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Welkom en hartelijk dank voor uw bezoek aan mijn webpagina ! Thank you for visiting my site! Merci de votre visite! Danke für Ihren Besuch! Gracias por su visita ! Cпасибо за посещение ! Benigne vides, gratia gratiam parit !


Tulip fields at De Zilk, near Noordwijk aan Zee -- spring has finally arrived!

Epigram for April 2018

Holding on to political loyalties is somewhat like reaffirming religious faith, a kind of pious fanaticism, which in itself is harmless, as long as it does not go beyond simple rooting for a sporting club or team. All of us need to believe in something, and we try to hang on to a political credo for as long as we can, until we grow up and experience a sort of epiphany, followed by disenchantment, sometimes a measure of anger at the realization that we have been lied to, that our trust has been abused -- and finally we discover equanimity. Whatever we do, we should endeavour to keep a sense for proportions, what the Greeks at Delphos knew as Παν μέτρον άριστον.



My Blog


Statement to the open-ended working group on the Human Right to Peace.

Youtube interview on free trade agreements, whistleblowers, UN reform


Webstory on the human right to peace on first page of OHCHR website on 4-5 April 2013

The mandate entails a generous synthesis of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. The title requires the expert to be truly independent, keep an open mind, conduct his/her research objectively and without ideological prejudices, listen to all sides of an argument and seek the opinion of all stakeholders, Governments and civil society, consistent with the principle audiatur et altera pars, and impervious to pressures of self-censorship and political correctness. The essence of an independent expert is not merely his/her expertise -- which must be considered a given -- but the faculty of thinking outside the box, while rigorously respecting the terms of reference laid down in the resolution establishing the mandate, and observing the code of conduct of rapporteurs. The mandate is not intended to duplicate or rehash existing knowledge, but to offer new impulses, perspectives, emphasis that advance the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations -- with intellectual honesty and good faith.

Methodologically a mandate holder should not rely on templates, but instead listen and remain open to correction, and avoid being identified with any ideology other than a commitment to human dignity. He or she must be and remain free of pressures and/or instructions from both governmental and non-governmental entities. While an independent expert inevitably brings with him a certain cultural and educational predisposition, he must be able to jump over his own shadow and get at the facts. Naming and shaming is not always the best solution to violations of human rights. Far more important is uncovering the root causes of the violations, such as endemic inequalities, the persistence of privilege and the culture of violence. Important too is the anthropocentric approach and the commitment to propose pragmatic solutions and redress for the victims. The mandate holder must also have the courage to formulate recommendations that entail more than a "band aid" and require changes of paradigm and mindset. Most importantly, a mandate holder should have the courage to break the silence about topics that are being ignored -- not only by States but by the human rights industry, which has been increasingly influenced by big business and special interests. He should give impulses and concrete recommendations to governments and civil society, speak clear language, tear down pretenses and the double-standards. One thing he must not be: a guardian of the status quo, a fig leaf for the international community, so that everybody pretends to have a good conscience and continue "business as usual".

Mandate holders may draw some inspiration from Robert Frost's The Road not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both ...
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Mandate holders should also remember Horace's Epistles -- Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet: sapere aude, / incipe (I, 2, 40).
Let's get started and then have the courage to use our judgment! Immanuel Kant also propagated this idea that became key to the Enlightenment

-- just two words: the imperative sapere aude!

17 April -- memorial service for Claude at the St. George Cemetery, where our son Stefan is also buried

14 April -- illegal air attack on Syria by US/UK/France -- back to imperial days, legibus solutus

13 April -- interview to The Real News -- on skype -- warning against an illegal attack on Syria

10 April -- Claude Krul dies at the age of 87

2 April -- visit from Jaap and Vera -- do a splendid risotto

1 April -- wonderful dinner at the apartment -- a local lamb

30 March -- Good Friday Service at the Oude Jeroen Kerk

29 March -- Lunch on the balcony. Holy Thursday mass in Noodwijk binnen -- buy vases at Kringloop

28 March -- flight to Amsterdam

24 March --- skiing in Crozet/Lelex, did the Aster piste 5 times, the competition red four times, a good 4 and a half hours

