CHRGJ Congratulates the Appointment of Co-chair and Faculty Director Prof. Philip Alston as New UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights
May 12, 2014

On May 8th, 2014, Professor Philip Alston was appointed to be the next UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. The position is one of 51 special procedures of the Human Rights Council in which independent experts advise the Council and report on thematic or country-specific human rights issues. Professor Alston will succeed Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona from Chile, who has served as the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty since 2008.

The Human Rights Council Consultative Group—which unanimously recommended Professor Alston for the position—stated that he “would bring a rigour and profile to the mandate” and noted his “broad experience working within the United Nations system;” his “excellent knowledge of the Human Rights Council and its special procedures;” and his extensive work on economic, social, and cultural rights issues.

On the news of his appointment, Professor Alston said, “Few issues have been as systematically neglected or downplayed by the human rights community as the challenge of extreme poverty.  The appointment as Special Rapporteur will, I hope, enable me to do at least a little to help raise the visibility of this issue and to work with those at both the national and international levels who feel that the time has come for more sustained action.”

Professor Alston was nominated for both the mandate on extreme poverty and human rights and the mandate on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights. The OHCHR Consultative Committee ranked Professor Alston as first choice for both positions and the Human Rights Council appointed him as the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. The other mandate was given to former NYU School of Law Hauser Scholar, Professor Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, of Argentina.

The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice congratulates Professor Alston on this achievement and looks forward to supporting his mandate over the coming years. This appointment coincides with CHRGJ’s 2014-16 Initiative on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which will follow its current Initiative on Human Rights Fact-Finding, Methods, and Evidence.

Professor Alston previously served as Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, from 2004-10, a mandate also supported by CHRGJ’s staff.


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