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Author: John Pace

Knowledge management: experience from international organisations


In this chapter, John Pace decribes the three-phase evolution of knowledge management in the human rights program of the United Nations. The realisation that knowledge management is a necessity came during the third phase. The author also describes the complex system of monitoring bodies and ad hoc mechanisms, and the developments that took place following four decisions taken in the mid-eighties.

Knowledge management in the United Nations human rights program is a relatively recent phenomenon. It may be said to be symptomatic of the evolution of human rights activities over the years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This evolution may be classified into three distinct phases. The first phase was the phase when the United Nations system was busy setting standards. The second phase is that when the system was seeking ways and means of obtaining the implementation of the standards, and the third phase is that when the system started to look at the ways in which it could apply its experience towards creating conditions that would enable governments to prevent negative situations of human rights from further deteriorating or from developing. The first phase takes us till roughly around the second half of the seventies, the second phase would take us to somewhere around the mid-eighties, and the third phase brings us to today.

In the first phase the characteristic of the flow of information was more or less outward: we had a core or nuclear idea which needed to be shared and developed into international standards of human rights. These standards would be universal standards and would apply to all persons. This first phase took about 25 years, and consisted very much of the process of defining where the sum total of the national values met around a common denominator, which was reflected in the standards of the Universal Declaration. So, this was a period of reflection, consultation, negotiation and formulation, and was dedicated to the immediate process of setting of standards. But it really never touched people; it really never touched the individual.

In the second phase we started to get close to realities. It was the time when we were first authorised by the Commission on Human Rights and later by the General Assembly to gather information; to go to countries to meet individuals. We were able to inform ourselves directly of realities in human rights situations and we started to bring that back and apply it to testing the standards that had been developed over the previous years. Of course, the situations that we tested were the very denial of the situations that were envisaged by those standards. So the gap was immediately apparent; seemingly impossible to bridge. This was the time when it was fashionable to call human rights situations, situations that were anything but human rights situations since, in fact, they were situations of violations of human rights. So we went around in a number of countries, all impossible human rights situations. This period taught us a lot in terms of the gap that we had to bridge between those realities and those standards and also it taught us the need to reflect on ways in which this gap could be bridged.

The second phase was interesting also because at this time we experienced a dramatic increase in information emanating from local groups, non-governmental organisations, both international and local. They were not all the most objective of sources, but the quality of the information was generally authentic, and in any event most useful in re-constructing the factual situation when direct access was denied us. To some governments, these were subversive or opposition groups, and hostile sources. We did not really let the terminology affect our work, because for all we knew, both sides were right. What interested us at this phase was trying to record and to get an idea of the experiences that were actually being made by people on the ground, and the reasons for those experiences.

This led us to the third phase, where we started to apply this knowledge that we were deriving from the information we were collecting, in order to try to find ways and means of addressing or redressing these phenomena. It should be understood that what was happening was an all around evolution and not an invention of the international bureaucracy. It was the international political consensus, if you like, the intergovernmental common denominator that was enabling us to move from the earlier stages of discussing theory to the testing of these standards against realities.

It is at this third phase, with the procedures that had developed over the years, that knowledge management became a necessity. These procedures all depend on the receipt and application of information. Since they had been developed over a number of years and through different processes, it was necessary to provide a common pool where this mass of information generated by these procedures could be located in order to facilitate its use.

What are these tools and where are these information sources? At the core is the human rights programme of activities and at the core of these activities are those necessitated by the six main international conventions. Of these conventions, we have the two covenants, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The fact that there are two covenants—as distinct from one Universal Declaration is, of course, the result of an aberration that took place in the fifties, the division—artificial division—of civil and political rights from economic, social and cultural rights, a division that never reflected realities.

In addition to these two covenants, we have four conventions: the Convention on Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The two covenants and the other four conventions each have their own treaty monitoring body, consisting of a group of experts elected by the States Parties. These treaty bodies review information contained in reports presented by States Parties and other sources; they are intended to conduct their work through dialogue with representatives of States submitting reports and in certain cases, with inter-governmental bodies and non-governmental organisations. They meet at regular intervals throughout the year and from time to time issue General Comments or make Observations intended to aid with the interpretation of provisions of the international instrument in question.

