“Human Rights at a Crossroads: Navigating New Challenges and Sustaining Past Successes”, a Conversation with Andrew Gilmour


  • DATE / TIME:
    2018•06•05    18:30 - 19:30

    On 5 June 2018, UNU will host “Human Rights at a Crossroads: Navigating New Challenges and Sustaining Past Successes”, a conversation with Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    This year, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) turns 70. There have been incredible achievements in that time. Economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights, and the right to development are now universally recognised as belonging to all human beings. Governments across the world have taken important steps to monitor their own human rights records, and strong mechanisms have been introduced to ensure greater accountability, transparency, and participation in public life. But today, these achievements may be at risk, and there are worrying signs that the human rights agenda may be in retreat. What does the rapid rise of ultra-nationalism and xenophobia in many parts of the world mean for human rights norms? What is the role of human rights discourse in the face of atrocities in places like Syria, Yemen, and Myanmar? In the “fake news” era where public trust in the media is greatly diminished, how can human rights defenders find a meaningful voice? How can the UN’s reform process ensure that human rights remain at the top of the world’s agenda?

    Mr Gilmour will join Mr Adam Day, Senior Policy Adviser at the UNU Centre for Policy Research, for a conversation examining the challenges facing the UN’s Human Rights agenda in today’s world, and what new directions the UN might need to go to keep UDHR vibrant beyond 70.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 4 June) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

    About the speaker

    Andrew Gilmour is Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and heads the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York. Since joining the United Nations in 1989, he has held a variety of positions across several continents. This includes having served as Director in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, and senior field positions in Belgrade, Iraq, and South Sudan. Before joining the UN, Mr Gilmour was an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

    Mr Gilmour holds master’s degrees from Oxford University in History, and the London School of Economics in History and Government.


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925