15 March -- my own side event at the Palais des Nations on 23 Principles of International Order

14 March -- the other two turtles wake up -- now all three are together

9 March -- side-event at the Palais des Nations on Venezuela

7 March -- one of the tree turtles wakes up

2-4 March -- skiing in Belalp, Bettmeralp, Riederalp

21 February -- Billy Graham passed away, aged 99.

15 February -- gave radio interview to the Breakfast Show, London

14 February -- St. Valentine's. Lovely class at GSD -- but coming down with what might be a flu, have 38 C temperature.

13 February -- gave televised interview on Venezuela

11 February -- voted in the Swiss national referendum -- to reject the "no-billag" initiative

10 February -- lovely culte at the chapelle des Crets, on the parable of the semeur

9 February -- panel at PN room XIV on inter-faith harmony; wonderful performance of Gounod's opera Faust

8 February -- delivery of 300 Ex Tempores -- very late, but start distribution immediately

5 February -- luncheon for Nadia's 78th birthday (17 Feb.)

3-4 February -- skiing in Belalp and Rothwald

1 February -- speak in the European Parliament on Catalonia's self-determination

31 January -- fly to Brussels, dinner at restaurant Tucan

27 January -- I do the culte at the Chapelle des Crêts Marc 7, 1-23

26 January 2018 -- 22ns Ex Tempore Salon

12 January -- submitted my final report to the Human Rights Council on "Principles of International Order"

10 January -- Pepin's birthday, call him in Pensacola

2-6 January -- skiing in Belalp

29 December -- travel to Piégon for the olive harvest.

28 December -- issue a press release on Venezuela.

24 December -- at 4 a.m. Caracas time Roberto Picon returned to his family, released from detention. Deo gratias.

23 December -- lovely skiing at Crozet/Lelex -- we did the red Astre piste five times!

15-17 December -- skiing at Riederalp and Bettmeralp

12 December -- Press conference at Palais des Nations in Geneva

10 December -- safely back in Geneva

6 December -- lunch with the first UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Jose Ayala Lasso at the restaurant Lo Nuestro in Quito

5- 9 December -- mission to Ecuador

26 November to 4 December -- mission to Venezuela

24 November -- concert/conference with Marie Neeser. 22 in the audience.

16-22 November -- escapade in Noordwijk

28 October -- hike in the Ganter valley near Simplon pass

27 October -- panel on the social responsibility of transnational corporations

22 October -- Raymonde Morizot died of a heart attack -- requiescat in pace

21 October -- the cherry on the cake -- rehearsal at Collins auditorium and concert at Fordham University Rose Hill with the ramblers

17 October -- beautiful presentation of my report to the GA in NY -- delegations applauded

8 October -- visit Raymonde Morizot in Evian-les-bains.

7 October -- wonderful cycling tour through the multi-coloured vineyards of Bourdigny, Choully, Peissy, Dardagny. The remaining two tortoises have gone into hibernation. Accordingly, I pulled in the turtle flag that always hangs from the first floor window.

6 October -- Dinner of farewell for the Ambassador of Peru. Give interviews to the BBC and Swiss radio on Catalonia.

5 October -- Ex Tempore event with Antony Hequet at the Salle de Cinema, room XIV PN

4 October - second press release on Catalonia goes out

2 October -- the first of our three tortoises has decided to hibernate. Wonder when the other two will get sleepy. The still look quite lively. Working on a new press release on Calatolina. It is a disgrace that it took Europe more than 24 hours to condemn the violence against the Catalans who were only exercising their right to vote -- and then in such bla-bla manner. When Brussels is trying to micromanage Hungary, Slovakia, Poland -- and violating the sovereignty of these countries -- how is it possible that it keeps silent in the light of the massive violation of civil and political rights in Catalonia?

1 October -- 26 years ago I cast eyes on my wife for the first time. It took a while for it to "click". Celebrated with a bottle of Pommery -- the champagne we had at our wedding.

30 September -- beautiful hike in the Gradeschtal near Mund.

29 September -- press conference at Palais des Nations. Twelve journalists came to listen to my presentation of my GA report on self-determination

26 September -- lovely class followed by the prayer meeting of the Christian Association of the United Nations.

25 September -- prestation de serment at the Bâtiment des forces motrices-- today I became a Swiss citizen

24 September -- my blog on Catalonia gets 10,000 hits and was retweeted all over

23 September -- Carla is very jet-lagged

21 September -- press release on international day of peace

16 September -- Antony Hequet's "Gyre" show in the Ford de l'Ecluse

15 September -- speak at the Place des Nations at an event of the Trieste movement. Go to Dr. Schopfer for a "quick" -- level 2.5.

14 September -- inter-active dialogue, the room and the gallery applaud after my concluding remarks, ending with Matthew V, 6.