In addition, there are extra-conventional procedures, which are heavily dependent on information since they are fact-finding in nature. Today there are something like 50 such procedures, also known as ad-hoc mechanisms, that consist of Special Rapporteurs or Working Groups, some dealing with situations in specific countries, and others looking into certain phenomena. These have thematic mandates, so they look into such allegations as those of disappearances and arbitrary detentions, etc. They are intended to buttress the conventional implementation that I have just described.

The third procedure developed over the years, and most recently, is that of technical cooperation, under which the United Nations provides assistance to governments directly through the human rights programme, and less directly, through the rest of the United Nations system, to create conditions, build institutions, and strengthen institutions within their society for addressing potential negative human rights situations. Technical cooperation is, like the other procedures, heavily reliant on information and analysis.

It is relevant to mention here the developments that led to change in the support of these three principal procedures. These developments may be summarised by referring to four decisions, all of which were taken in the mid-eighties.

The first is the decision of 1986 to adopt the Declaration on the Right to Development—you would have heard a lot about it and some of you who are more familiar with human rights will wonder why on earth I am mentioning this one. Then there was, in 1987, the decision to set up a Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation, which permitted the possibility of applying extra-budgetary resources to institution building. In 1988 came the decision which authorised for the first time the undertaking of human rights education and training. This decision enabled us to develop the tools by which we could deliver the technical cooperation support. The fourth decision was in 1989, to convene the World Conference on Human Rights that took place in 1993, the second World Conference on Human Rights that had taken place in the history of the UN.

The reason for the convocation of a World Conference was the need for agreement on the priorities to be set in the search for the realisation of international human rights norms. The international community, having finished with the formal Conventions, having more or less saturated the potential for extra-conventional mechanisms, having tried technical cooperation, found the need to see where the international system was going; and during the three years of my life between 1990 and 1993 when I had the doubtful honour of coordinating the World Conference, we saw emerging around various regions this energy, as it were, to do something about human rights standards. In Asia, for example, the regional meeting in preparing for the World Conference in 1993 was the first meeting ever of the Asian Governments around a human rights agenda. The African regional meeting spun off some of the richest non-governmental organisations in human rights that we had not seen before. The same may be said with regard to the Americas; the regional meeting in Costa-Rica.

The preparation of the World Conference was a process which took the shape of a pyramid, consisting not just of intergovernmental meetings, not mere statements and declarations, but which took place through a very hard fought blow by blow process around the world in various manifestations. By 1993, when the World Conference adopted its Declaration and Programme of Action, it had in it a number of elements that enabled us to turn to a wider, more meaningful implementation of human rights standards. This was essentially inspired by the fact that by that time the knowledge of the realities was such around the table that nobody anymore could deny that these issues could be seen as something that they were not. So you had a situation where, for instance, an inter-governmental body like the Commission on Human Rights took up issues which a few years earlier were unheard of. When I started as Secretary of the Commission on Human Rights in 1978, it was my duty to advise the Chairman to stop a speaker, to cut the microphone for any speaker who mentioned a country by name. Today, virtually any human rights situation, any situation that has a human rights aspect to it, one way or the other is taken up in the same body: it is not solved, but it is addressed and the governments concerned respond on the merits. Even though some issues may not lead to decisions of substance because of procedural preferences they are on the table and they are addressed in substance.

The World Conference produced a clear priority for democracy, development and human rights. Governments gave themselves an agenda—whereby they could now address human rights in a much wider, a much more total context. What was missing was the institution and that was taken care of a few months later when the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was set up, in December 1993. This created the vehicle which would clear the way for this process to realise itself.

As soon as this institution was set up, it became necessary to re-structure the secretariat to enable it to support the High Commissioner’s mandate in addition to carrying out its earlier functions. It was possible for us to start examining that information and that knowledge that we had acquired over the preceding years with a view to applying it in a constructive and forward looking manner.

In order to do that we devised this tool called “Huricane”, which stands for Human Rights Computerised Analysis Environment. Huricane was set up in order to enable us to marshal the information that we had been accumulating over the years; to set up a system for receiving information in order to create a common pool to serve all the activities of the human rights program. Moreover, it is intended to serve as a tool for monitoring the status of realisation of the right to development.

