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Fostering human rights accountability: an ombudsperson for the United Nations?

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In recent years, the UN has assumed a widening scope of responsibilities and has gradually been transformed from an intergovernmental organization to a global governance mechanism with an ever greater direct impact on individuals. This entails that the UN is also, in principle, capable of violating human rights and occasionally does so in different operational contexts. While this has raised demands for greater UN accountability, Hoffmann and Mégret argue that the existing institutional mechanisms do not allow the UN to respond to these adequately. They then explore the contribution that a UN-wide ombudsperson could make to the objective of fostering UN accountability. Ombudspersons have become recognized almost universally as an indispensable good governance mechanism, and the creation of ombudsperson institutions in peacekeeping contexts, which may theoretically scrutinize the UN's own actions, shows that the time may be ripe for a more ambitious proposal. They conclude by outlining a few concrete suggestions as to how a UN-wide ombudsperson could work and how such an institution could be created.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23637/

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