13 September -- present my report to the Council, host a side-event with participation of Nicolas Levrat, Kirk Boyd, Arlon Stok and others, focusing on rule of law and self-determination

11 September 36th session of the HRCouncil begins

9 September Carla is off to Mongolia on mission.

3 September, back to Geneva after two wonderful weeks in Noordwijk ann Zee. We even got a sun-tan. In Holland!

5. August -- Concert in Ernen Musikdorf -- Schubert's Winterreise sung by the Dutch bariton Thomas Oliemans

1 August -- Stefan would have been 21 years old. RIP

30 July -- drove in the convertible up to the Nufenen Pass, then climbed to the highest point (400 more meters) to enjoy a spectacular view of the Berner Alps and the Ticino mountains.

21-22 July -- Carla and I hiked from Belalp to the Oberaletschhütte -- in 6 hours -- spent the night in the refuge and returned on the Saturday morning. Tremendous sights. I wrote on their guest-book

Beglückt, begeistert und beseelt durch diese reine Bergwelt danken wir Euch für die freundliche Aufnahme, gutes Essen, bequeme Betten, intelligente Gespräche mit Wanderern aus Russland, Deutschland, Schweiz — unvergessliche Stunden. Meine holländische Frau Carla Edelenbos und ich, Kubaner aus La Habana, genossen die belebende Atmosphäre der Hütte, die Aussicht, die Ruhe, den Himmel über uns. So schrieb Hesse
„Und die Seele unbewacht,
will in freien Flügen schweben,
um im Zauberkreis der Nacht
Tief und tausendfach zu leben“.

Ähnlich von Eichendorf
„Und meine Seele spannte
weit ihre Flügel aus.
Flog durch die stillen Lande,
Als flöge sie nach Haus“.

Befreiend ist diese gewaltige Natur, die uns gnädig empfängt. Berge haben was göttliches. Ararat, Sinai, Karmel, — auch die Seligpreisungen wurden auf dem Berg Tabgha ausgesprochen: Selig sind die Barmherzigen; denn sie werden Barmherzigkeit erlangen; Selig sind, die reinen Herzens sind; denn sie werden Gott schauen; Selig sind die Friedfertigen; denn sie werden Gottes Kinder heißen. Ja, wir sind beglückt!

15-16 July -- cycled through the Goms valley, swam in the Geschiner Lake near Ulrichen.

7-9 July -- cycled from the chalet to Geneva - 240 km. Friday from Moos to Saillon, Saturday to Rivaz just after Vevey, and Sunday to Grand Saconnex, getting drenched in the downpour between Rolle and Gland. By the time we were in Nyon, weather was beautiful again.

5 July -- celebrated Carla's birthday at home with a bottle of pink Ruinart.

25 June -- cycle around Lac de Joux. See the first two glowworms in the garden.

24 June -- culte at the Chapel des Crêts focusing on the message of John the Baptist.

23 June -- Bellini's Norma at the Opéra des Nations. Lovely music, silly production. closed my eyes.

21 June -- summer solstice. went for a swim with Carla at the UN beach, then ate in the garden and watched at 9:45 p.m. how some 15 bats devoured mosquitos over our heads. What a show!

18. June -- hiking on the Belalp

17. June -- our wonderfully successful PEN Club poetry reading at the Casino of Rolle

16 June -- Ernesto Lodoño published an article in the NYT in which he cites me.

6. June -- begin of the 35th session of the HR Council -- I am on ten side-events, either moderating or participatring as panelist

2. June -- helicopter flight over the Aletsch glacier

1. June -- beautiful day -- and night -- at Hotel Le Mirador on Mont Pellerin

31 May -- celebrated my birthday with 5 bottles of Pommery -- and lots of friends, including Nadia, Eva, Ruli from my Russian class, as well as Bruna Molina, Rosita de Cabrera, Paul Bailey, Martin und Oldrich Andrysek, etc.

23 May -- One of my role models and heroes -- Sir Roger Moore -- Ivanhoe, died aged 89 at Crans Montana.

10 May - go to Sandro Bertolini, my new tax advisor

4-6 May - chalet, drive the convertible

1 May - panel with the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, Guillaume Long

27-30 April. Salon du livre de Genève, Palexpo. Met with Jean Ziegler

20-26 April. Spring meetings at the World Bank and IMF.

8-18 April -- Cycling through Holland

1 April -- one last time -- skiing in Belalp, especially on the magnificent black pistes 2, 3, 7 and 9

28 March -- meeting with Spanish Ambassador at the Spanish mission in Geneva to discuss issues related to self-determination generally and in Catalonia in particular

9 March -- panel on the right to life. Appropriate moment for the turtle to wake up.

7 March -- two panels on self-determination.

3 March - 3 panels -- women and migration, Guantanamo, Bretton Woods Institutions and labour law (with Juan Pablo)

1 March -- Memento homo, quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris. Went to Mass at St. Hippolyte and got my ashes.

