Israel in bombarding Gaza is simply the commission of wanton aggression by a very powerful state against a territory that it illegally occupies. Time has come to take firm action if the United Nations does not want to be rightly accused of complicity by omission. The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war. Those violations include: Collective punishment – the entire 1.5 million people who live in the crowded Gaza Strip are being punished for the actions of a few militants. Targeting civilians – the airstrikes were aimed at civilian areas in one of the most crowded stretches of land in the world, certainly the most densely populated area of the Middle East. Disproportionate military response – the airstrikes have not only destroyed every police and security office of Gaza's elected government, but have killed and injured hundreds of civilians; at least one strike reportedly hit groups of students attempting to find transportation home from the university. I remind all member states of the United Nations that the UN continues to be bound to an independent obligation to protect any civilian population facing massive violations of international humanitarian law – regardless of what country may be responsible for those violations. I call on all Member States, as well as officials and every relevant organ of the United Nations system, to move expeditiously not only to condemn Israel's serious violations, but to develop new approaches to providing real protection for the Palestinian people."

  • Press Conference of the General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockman to brief on the situation in Gaza, January 8, 2009.

    Watch video here.
  • Statement at the 10th Emergency Special Session on the Illegal Israeli Actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, January 15, 2009.

      "The Palestinians, as an unlawfully occupied population, enjoy the right of resistance within the constraints of international humanitarian law...It is a terrible irony that this onslaught in Gaza, what Israel calls its "war on terror," has led to the deaths of – so far – 13 Israelis, ten of them soldiers, at least four by so-called "friendly fire." A terrible irony because during the five months of the ceasefire last year, not a single Israeli was killed."