United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council

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Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Incumbent
Keith Harper

since 2014
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Eleanor Roosevelt
as Representative
Formation 1947
Website U.S. Delegation - Human Rights Council

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council is the diplomatic representative of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The position is located within the United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations located at Geneva, Switzerland.[1] A formal title for the position is United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador.[2]

Up until 2006, the position was commonly known as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, as it was associated to a predecessor organization, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.[3][4] It was more formally called United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and did not at first have ambassadorial rank but subsequently attained it.

History[edit]

The United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva

The U.S. Delegation to the Human Rights Council is a part of the U.S. Mission Geneva, and other U.S. ambassadors stationed in Geneva are the United States Ambassador to United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva (head of the overall mission, and not to be confused with the more well-known United States Ambassador to the United Nations stationed in New York), the United States Ambassador to the World Trade Organization, and the United States Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament.[5]

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was formed in April 1946 on a preliminary basis and then in January 1947 on a permanent basis.[6] Former First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt was chosen as its first chair on both occasions.[6] She played a major role in the formation and 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[7] She also served as the U.S. representative to the commission.[8] In 1951 she relinquished the chair but stayed on as the U.S. representative to it.[7]

As with regular ambassadorial posts, nominations are made by the President of the United States and confirmation by the United States Senate is required.[9] Commentary on people holding the post has often been linked with perceptions that the Commission on Human Rights was anti-U.S. and especially anti-Israel.[9]

Besides Eleanor Roosevelt, the position has attracted some well-known Americans, including four past members of the United States Congress, one of whom, Geraldine Ferraro, had been her party's nominee for vice president. The person currently holding the position is Keith Harper, since June 5, 2014.

Ambassadors[edit]

The following is a chronological list of those who have held the position, under its various names. (It is unclear exactly when ambassadorial rank happened, but scattered references to the representatives as ambassadors can be found throughout the 1970s.[10][11][12][13]) The position has gone vacant at times when the Commission was not in session or when no presidential appointment had been made or confirmed. The U.S. was voted off the commission for a period beginning in 2001.[14]


United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, with rank of Ambassador
United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U.S. Delegation to the HRC". United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Nominations for U.S. Ambassador to the Human Rights Council and Conference on Disarmament" (Press release). The White House. November 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ "About Us". International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. Retrieved November 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ Hannay, David (December 2005). "Recommendations of the Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change: A Member's Perspective". Journal of International Human Rights. 
  5. ^ "United States Mission Geneva". United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. Retrieved November 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Eleanor Roosevelt", Current Biography Yearbook 1949. Published 1950.
  7. ^ a b c "Human Rights Commission". Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. 2003. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Mrs. Roosevelt Sees U.S. Uncertain on U.N.". The New York Times. February 18, 1947. 
  9. ^ a b c Johnson, Scott W. (April 25, 2005). "The Ambassador Nobody Knows". The Weekly Standard. 
  10. ^ "Powered by Google Docs". Docs.google.com. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  11. ^ [ Displaying Abstract ] (October 9, 1977). "Marriage Announcement 1 - No Title - Marriage Announcement - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  12. ^ The Ukrainian quarterly - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Hits Soviets on Human Rights". The Gazette (Montreal). United Press International. November 25, 1980. p. 36. 
  14. ^ "US Loses UN Human Rights Seat". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Agence France Press. May 5, 2001. p. A9. 
  15. ^ Goodman, George (July 23, 1978). "Mary Lord, 73, Dies; Held Post at U.N.". The New York Times. p. 36. 
  16. ^ "Oral Histories – Morris Abram". Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. October 1, 2008. 
  17. ^ Gursky, Ruth. "Rita Eleanor Hauser". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved November 17, 2010. 
  18. ^ York, New (1993-06-08). "Philip Hoffman, Envoy To Un Rights Agency - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  19. ^ "LOWENSTEIN, Allard Kenneth - Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  20. ^ "MEZVINSKY, Edward Maurice - Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  21. ^ "Jerome Shestack Is Featured UI Human Rights Speaker Sept. 24 - University News Service - The University of Iowa". News-releases.uiowa.edu. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  22. ^ USA. "Michael Novak - Right Web Profile - Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies". Rightweb.irc-online.org. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  23. ^ "U.S. Tones Down Strategy to Fight Cuba on Human Rights". Miami Herald. February 28, 1988. p. 1A. 
  24. ^ "Sims Flap Shows Miami at Divisive Worst". Miami Herald. January 8, 1991. p. 1B. 
  25. ^ Brozan, Nadine (October 23, 1993). "Chronicle". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ "Ferraro, Geraldine Anne, (1935 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  27. ^ "U.N. Blast Indonesia, Iraq, Cuba on Abuses". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. April 17, 1997. p. 17A. 
  28. ^ "U.S. Will Press for Human Rights Abroad, Envoy Says". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Reuters. April 25, 1998. p. 25. 
  29. ^ "U.N. Blasts Israel". Philadelphia Daily News. October 20, 2000. p. 40. 
  30. ^ Worden, Minky (April 27, 2004). "Sudan's Silent Scream". The New York Sun. 
  31. ^ "Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe Confirmed as US Representative to the Human Rights Council". United States Mission to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. March 4, 2010. 
  32. ^ McCabe, David (June 4, 2014). "Senate Confirms First Native American Ambassador". Huffington Post. 

External links[edit]