Huricane consists of eight databases serving as baskets for storing information. These eight databases, once Huricane is complete, will be interrogated by a search engine that we are developing, that would enable us to re-construct the picture in regard to the situation of civil, cultural, economic, political or social rights. This would enable us to assist governments in their efforts to create the conditions to enable them to meet their international human rights obligations. (The order of the rights—alphabetical—that I have just used is, in itself, significant, since it underlines the integral nature of the five groups of rights. It is worth mentioning here, by way of parenthesis, that the resolution establishing the High Commissioner for Human Rights was the first in several decades that used this order. In the last decades it has become accepted to refer to human rights in two distinct groups: civil and political rights on one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other. The significance in the use of the alphabetical order is in the fact that this was symptomatic of the change of culture of human rights that was taking place—the return to the “integrated” approach to human rights.)

Huricane is made up of two types of information. One is the information that exists on the public media, such as the World Wide Web and the other public sources, and the other one is the information on our Intranet, the internal web where we store our own information. The idea was to try to bring the information more or less on the same manageable level. So we had to identify the common attributes, such as the human rights subject, the mandate or legislative authority, and the country concerned. In order to obtain a first list of relevant subjects, we examined the work of the Commission on Human Rights over the preceding 20 years and drew up from the work of the Commission what we felt were the key-subjects that the Commission had taken up over that period. Hence you will find a wide range of subjects like asylum, internally displaced persons, fair trial, right to food, etc.

Having done that, we then identified its components. Component number one was our Treaty Body system. It should be kept in mind at all times that the raison d’être of the United Nations human rights programme is the international legal regime of the International Bill of Human Rights. Governments ratify conventions and undertake obligations under which they have to report, and it is our duty to make sure that we make this process fair and feasible for governments. Now, during the early years, when the treaties were still in their post-adoption stages, the focus was on ratification by governments. There was therefore a need to provide governments with the knowledge and means to meet the obligations that they undertake when they ratify an international human rights treaty. Thus, this first database in Huricane contains all the information relating to the status of these treaties, such as details on each of the ratifications, including reservations, reporting status, and so forth. The full text documents are then included whenever they make reservations etc.

The next database contains the second component. This is made up of documents prepared for the so-called charter-based bodies, viz. the Commission on Human Rights and the General Assembly. This one is designed in three languages and it has the possibility to incorporate internal documents such as reports that we get from our field offices (there are 22 such offices), reports from evaluation missions, and other such internal reports.

The third component is our digital registry. This contains incoming mail and copies, or evidence of the follow-up that is given to this mail. This is done by scanning in the hard-copy mail, which enables it to be accessible to everyone on his or her screen. So far this covers mail coming in through the mail-room. Correspondence coming in through fax lines will be integrated through the installation of a central electronic fax server that will receive messages and direct them into the registry system. This will also have the advantage of avoiding the diffusion of multiple copies of hard copy of the fax traffic. It ensures monitoring of correspondence for follow up and continuity. It also makes it possible to follow correspondence attributed to others; these views are organised by the date of the registry, by registry number (the date and number are entered electronically), by the date that it was sent, by sender, by country or by mandate (subject).

The fourth component is the News/Statements Database where we have selected certain news sources which are relevant to the subjects making up the menu that I referred to earlier. The other components are:

  • Communications Database. This is the database where individual complaints received under the established procedures are stored. These are confidential procedures that governments have devised either in the Commission on Human Rights, or in a human rights treaty.
  • External Sources Database. This is a bibliographical source which we use in order to make sure that we also have outside material that is, in some cases, also retained in full text.
  • Thematic Mandates Database. This database contains the material that comes in from the so-called Athematic mandates. These are procedures established by the Commission on Human Rights to look in to allegations of violations of certain rights, and include allegations of enforced and involuntary disappearance, arbitrary detention, summary or arbitrary execution.

The sum total of information stored in these databases embraces human rights standards across the board. The multiple database search engine makes it is possible to draw up a profile that enables a reconstruction of the sum total of the human rights picture.

The search engine enables two types of searches, one by country or human rights subject and the other one permits full text retrieval.