28 Feb. panel on Sri Lanka at Club Suisse de la Presse

26 Feb. glorious skiing at Les Contamines

25 Feb. General Assembly of PEN Suisse romand in Lausanne. After 7 years as President I laid down my mandate and we elected Bruno Mercier. We have 12 new members. Lunch at the restaurant Lacustre on the Embarcadère.

22 Feb. lecture on self-determination at GSD and my student Elizabeth Adams does quite an entertaining presentation on Trump's migration decree and the Geneva Refugee Convention

20 Feb. first-rate lecture by Carla to judges and lawyers in Oslo

19 Feb. visit the National Museum -- lots of Kroghs, Munchs, even Avercamps!

18 Feb. "Carmen" at the iconic Oslo Opera House, built by the great Norwegian architecht Tarald Lundevall

16 Feb. the Catalan press published a leak of my letter to the Spanish Government on the issue of self-determination. Indeed, we are living in a world of "leaks" -- but notwithstanding, the issue deserves serene discussion. The realization of the right of self-determination is indeed an effective conflict-prevention strategy. Best for human rights is to sit down, talk to each other, listen, negotiate.

15 Feb. draft a media statement for World Day of Social Justice

14 Feb. wonderful truffe dinner at the Café de Certoux for St. Valentines
lecture to students of the university of London at PN XI

11 Feb. -- glorious skiing in Crozet/Lelex - especially on the pistes Rhodos and Astre

10. February -- visit Ilka Bailey Wiebeke at the Résidence. Join Carla for Brahms' Deutsches Requiem at the Opera des Nations -- a Ballet. I closed my eyes most of the time. The music says it all and the movements of the dancers do not elucidate it. Better dance to a Mahler adagio.

6. February -- Olda comes for a sauna and dinner

5. February -- excellent exhibit Monet-Munch-Hodler at the Fondation Giannada in Martigny

4. February -. bubble at the Brigerbad spa

3. February -- fly to Zurich and with the train on to the chalet

2 February -- lecture at the law faculty of the university of Sevilla

1 February -- Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Good choice.

29 January -- Oldrich, Lenka, Martin and Kat arrive at Moos to spend a few days in the chalet. We return to Geneva by train.

28 January -- ski in Belalp 5 1/2 hours

27 January ski in Grächen 5 1/2 hours

26 January -- Sir Nigel Rodley dies of cancer

22 January -- skate in the Grand Saconnex skating rink

21 January -- do the culte at the Chapelle de Crets -- Matthew 20 -- embellished by Matthew 5 and 25

20 January -- 21st annual Ex Tempore salon -- receive the 27th volume of ET and start the mailing . There were 54 literature-lovers in the audience, 17 readers in English, French, Spanish, Norwegian and Albanian. Particularly enjoyed Eric Carlson.

14 January -- marvelous skiing in Riederalp/Bettmeralp

8 January - visit the Buckingham Palace collection, including Vermeer, at Mauritzshuis in The Hague.

5 January -- fly to Holland

1 January 2017 -- glorious weather, succulent food at the Neesers

30-31 December -- Olive harvest in Piegon, Drome Provençale

27 December -- bought 2 new trousers at Le Mouton

26 December -- randonée in the French Jura around Grilly, cold and sunny.

25 December -- blue sky. Lovely stroll down to the jardin botanique. Pintade dinner at home with fresh canberries.

24 December -- midnight service at the Chapelle des Crêts

22 December -- lovely performance of La Bohème at the Opéra des Nations.

21 December -- published a "complementary opinion" -- a kind of dissenting/concurring opinion to the joint statement of the special rapporteurs of 9 December, which I did not sign.

20 December -- Mix et Remix, Philippe Becquelin passed away at the young age of 58 -- again, cancer.

20 December -- Bejart Ballet in Lausanne with Hans-Jörg and Lia

18 December -- glorious skiing at Belalp

17 December -- Oberwalliser Chorensemble sings Bach's Weihnachtsoratorio at the Collegium-Kirche in Brig

6 December -- celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with our witnesses -- Jakob and Fiona

26 November -- woke up to the news that Fidel Castro passed away last night at the age of 90. Vitam impendere vero (Juvenal). A man of many ideas. He certainly goes down in history as a major figure of the caliber of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
"Человечество жаждет справедливости"
"Жизнь без идей не стоит ничего. Нет большего счастья, чем бороться за них"
"Воин может погибнуть, но не его идеи"

25 November -- General Assembly of the United Nations Society of Writers, we have a new secretary Amos Wama Taporaie

24 November -- panel and presentation of the book "Never Again" -- hosted by ADF

15 November -- concert and conference at home -- on the history and meaning of religious music

14 Novemer -- opening of the forum business and human rights, which turns out to be more a forum on the business of human rights

28 October -- lunch with Blerim, discuss his dissertation

24-27 October -- inter-governmental working group on the drafting of a legally binding instrument on business and human rights. I participated in the Thursday morning panel.

