Tag: High Commissioner for Human Rights

19th March 2020 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Corona Council (24 February – 13 March)

I’ve long had a sense of foredboding about the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council. Those of us who’ve been around these parts longer than most tend to measure our life-spans in the number of Council sessions we’ve racked up, as well as years. I worked out some time ago that session 43 would […]

Read more | Reply (1)

23rd September 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Badly Opened Boxes

There are different ways to open boxes of breakfast cereal. When my wife does it, the box looks like it’s been magically opened by a graceful spell – the packaging remains in pristine condition and the re-sealable cardboard tag slides effortlessly into its allotted place. Whenever I do it, it looks like a pack of […]

Read more | Reply (1)

24th September 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Awkward

I’ve often thought that children make the best negotiators. Kids seem to know better than anyone how to stay focussed on what they want and strike home when defences are down. If you ever need a lesson for succeeding in a multilateral negotiation, I’d recommend spending some time observing supermarket check-out queues on a Saturday […]

Read more | Reply

25th June 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Keeping the light on

My Council session got off to an unfortunate and slightly messy start. As I rushed to leave the house I discovered that the cat had regurgitated something unpleasant inside my freshly polished work shoes. I’m not prone to superstition but it felt like a worrying omen for what lay ahead. And so it proved to be. […]

Read more | Reply (1)

25th September 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Matthew Forman

Head, Political and Human Rights Team, UK Mission to the UN, Geneva

What a Difference a Year Makes

Leaving aside the extremely grim subject matter which forms the basis of our work, one of the things I like the least in my job is having to say goodbye to good people. This summer we bade farewell to another great set of colleagues including the UK’s own James Mclaughlin and the ever wonderful, and […]

Read more | Reply

27th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Kicking the Habit

My last blog worried some of you enough that you offered to send biscuits to my children in adult-proof containers. I’d like to offer some reassurance that my kids have started hiding their chocolate almost forgiven me for my thievery and that I am now receiving professional support for my wafer addiction. My wife has […]

Read more | Reply (5)

13th March 2017 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Change in the Air

While there haven’t exactly  been howls of protest about my online silence these last few weeks, the number of people asking what I’ve been up to rose to three on Friday (excluding my last boss who is clearly still keeping tabs on me from afar), so I feel a little sheepish and neglectful. The main reason […]

Read more | Reply (3)

18th October 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Mark Matthews

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK to the UN & Other International Organisations in Geneva.

FCO Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism: How Freedom of Religion or Belief can help

Violent extremism is of course nothing new, but today we are confronted by the rapid growth of a particular form of it which is linked by its perpetrators to the tenets of one of the world’s great religions, Islam. It is worth just pausing for a moment to consider that violent extremism is not new, […]

Read more | Reply (1)

5th October 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Climbing Up The Walls

The physical experience of going through a Council session feels rather like having your head banged against a wall. It’s nice when it stops, but otherwise not particularly enjoyable. So there was a sense of delirium in the air when we headed out of the doors at a reasonable time last Friday evening. Three weeks […]

Read more | Reply (3)

26th September 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

The Ghosts of Councils Past

I’ve been having a spooky session. For the past fortnight people who left the Council many moons ago have been popping up all over the place as though they never left. Former colleagues do of course come back from time to time but it’s been happening so much recently I’m starting to wonder if I’m […]

Read more | Reply (1)