Now you see, in fact, what we are doing is simply organising and applying the experience that we had made over the years. I will wind up with one example. In developing our tools for training—we were only authorised to do so as of 1988—we had to start with those sectors of society that were more likely, by virtue of their office, to be in contact with larger groups of people. So we started with the Administration of Justice sector, and specifically, law enforcement. In this group, we also had to address the human rights training of the armed forces. This was in 1994. This represented a formidable task, knowing full well how difficult the military culture, the armed forces culture, had been for us traditionally to assimilate to the respect for human rights. Thus, in order to overcome this barrier, the first thing we did was to look at the experiences that had accumulated over the preceding twenty years, which would show what we considered as negative situations of human rights resulting from or attributable to, in one form or another, armed forces behaviour. Having done so, we brought together twenty or so military persons, of various ranks and backgrounds, for a week to Geneva and we shared these experiences with them. From these discussions there emerged three types of situations where military behaviour was directly related to human rights situations, and which could form the basis of a human rights training program for armed forces personnel. The first was the situation illustrated by the Chile case. Chile was a very good case history because you had a government that was taken over by the military and substituting the government structure. You had generals who were government department ministers. This was hypothesis number one. Hypothesis number two was when the armed forces were called in to perform what were normally considered as police duties, like crowd control, where, being trained as soldiers, they applied their training and caused loss of life and limb. And the third sector was the behaviour of armed forces in peace-keeping operations, where, even though the colour of the cap had changed, the training had not—and therefore the resulting behaviour was still not very different from what it would have been during normal service, at least in some instances.

This exercise consisted of—no more and no less—simply sharing with them what we knew from the preceding twenty years. And they did not like that, since their military training and culture was intended to prepare them for loftier goals. Since that time we started working on developing a module for training. What had seemed impossible became very likely, simply by the application of facts; letting the facts speak for themselves.

This is the philosophy behind Huricane. Its purpose is no other except to enable governments to ascertain for themselves the relationship between a given situation and the international standards to which they have adhered, not in an accusatory or punitive sense, but in the sense of prevention, of enabling the creation of conditions to address and redress negative situations of human rights.

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Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


Security Council reform: Why it matters and why it’s not happening


The New Economic Diplomacy


The Procedure of the UN Security Council


Securing the Future of Multilateral Development Finance: Time for Europe to take the Initiative


The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet


Development Co-operation Report 2015: Making Partnerships Effective Coalitions for Action


How should the WHO reform: An analysis and review of literature

The Hypocrisy Threatening the Future of the Internet


What are the priorities for small states in the international system?

There is no evidence that the vigorous political action needed to implement the recommendations of previous reports on the vulnerability of small states in the Commonwealth will be forthcoming in the near future. In matters of security, economics and particularly the environment, the collective interests of small states do not appear to have been recognized in the international community. Major donors find dealing with small individual demands from multiple small states difficult, but a regional approach simplifies matters and should be the primary area of concern. The Vulnerability Index prov...


Our Global Neighbourhood


Multilateral Institutions: Building New Alliances, Solving Global Problems

The mountain of global problems, viz. the list of world tasks that can be solved only collectively by the international community, continues to grow. At the same time, the multilateral institutions find themselves in the midst of a difficult process of change, one marked by a high degree of mistrust and fragmentation in the international community as well as by a low level of willingness and ability to tackle global tasks in the multilateral framework. This trend has been due to certain unilateral reflexes that emerged when the Cold War drew to a close and above all to the experiences th...


A New Diplomacy for Sustainable Development: The Challenge of Global Change


Democratic Intergovernmental Organizations? Normative Pressures and Decision-Making Rules

At first sight, the very choice of the title of this book may indicate that the author, Alexandru Grigorescu, was not sure about the existence of such thing. Indeed, to be or not to be democratic is not a top concern on the internal agenda of international organizations. Therefore, Grigorescu’s fresh endeavour to find an answer to such a purposeful question is ab initio a praiseworthy academic démarche.

The challenge of regionalism


Herding Cats: Multiparty Mediation in a Complex World

Review by Geoff Berridge


Manual on Compliance with and Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements


Managing Global Chaos


Changing with the World: UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-17

With the changing world as the backdrop, and building on our core strengths, our vision is focused on making the next big breakthrough in development: to help countries achieve the simultaneous eradication of poverty and significant reduction of inequalities and exclusion. This is a vision within reach, with the eradication of extreme poverty and major reductions in overall poverty feasible within a generation. It should be possible as well to make significant inroads against income and non- income measures of inequality and exclusion within this time frame.