22 October -- back in Geneva

21 October -- press conference and 3 interviews to UN radio

20 October -- present my report to the GA¨

17 October - flying to New York

14 October --successful expert consultation on taxation

13 October -- but out a press release that got picked up in many news services.

8 October -- versnisage of the new stained-glass windows at the chapelle des crets

4 October -- emergency PEN Committee meeting at Montbrillant

1 October -- I met Carla exactly 25 years ago. Celebrated with champagne -- and gave her a lovely opal.

29 October -- off to the chalet

27 September -- the PEN Congress at Ourense postponed the resolution on amending the charter. Ouff.

15 September -- the 3 Swiss PEN Centres sent an open letter opposing the amendment of our charter.

14 September -- my panel on privatization of justice and the rule of law. -- dinner with Kirk Boyd, Joshua Cooper and Martin Andrysek at Café du Soleil.

13 September -- successful presentation of my report to the HR Council. Some 35 STate delegations took the floor and welcomed the report and its recommendations. But total silence from the EU, US, Canada, Australia, Japan. The 16 ngo's that took the floor endorsed the report.

2-12 September -- Noordwijk aan Zee

23 August -- Marc Bossuyt and his wife Katrine for a BBQ in the garden.

19-21 August -- Chalet -- convalescing

16 August -- release from the hospital

15 August -- Dr. Pascal Bucher does a hernia operation on me

13-14 August -- Chalet, hike up Saas Grund to Saas Almagell

6-7 August -- Chalet, hike up the Foggenhorn

1 August - wonderful fireworks and feu de joie in Grand Saconnex

17-31 July -- Iceland

3-4 July - meeting in Rome of the Lelio Basso Foundation. I spoke on trade and international criminal law.

6-10 June meeting of rapporteurs at the Palais des Nations.

2-3 June -- conference in Barcelona, met Professor Juan Hernandez, author of Contra la Lex Mercatoria, panel in the Catalan Parliament

1 June -- meet Anthony Hequet and Serge Conessa

31 May -- swimming in the Lido Adriano

30 May -- magnificent mosaics at Ravenna -- meet Elizabeth Evatt and Penelope Seidler

27 May -- meet the trade representativve at IPU

24 May -- Soirée musicale at home


5-8 May -- Ascension holiday with Carla, Daniel and Marie -- Laco di Orta, Alpa Quaggione

4 May -- take Swiss history exam

28 April -- speak at Foodwatch, Paris

19 April -- speak at the Council of Europe

27 February -- glorious skiing in Crozet/Lelex.

26 February -- wine fair in Annemanne

21 February -- finally the opened the black pistes at Belalp.

20 February -- heavy snow at Moos/Blatten

29 January -- what a delight to see my God-daughter Michelle in Brussels.

26-28 January -- strategy meeting in Brusels on negotiating trade agreements.

24 January -- skiing in Crozet -- never seen so many people on the pistes -- and so many beginners. The rescue squad was busy.

23 January -- culte at the Chapelle des Crêts. St. Paul's conversion, the amazing stories of his travels and the episode in Athens with the Aeropagus speech on the temple to the "unknown God" (Ἄγνωστος Θεός).

22 January -- in all 80 people showed up for the 20th Ex tempore evening -- and 19 read from their own works. The salon lasted from 19h to midnight and among the guests were the Ambassador of Ecuador, Maria-Fernanda Espinosa, the Russian interpreter who did the vimeo film Matrix, and the New Zealand intern who slept in the park. The John Knox Centre helped with the catering and the mood was tops.

10 January - my brother's 70th birthday -- Carla and I ski at Belalp with avalanche danger 4 --write the 47th strophe of my skiing poem, dedicated to Chione (daugher of Boreas), the nymph of snow. Take pictures in the white-on-white landscape. Difficult visibility, but somehow magic -- and did not fall.

9 January -- Achim and Andrea Kornmann come to the chalet for a Pommery -

2 January - visit from Walter Rabus and Wieneke

1 January -- Nieujahrsduik -- visit from Astrid Delissen and Cees van Beers

31 December -- dinner at Villa de Duinen in Noordwijk aan Zee

28 December -- Lenka came by for lunch --

27 December -- Lovely walk up on the hills of Grilly in France.
Carla prepared one of my favourite desert -- peras borrachas.

