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Dr. Bonny Ibhawoh. Photo by JD Howell

Humanities professor appointed by UN to help monitor human rights around the world

The UN Human Rights Council has named McMaster Humanities professor Bonny Ibhawoh Chair of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development.

May 04, 2020

This article was first published on Daily News by Sara Laux, May, 4th 2020. Read the original article.

Ibhawoh, the Senator William McMaster Chair in Global Human Rights, will spend a three-year term working part-time on behalf of the UN to monitor, evaluate and report on conditions related to the right to development, which is the right of individuals and countries to freely enjoy economic, social, cultural and political progress.

“I see this appointment as an opportunity for international service, and to contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights globally,” says Ibhawoh, who teaches in the Department of History and the Centre for Peace Studies.

“[This appointment] offers an opportunity to strengthen McMaster’s growing reputation as one of the most impactful universities in the world, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, promoting the SDGs will be part of my core mandate as a UN independent human rights expert.”

Ibhawoh’s appointment was announced on May 1. He joins more than 50 other volunteer independent human rights experts, all of whom hold either thematic mandates, such as arbitrary detention or Indigenous peoples, or geographical mandates from countries including Belarus, Myanmar and Central African Republic. Along with Ibhawoh, four other experts will be working in the area of the right to development.

The UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations made up of 47 countries responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.