Global Warming and Global Politics


The Role of Diplomacy in the Challenges to Maritime Security Cooperation in the Gulf of Guinea: Case Study of Nigeria

There is presently a pervading feeling that the West and Central African states are long overdue to take control of their maritime environment. However, these expectations show no indication of materialising in the short term.


United Nations Handbook 2015-16


Security for small states


UN conferences on the spot – voices from civil society

In the fourth chapter of the book, Britta Sadou, focuses on non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Sadou introduces this particular group as civil society actors and continues by discussing possibilities provided to NGOs by various UN summits. The author highlights some of the main world conferences during the 1990s and early 2000s and poses two important questions - Has the time of those huge events come to an end? What could be the alternatives?

What is Global Health Diplomacy? A Conceptual Review


Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth Office of High Commissioner, 1880-2006

Book review by Geoff Berridge


The Organization of Global Negotiations: Constructing the Climate Change Regime


Modern Diplomacy – Opening address

Opening address of the Honourable Dr. George F. Vella, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Environment of Malta.

The Grand Decade for Global Health: 1998-2008


Work Programme on Electronic Commerce


Global Health and the Foreign Policy Agenda


Hanging Together: Cooperation and conflict in the seven power summits


Climate for Change: Non-state Actors and the Global Politics of the Greenhouse


International Diplomacy Volume II: Diplomacy in a Multicultural World


The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action


The International Climate Change regime: A Guide to Rules, Institutions and Procedures


Hanging In There: The G7 and G8 Summit in Maturity and Renewal


The Role of Regional Cooperation in Eradicating Poverty and Aid Dependency in East Africa

The hypothesis of this thesis is that regional cooperation and integration are effective tools in alleviating poverty within nations and reducing their dependency on foreign or development aid.


Reinventing NATO’s Public Diplomacy

Reforming the Working Methods of the UN Security Council: The Next ACT

ACT is a new group of 22 UN member states that is pressing for reform of the working methods of the UN Security Council in order to improve its accountability, coherence and transparency. To achieve its aims, ACT will have to avoid being caught up in the stalled debate over Council membership reform. The group, currently dominated by small states, will also need new partners from different geographical regions, and with more political weight. Moreover, if ACT wants to involve the permanent members of the Security Council, it may have to limit its emphasis on the role of the veto. ACT aim...


Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International Negotiation


The Role of Small States in the Multilateral Framework

The current world geopolitical configuration shows how after the end of a bipolar world set by the top superpowers (United States and the Ex Soviet Republic) along with other major players (such as Germany, Great Britain, France, Japan and China, the P5 United Nations Security Council members + 1 with the full capacity of veto power in all world top decisions and procedures) set up a new world reconfiguration that has emerged since the end of the twenty century and mainly in the beginning of this 21th century standing driven from some centers of power and in parasailed with the political and e...


The Kyoto Protocol: International Climate Policy for the 21st Century


Strengthening Regional Management: A Review of the Architecture for Regional Co-operation in the Pacific

Regionalism versus Multilateralism

The literature on regionalism versus multilateralism is growing as economists and political scientists grapple with the question of whether regional integration arrangements are good or bad for the multilateral system. Are regional integration arrangements "building * blocks or stumbling blocks," in Jagdish Bhagwati's phrase, or stepping stones toward multilateralism?


Return to the UN: United Nations diplomacy in regional conflicts

‘… lively … persuasive … careful analysis… This is a very readable study, combining narrative strength with political acuity, and informative on the years of disappointment … Much has changed since the UN’s annus mirabilis, but Berridge’s conclusions still stand’, Nicholas Sims, London School of Economics, Millenium.


We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century

The world did celebrate as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, in one time zone after another, from Kiribati and Fiji westward around the globe to Samoa. People of all cultures joined in—not only those for whom the millennium might be thought to have a special significance. The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza were lit as brightly as Manger Square in Bethlehem and St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Tokyo, Jakarta and New Delhi joined Sydney, Moscow, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of other cities in hosting millennial festivities. Children’s faces ref...