26 December -- amazing weather -- 12 degrees, sunny and blue skies. Lovely walk along the Vesoix river.

25 December -- guinea fowl for Xmas dinner

22 December -- farewell from Thibaut, my excellent OHCHR assistant. I light a candle in the hope that his successor might not disappoint me too much.

9 December -- Abelaziz and Ruth make oral presentation

8 December -- representative of city of Geneva comes to inspect the house as a "historical building"

7 Decenmber -- Press release on COP21

5 December -- Carla runs the Escalade -- 29 min. 21 seconds, improving last year's performance by more than 3 min

4 December -- UNSW/SENU General Assembly -- the board is reelected

3 December -- PEN Committee, panel at the Club Suisse de la Presse

22 November -- Lascaux exhibit at Palexpo

19 November -- Ocaproce panel on women and the sustainable development goals

16-18 November -- Forum Business and Human Rights at the UN -- I participate in one panel and speak in three others from the floor.

14-15 November -- great walks around the chalet

9 November -- Russian luncheon at ICRC -- Eva Manalac returns tomorrow to the Philippines -- until 17 May 2016

8 November -- Pen Club Writers in Prison Day -- Egyptian novelist Mansura Eseddin spoke in arabic with French translation about censorhsip and self-censorship, stratagems how to publish and the many ways of expressing dissent. Very lovely afternoon.

5 November -- Lecture at the University of Leuven, 200 students -- and good ones at that. Brown-bag luncheon, literary discussion with Professor Jan Wouters, visit the old town and the wonderful, wonderful library building

4 November -- teach, go to my tax advisor, PEN Committee meeting at Montbrillant -- take plane to Brussels, dinner with Dr. Marx at the zwarte schaap restaurant in the Leuven old town, - he has phesant, I had hare. Both excellent.

31 October -- glorious walk up to the Belalp

30 October -- train to chalet

29 October -- meet Rodolfo at the Delegates lounge -- fly back to Geneva

28 October - Interviews in Spanish and French to UN Radio

27 October -- lunch with Ray Messina, dinner with Norman Finkelstein

26 October -- present report to GA, followed by press conference

25 October -- Lunch with Leonor Sampaio, dinner with Maritza Struyvenberg, Bob, Ian and Alessa

24 October -- fly to New York, see Kirk Boyd

13 October - consultation in room XXVII

27 Sept -- first bolets of the season -- to accompany our first rable de lievre.

26 Sept - co-celebrate the culte at the Chapelle des Crêts with Pastor Neeser

25 Sept - lecture on human rights at the law faculty of the University of Leiden; farewell dinner for James Heenan at Paolo David's home in Veyrier.

18 Sept. - two panels on Greece and austerity measures

14 Sept. - first Russian luncheon of the autumn season -- without Christiane. How we miss her!

17 Sept. - oral presentation of my report to the HR Council -- 25 states and 15 ngo's took the floor -- all positive, but the silence from the US and EU was deafening --

12 Sept - hike 850 m up from the Simplon pass to the Monte Leone refuge and 850 m down -- pretty cold and misty.

10 Sept. - jeune Genevois -- Carla and I cycle around the Lac de Rousses and the Lac de Joux - jump in both lakes --

4-6 Sept. - glorious cycling from Naters to Raron, including the serpentines climbing up to Moos

2 September - Ocaproce conference - deliver a talk on gender equality and moderate a panel on the sustainable development goals.

14-30 August -- a glorious cycling vacation in Holland. Weather permitted us to to swim twice a day, play frisbee and fly a kite. Food was also good, especially at Schudebeurs, where we drank an excellent local Pinot Gris produced by the winery De Kleine Schnorre. Gourmet food was served at Onder de Linde, on the Voorstraat in Noodwijk-Binnen. Also got a lovely cocktail table for the living room.

28 July -- my report to the GA is finished -- now goes to formatting

26 July -- hiking in and around the Grimselpass, swimming in the lake near Geschinen

25 July -- hiking in Grächen

24 July -- funeral of Christiane Kind in Bonneville, France -- I speak for the Russian group and recite Pushkin's Ja vas liubil, which Christiane and I used to sing together in the Glinka romance -

21 July -- flamenco evening at the mountain home of Judge Baltasar Garzon

20 July -- "ponencia magistral" at the Universidad de Jaen. Receive the email with the awful news about Christiane.

19 July -- Christiane Kind dies of a heart attack -- and I do not learn about it.

9 July -- 3 hour lecture on international humanitarian law -- at GSD

1 July -- gave interview to Le Temps on the Greek crisis.

30 June --- a nice hedge hog walked by the fountain in our garden, looked at us, kept on his way undisturbed.

29 June -- wrote a press release on the Greek crisis, which Virginia Dandan co-signed.

27 June -- baptism of Ugo and Marina Cedrango's third son Marco -- Carla is the Godmother. Lovely ceremony and lots of kids.

