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Mr. Craig Mokhiber

Chief, Development & Economic & Social Issues Branch (DESIB)

Craig Mokhiber is a human rights defender, activist, international lawyer, and specialist in human rights law, policy and methodology.

Languages : English


A human rights defender, activist, international lawyer, and specialist in human rights law, policy and methodology, Craig Mokhiber has served in the UN human rights programme since January of 1992, with postings in Geneva, New York, Palestine, and Afghanistan, and through field work and human rights missions in countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Eastern Europe.He has served as Chairman of the UN Task Force for Action Two (a global initiative to advance human rights-based approaches and the building of national protection systems), as Chairman of the UN Democracy Fund consultative group, as Co-Chair of the UN Working Group on Leadership, and as the representative of the UN human rights office to the High-Level Committee on Programmes. He was the UN’s senior human rights advisor in both Palestine and Afghanistan, led the team on human rights specialists attached to the High-Level Mission on Darfur, and has headed the Office’s Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch, the Human Rights and Development Unit, the Rule of Law and Democracy Unit, and the Economic and Social Issues Section. As Deputy Director in New York, Mokhiber spearheaded the Office’s work there on advocating for the integration of human rights in UN peacekeeping, development, humanitarian affairs, economic affairs, and in rule of law programming. In earlier years, he developed the Office’s work on human rights-based approaches to development, on poverty, on the administration of justice, on elections, and on institution building methodologies.Craig Mokhiber has lectured on and taught human rights, has authored several publications on human rights themes, and has served on the Secretariats of the World Conference on Human Rights (1993), the Commission on Human Rights (1995), the Working Group on the Right to Development (2001), and the World Summit (2005), and in the OHCHR delegation to Rio+20 (2012). In 1999, he led a global study on human rights reforms, on behalf of the International Council on Human Rights Policy. Before joining the UN, he worked as an NGO activist, human rights advocate, and lawyer in private practice.


Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and Climate Change at COP21
Huffington Post

December 10, 2015

Craig Mokhiber, Chief, Development & Economic & Social Issues Branch of the UN, pointed to the need to lower the target from +2 degrees to +1.5 degrees ...

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Indigenous rights highlight day 11 of the Paris climate change conference
Toronto Star

December 10, 2015

Craig Mokhiber, chief of development, economic and social issues at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said one problem is that the international legal framework around migration assumes persecution by a government or humans, not Mother Nature ...

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How Baghdad attack put UN aid missions at risk
BBC News

August 18, 2013

For many aid workers, like UN human rights officer Craig Mokhiber, it seemed as if an ideal had died in the Canal Hotel along with some of his colleagues ...

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Around The World, People Living Longer Lives, But Not Better Ones
Radio Free Europe

February 06, 2010

Craig Mokhiber, of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that senior citizens in a number of UN member states are victims of multiple human rights violations ...

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Shuttle Diplomacy
The New Yorker

April 06, 2009

Craig Mokhiber, a U.N. deputy director, suggested that, in today’s times, “every one of us is a Cylon, and every one of us is a Colonial” ...

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Toward a measure of dignity: Indicators for rights-based development
Statistical Journal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

2001While development and human rights have long been pursued in isolation from one another, the two concepts are now being reintegrated. For the UN, the question of indicators arose in the context of the Common Country Assessment (CCA) process, into which a rights-based approach to development was to be integrated.

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Area of Expertise

Addressing Inequalities

Democracy Building

Economic Development

Human Rights

Humanitarian Affairs

International Aid

International Development

International Law


Social Issues

United Nations


International Affairs

Legal Services



State University of New York at Buffalo : Law

State University of New York College at Buffalo : Political Science

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