A United Nations for the Twenty-First Century


How Much is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations

Ten of the fifteen seats on the U.N. Security Council are held by rotating members serving two-year terms. We find that a country’s U.S. aid increases by 59 percent and its U.N. aid by 8 percent when it rotates onto the council. This effect increases during years in which key diplomatic events take place (when members’ votes should be especially valuable) and the timing of the effect closely tracks a country’s election to, and exit from, the council. Finally, the U.N. results appear to be driven by UNICEF, an organization over which the United States has historically exerted great ...


A History of the United Nations. Volume I: The Years of Western Domination 1945-1955

Assessing implementation mechanisms for an international agreement on research and development for health products

The Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) are currently debating the substance and form of an international agreement to improve the financing and coordination of research and development (R&D) for health products that meet the needs of developing countries. In addition to considering the content of any possible legal or political agreement, Member States may find it helpful to reflect on the full range of implementation mechanisms available to bring any agreement into effect. These include mechanisms for states to make commitments, administer activities, manage financial co...


The Clash of Globalizations: Essays on the Political Economy of Trade and Development Policy


Envisioning Reform: Enhancing UN Accountability in the Twenty-first Century


Multilateral Diplomacy: The United Nations System at Geneva: A Working Guide


The impact of cultural diversity on multilateral diplomacy and relations

Basic concepts mean different things in different cultures. In multilateral relations this means that looking at such a concept is always culturally biased. As a result, an interpretation according to one culture also tends to criticise different interpretations according to other cultures. This paper discusses how important it is that diplomats and politicians pay attention to and accept the fact of cultural diversity. If they do, they will understand the underlying causes of many conflicting attitudes and they may become more inclined to seek compromise and consensual approaches rather than ...


Framework of operational guidelines on United Nations support to South-South and triangular cooperation


Negotiating and Navigating Global Health: Case Studies in Global Health Diplomacy


Global Environmental Politics


Ten theoretical clues to understanding United Nations reform (Briefing Paper #6)


Negotiating Public Health in a Globalized World: Global Health Diplomacy in Action


International Diplomacy Volume I: Diplomatic Institutions


Leadership Selection in the Major Multilaterals

Inspired by the damaging leadership contest fiascos of recent years in certain international organizations, not least that in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1998-9, this is a timely and important book. Kahler emphasises that if these bodies do not abandon their old, creaking 'club system of governance' and get their acts together, they will lose their already precarious support in the US Congress and forfeit that of their increasingly assertive members among the developing countries, particularly the large emerging market-economies. With the institutions of global governance thus put at...


The development of multilateral diplomacy and its fundamental role in global security and progression.

This dissertation is written to present the notion of peace and security to be the direct result of international cooperation through multilateral means


Regional water cooperation in the Arab – Israeli Conflict: A case study of the West Bank

The conflict between Israel and Arab countries, with several devastating wars, is about territory and land, and maybe just as crucially on the water that flows through that land. This dissertation, an analysis of the management of water in the West Bank, as a case study, seeks to underline the possibility of using soft power diplomacy, in addition to mediation and water cooperation, for a more collaborative kind of approach to the conflict.


Diplomacy at the UN


Use of language in diplomacy

Part of Language and Diplomacy (2001): Ambassador Stanko Nick takes a practical approach, examining issues such as the choice of language in bilateral and multilateral meetings, the messages conveyed by language choice, difficulties posed by interpretation, and aspects of diplomatic language including nuance, extra-linguistic signalling, and understatement. Language, according to Nick, is not a simple tool but "often the very essence of the diplomatic vocation."


Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today

As the world confronts new and ongoing challenges of globalization, international terrorism and an array of other global issues, the United Nations and its key attribute-multilateral diplomacy-are more important now than ever before. With new and updated essays that detail the experiences of a diverse group of practitioners and scholars who work in the field of diplomacy, this new edition covers in even greater breadth and depth the quintessential characteristics of multilateral diplomacy as it is conducted within the United Nations framework. Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Toda...


The United Nations and Israel

This dissertation studies the relationship between the United Nations and Israel. Similar to most relationships, the one under review keeps evolving due to changing internal realities and emerging external factors.


The Peace Brokers: Mediators in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1948-79


Searching for Meaningful Human Control. The April 2018 Meeting on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (Briefing Paper #10)

In this briefing paper, Ms Barbara Rosen Jacobson analyses the debate of the April 2018 meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). The group was established to discuss emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS).