22 June -- Gaza report published

20 June -- best man at the wedding of Patrick and Olga Taran

15 June -- panel on Chevron v. Ecuador

8 June Geneva -- HRC report almost finished.

5 June Venice

4 June Trieste

3 June Duino Castle overlooking the Adriatic. Here Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the first two of this ten Elegies. I actually reread the Elegies and wrote this little poem by way of spontaneous reaction.

2 June Concordia

1 June Jesolo Lido

31 May cycling from Venice along the Adriatic toward Trieste.

24 May - long hike with Carla in the Bois de Finges between Leuk and Sierre. Lots of pretty butterflies, which inspired me to write a little poem Passion Papillons

29 April - 3 Mai - Salon du Livre de Genève. I lectured at the Armenian stand on "Reparations in International Law". Lots of visitors at the Stand of PEN Suisse romand -- including my friends J. Alexis Koutchoumow and Professor Jean Ziegler.

23 March -- UN side-event with Baltasar Garzon and Julian Assange.

21 March -- General Assembly of PEN Suisse romand in Lausanne. We elected 3 new members of the Committee -- Alix Parodi, Heike Fiedler and Bruno Mercier.

20 March -- visit Professor Yash Tanden in Oxford.

19 March -- conference on internatinal sanctions regimes in London.

14 March -- glorious skiing in Saas Fee.

9. March -- panels on women in armed conflict and on vulture funds.

8. March -- the yearly miracle reenacts itself: our tortoise wakes up after 4 and a half months of hibernation

7. March -- skiing in Crozet/lelex, probably last possibility on the Jura, since it is too low. Next weekend back to Belalp.

6 March -- speak at Panel on self-determination in room XXI.

5 March -- Human Rights Film Fesival -- Citizenfour -- and Ed Snowden live on Skype from Moscow.

4 March -- Michael Volle sings Schubert's Schwanengesang at the Grand Theatre.

1 March -- it snows in Naters-Moos.

28 February -- glorious skiing in Belalp. Especially the tunnel piste. A black that is so wide that it can be taken as a red.

20 February -- UN panel on Camps Ashraf and Liberty. World Day of Social Justice. Put out a media statement.

19 February -- lovely performace of Porgy and Bess at the Grand Theatre.

11-12 February -- conference at Carter Centre, Atlanta, on democracy and elections. Private meeting with President Carte or initiatives for peace and democracy

10 February -- conference at Carter Centre on women's role in peacekeeping and violence against women.

7-10 February -- visiting my brother and his wife Susan in Pensacola, Florida

1 February -- no skiing -- snowing all day -- read history instead

31 January -- glorious skiing in Belalp

30 January -- spoke twice at the consultation on the right to peace.

29 January -- Gluck's Opera Iphigène at the Grand Theatre. Wonderful voices, orchestra, melodies -- ludicrous mise-en-scène.

28 Janaury -- meeting of my PEN Committee -- très convivial. AGO has been fixed for Saturday 21 March.

26 January -- again snow over Geneva. The garden looks gorgeous.

25 January -- 5 hours of glorious skiing at the Col de la Faucille, half an hour away!

23 January -- 19th Ex Tempore salon -- 60 participants.

22 January -- lectured at Webster University

18 January -- 6 hours skiing in Riederalp/Bettmeralp -- pure powder -- ane even saw 10 chamois!

5 January -- piked up 14 see stars from the shore -- now drying in the cellar.

1 January 2015 -- took a dip in the North Sea at Noordwijk.

30. December -- dinner at LaTour.

20 December -- my interview to Zeit Fragen came out in English in Current Concerns.

17 December - Opera at Grand Theatre

16 December -- meet Alix Parodi at Hameau St. Maurice

15 December -- medical -- blood pressure still low, 100 over 60.

14 December -- the english version of my interview came out in Current Concerns.

13 December -- conference at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern -- UN and Parliaments, together with Ambassador Anda Filip.

10 December -- all day conference at Future of Human Rights Forum. Criag Mokhiber was particularly effective.

8-9 December -- Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. Here my statement on the urgent need of disarmament.

15 November -- got 10 liters of my slivovitz

1 November -- swim in Nordwijk on the North Sea -- the warmest 1st November on record, 17 degrees air temperature, 15 degrees water temperature and mild winds. Glorious fresh herring to eat!

31 October -- fly to Holland

29 October -- meeting at US mission to the UN, visit Decolonization Committee, interview to UN radio, fly back to Geneva.

