A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

UN rights expert urges uniform application of international law

An independent expert on Wednesday urged the UN to become a more "equitable" and "democratic" body in its relationship with individual nations and its application of international law. Speaking before the UN Human Rights Council [official website], the recently appointed UN Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas [official website], made this request as he unveiled his first report on the "promotion of a democratic and equitable international order" [report, PDF]. In a press release [official statement] issued by the UN, de Zayas identified his vision of what the report hopes to promote:

An international democratic order is one where all peoples have the opportunity to participate in global decision-making. We must build on the principles of self-determination, sovereignty, and respect for national identities and universal human dignity. Progress in democratization at the domestic level is also necessary to ensure a correlation between the true wishes of the people and the governmental measures, including foreign policy, that affect them.
De Zayas will present his findings to the UN General Assembly in October.

De Zayas was appointed by the UN to look for ways to promote equality within the international order [UN News Centre report] in May. The job of his office is to identify systemic inequalities between nations and to propose solutions to achieve the UN's mandate [text]. De Zayas hopes that by "applying international law uniformly and not a la carte, by refraining from the threat or the use of force, by promoting a culture of dialogue" the international order can make progress towards a greater international solidarity.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.