Governance fore Health in the 21st Century: A study conducted for the WHO Regional Office for Europe


Small states and NATO: Influence and accommodation

The Environmental Movement in the Global South


The Roads from Rio: Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiations


Multistakeholder Diplomacy – Challenges and Opportunities

This book is a collection of papers from Diplo’s February 2005 conference in Malta and from research interns involved in our Multistakeholder Diplomacy internship programme.

From U Thant to Kofi Annan: UN Peacemaking in Cyprus, 1964-2004

2004 marked the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations presence in Cyprus. Since March 1964, the UN has been responsible for addressing and managing both peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts on the island.


The Greening of Machiavelli: The Evolution of International Environmental Policy


Summits: Six Meetings that Shaped the Twentieth Century


Mainstreaming Development in the WTO


21st century health diplomacy: A new relationship between foreign policy and health

Caribbean Diplomacy: Research on Diplomacy of Small States

With little recourse to traditional economic and political power in their international relations, diplomacy for Caribbean states is a key mechanism to achieve the realisation of the region’s overall development agenda. The Caribbean is no stranger to diplomatic challenges.


Modernising Dutch Diplomacy


Saving the Mediterranean: The Politics of International Environmental Cooperation


The Reform of the United Nations


The complexification of the United Nations system


Funeral summits

Berridge, G. R. (1996) 'Funeral summits', in David H. Dunn (ed.), Diplomacy at the Highest Level: The evolution of international summitry (Macmillan - now Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke).


The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present and Future of the United Nations


Digital Diplomacy as a foreign policy statecraft to achieving regional cooperation and integration in the Polynesian Leaders Group

Established in 2011, the Polynesian Leaders Groups serves to fulfill a vision of cooperation, strengthening integration on issues pertinent to the region and to the future of the PLG. Its nine – American Samoa, French Polynesia, Niue, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Tonga and Wallis Futuna, is argued to have strength in numbers, resources and diversity, and a positive addition to the growing regional diplomacies in the South Pacific.


Palestinian statehood diplomacy: The Palestinian UN bids of 2011-2012

The Palestinian Authority (PA) launched an intense diplomatic campaign to garner a supporting vote in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which was finally realized in 2012 by an upgrade to a 'non member observer state', granting Palestine a set of new privileges. It represents a victory for Palestinian diplomacy and presents a model of statehood diplomacy that received support as much as criticism. It stirred discussions about statehood and state recognition, and exposed the limited success of international interventions in post-conflict state building efforts.

Power: The nexus of global health diplomacy?


Tunis Agenda for the Information Society


Triangular Co-operation and Aid Effectiveness: Can triangular co-operation make aid more effective?

Prenegotiation and Mediation: The Anglo-Argentine Diplomacy after the Falklands/Malvinas War (1983-1989)

This paper studies the process of prenegotiation and the role of mediators during the negotiations between the Argentine and British governments about the dispute over the sovereignty of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands from immediately after the war of 1982 to 1990. In this period, the relationship between both governments evolved from rupture and no-relations to the agreement on the conditions to negotiate the renewal of full diplomatic relations concluded in early 1990. In a preliminary process of prenegotiation, the governments of Switzerland, initially, and the United States played a ro...


The European Union and the Latin American and the Caribbean Dialogue: Building a Strong Partnership


The Diplomacy of Micro States


UN Conferences: Media events or genuine diplomacy?


ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (ASED)


Diplomacy Before and After Conflict

Negotiating the Balkans: The Prenegotiation Perspective

The issues, the activities and the relations preceding the formal international negotiations have increasingly become an area of a special theoretical interest.

The globalization of public health: the first 100 years of international health diplomacy

Global threats to public health in the 19th century sparked the development of international health diplomacy. Many international regimes on public health issues were created between the mid-19th and mid20th centuries. The present article analyses the global risks in this field and the international legal responses to them between 1851 and 1951, and explores the lessons from the first century of international health diplomacy of relevance to contemporary efforts to deal with the globalization of public health.


Small States in International Relations


Organisational culture of UN agencies: The need for diplomats to manage porous boundary phenomena

The goal of this article is to introduce readers to the complexity of the organisational culture of UN agencies in order to limit possible misunderstandings about the functioning of the UN and its agencies and in order to make diplomatic interactions with UN agencies as efficient and as effective as possible.


Enhancing Global Governance: Towards a New Diplomacy