Juan E. Méndez appointed first
Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide.Genocide
by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Méndez, Juan E. "National Reconciliation, Transnational Justice, and the International Criminal Court." Ethics and International Affairs Vol. 15 (2001): 25—44.
Accountability for past abuses
born Deember 11, 1944
New Bolivia Unsuited For a Klaus Barbie JUAN E. MENDEZ. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: Feb 17, 1983. pg. A30, 1 pgs Article types: letter_to_editor ISSN/ISBN: 03624331 Text Word Count 323 First Paragraph In the extensive press coverage of the extradition of Klaus Barbie, "the butcher of Lyons," from Bolivia to France to face charges of crimes against humanity, few reports and comments have given proper credit to the young democratic Government of Bolivia.
On April 7, 2004 in a speech in Geneva commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide In Rwanda, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announced his future appointment of a Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention and launched an Action Plan to Prevent Genocide. The Five Point Action Plan includes 1) preventing armed conflict which usually provides the context for genocide, 2) protection of civilians in armed conflict including mandates for UN peacekeepers to protect civilians, 3) ending impunity through judicial action in both national and international courts, 4) information gathering and early warning through a UN Special Advisor for Genocide Prevention making recommendations to the UN Security Council, and 5) swift and decisive action along a continuum of steps, including military action. (Relevant links)
UN News Service 12 July 2004
Annan chooses former political prisoner as his first Special Adviser on genocide
12 July 2004 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.
For more information see:
UN Secretary General website: (www..un.org/ossg/sg/ ) For this press release, see Press Release SG/SM/9245
International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ - New York) assists countries pursuing accountability for mass atrocity or human rights abuse www.ictj.org
New President at The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) Juan E. Méndez, a lawyer, advocate, and academic who has dedicated his long and distinguished career to defending human rights, will assume the presidency of the ICTJ from June 1, 2004. The ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for mass atrocity or human rights abuse. Mr Mendez will be replacing President Alex Boraine who will be resigning from his position at the end of May 2004 and assuming the position of chairman of the Board on June 1, 2004. He will be returning to Cape Town, South Africa, where the Center?s Transitional Justice Fellowship Program is based, to establish an ICTJ office South Africa. ?We are absolutely delighted to have the privilege of announcing that such an eminent and devoted human rights professional will be leading the Center and continuing our transitional justice work worldwide,? said Dr. Boraine. For more information on the ICTJ, please refer to the ICTJ website at http://www.ictj.org/
New President at The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)
Juan E. Méndez, a lawyer, advocate, and academic who has dedicated his long and distinguished career to defending human rights, will assume the presidency of the ICTJ from June 1, 2004. The ICTJ assists countries pursuing accountability for mass atrocity or human rights abuse.
Mr Mendez will be replacing President Alex Boraine who will be resigning from his position at the end of May 2004 and assuming the position of chairman of the Board on June 1, 2004. Alex Boraine was the former deputy chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. He will be returning to Cape Town, South Africa, where the Center?s Transitional Justice Fellowship Program is based, to establish an ICTJ office South Africa.
?We are absolutely delighted to have the privilege of announcing that such an eminent and devoted human rights professional will be leading the Center and continuing our transitional justice work worldwide,? said Dr. Boraine. For more information on the ICTJ, please refer to the ICTJ website at http://www.ictj.org/
A native of Lomas de Zamora, Argentina, Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas. As a result of his involvement in representing political prisoners, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested him and subjected him to torture and administrative detention for more than a year. During this time, Amnesty International adopted him as a "Prisoner of Conscience." After his release from detention in the late 1970s, Mr. Méndez moved to the United States.
For 15 years, he worked with Human Rights Watch, concentrating his efforts on human rights issues in the western hemisphere. In 1994, he became general counsel of Human Rights Watch, with worldwide duties in support of the organization's mission, including responsibility for the organization's litigation and standard-setting activities. From 1996 to 1999, Mr. Méndez was the Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights in Costa Rica, and between October 1999 and May 2004 he was Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Between 2000 and 2003 he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, and served as President in 2002. In July 2004, Mr. Méndez was appointed the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, a post that is complementary to his full-time position as the president of the ICTJ.
He has taught International Human Rights Law at Georgetown Law School and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and he teaches regularly at the Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of several human rights awards, the most recent being the inaugural "Monsignor Oscar A. Romero Award for Leadership in Service to Human Rights," by the University of Dayton in April 2000, and the "Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Award" of the Heartland Alliance in May 2003. Mr. Méndez is a member of the bar of Mar del Plata and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the District of Columbia, U.S., having earned a J.D. from Stella Maris University in Argentina and a certificate from the American University, Washington College of Law.
Read Juan Mendez's February 12, 2004 talk, "Confronting Historical Injustice," to the University of Michigan's Advanced Study Center. IN tis report Mend refres to the problesm of trnaitinal justice follinsg genocide in Guatemala and Cambodia.
14 April 2004 Kofi Annan's April 7, 2004 Action Plan to Prevent Genocide On the 10th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide In Rwanda, Annn announced his Action Plan and announced the future appointment of a Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention. See also International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda - April 7, 2004 (link to special UN website in 6 languages)
Resolution designating April 7, 2004 an International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda: On December 23, 2003 the UN General Assembly approved a resolution recognizing the tenth anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda and designating April 7, 2004 as an International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda
The Stockholm Declaration on Genocide Prevention, January 28, 2004 In this "Declaration by the Stockholm International Forum 2004" fifty-five participating governments made seven commitments in the field of genocide prevention. For more details and news reports from the Stockholm Conference including Kofi Annan's genocide prevention proposals
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the U.N. General Assembly on 9 December 1948. Entry into force: 12 January 1951.
Create a United Nations Genocide Prevention Focal Point and Genocide Prevention Center By Prof. Gregory Stanton, Ph.D., President, Genocide Watch
"Revised and updated report on the question of the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide" (July 2, 1985) "The Whitaker Report" prepared by Special Rapporteur Benjamin Whitaker and presented on July 2, 1985 to the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. In Paragraph 85 Whitaker proposed the establishment of an impartial international body concerned with preventing genocide (paragraph 85) has been ignored. The UN Human Rights system included multiple treaty monitoring bodies for the prevention of Torture and other violations, but still has no body specifically responsible for the prevention of genocide.
| Prevention | UN
docs | Whitaker
Report 1985 |
Ndiaye Report on Rwanda 1993 | Rwanda Genocide 10th Anniversary Resolution
Stockholm Proposals | Kofi Annan's 2004 Action Plan to Prevent Genocide
Juan E. Méndez appointed UN Special Advisor on Genocide
Prevent Genocide International