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About the Speech

Assistant Secretary-General Gilmour argued that there is a growing backlash against human rights in many parts of the world. Not just a curtailment of certain individual rights and liberties, but in some places an assault on the very notion of human rights as a positive goal. The human rights agenda is increasingly placed in the context of the sovereignty/security argument. Among the primary victims of this backlash are civil society organisations that stand up for human rights. Assistant Secretary-General Gilmour discussed what the United Nations and Europe can do more to advance the rights agenda that currently is under such threat.


About the Speaker

Andrew Gilmour of the United Kingdom assumed his functions as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on 1 October 2016, heading OHCHR’s Office in New York. Mr Gimour was previously the Director for Political, Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Human Rights affairs in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, where he was responsible for spearheading the implementation of the Human Rights Up Front initiative. Since joining the United Nations in 1989, he has held a variety of positions both at the United Nations Headquarters and in the field, including in Afghanistan-Pakistan, Kosovo, Palestine and West Africa. In recent years, he has served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, and in South Sudan and was the Representative of the Secretary-General in Belgrade.