28 October -- press conference

27 October -- presented my report to the GA

26 October -- cocktail party at Leonor Sampaio's.

25 October -- ILA panel on new human rights mechanisms

24 October -- ILA panel on geo-engineering

23 October -- fly to NY arrive at Millennium Hotel in front of UN -- meet with indigenous.

20 October -- finished the media statement and my presentation of the report to the GA

18 October -- hike from Simplonpass to Simplondorf with Carla, Marie and Daniel

17 October -- finished repairing the Oratoire in Moos --

14 October -- spoke to the IPU 131th assembly

14 October -- Library event, 25 years UN writers. Daniel de Roulet spoke.

9 October -- Erskine Lecture at the Hilton in London

3 October - the new High Commissioner at the meeting of Special procedures

29 Sept. opening to the meeting of Special Procedures Mandate holders.

28 Sept -- almost a summer day. Cycled around the Lac de Joux and swam twice in the lake.

27 Sept. -- Carla and I swim again in Lake Geneva (one last time?) -- under amazingly mild autumn temperatures -- air 21 degrees, water 18.

26 Sept. - International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. -- Panel with Ambassador Filip, Director-General Michael Moller in Room XIV of PN.

25 Sept. -- The Human Rights Council adopts a resolution extending my mandate until 30 April 2018.

24 Sept. - Bryn Terfel, the Welsh bass-baritone gave a brilliant recital at the Grand Theatre. Everything from Schumann to Schubert to Ibert and the Welsh composers!

4 Sept - Panel with Colin Archer, Pavel Podvig, Ambassador Filip -- excellent presentations by everybody.

16 September -- Panel with Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, chaired by Madeleine Rees.

15 September -- Thierry-Daniel Coulon performed his dramatic monologue "H2O" in our salon before an audience of PEN and UNSW members.

14 September -- stroll in the Lötschenthal up to the Schwarzsee, where I had a lovely swim.

13 September -- 6 hour hike from Stalden/Gspon to Saas Grund/Saas Balen. Spectacular views over the Michabel chain.

12 September -- 50 kilometer cycling tour through the Goms from Oberwald to Geschinen (jumped in the lake) to Münster, Niederwald, Ernen, Binn, Lax and back to Brig.

10 September -- dinner with Anne Marie Demmer and the Andryseks at Prevesin.

10 September -- Presented my third report to the Human Rights Council. All States and ngo's that took the floor in the inter-active dialogue were supportive. Alas, some important States did not comment. The intervention of the International Peace Bureau was impressive.

4-9 September -- Six glorious days at the beach in Noordwijk. Swam every day in the North Sea -- which was 19 or 20 degrees. Even got a suntan. In Holland!

3 September -- courses started at GSD. I met my new history students.

2-3 September -- moderated the OCAPROCE Forum on women's rights.

31 August -- Lovely hike next to the Suones of Tennhoh in Oberwallis, up to the hanging bridge.

30 August -- Schäferwochenende at Belalp -- some 650 sheep made their way up from the Aletschji valley, where they had spent the summer grazing, up to the Belalp. A very bon enfant folks feast typical of the Oberwallis.

22 August -- merry performance of Franz Lehar's Graf von Luxembourg

20 August -- a glorious production of Rosenkavalier at the Salzburger Festspiele.

18 August -- visited the Archeological Museum in Bozen to see "Ötzi" the man from the ice.

14 August -- 25 years ago Sergio Chaves, Leonor Sampaio and I founded the United Nations Society of Writers. To celebrate current UNSW writers met at the Press Bar. Here we are 15 members of the United Nations Society of Writers marking the day of the launching -- I read excerpts of poems and essays by Leonor and Sergio.

14 August -- spoke at the Advisory Committe on PEN International and the Bled Manifesto on Peace.

13 August -- spoke on the panel on Ashraf: The Right to Peace and the Responsibility to Protect.

12 August -- Robin Williams has left us at age 63. I will never forget Dead Poets Society.

11 August -- my report to the Human Rights Council is out.

9 August -- wonderful concert in the Church of St. George in Ernen, Valais. Works by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdi and his sister Fanny, Bach chorals and a fascinating piano quintet by Cesar Frank.

6 August -- next semester I'll be teaching world history. Here the syllabus.

1-3 August -- Carla and I cycle 240 km from the chalet back to Geneva. Some lovely swims in various lakes.

27 July -- lovely walk from Rothwald to Rosswald in the Valais, 7 hours of gorgeous views

25 July -- submitted my report to the GA

4 - 13 July - glorious holidays in Noordwijk aan Zee, swimming, picking up shells on the shore, cycling through the dunes, walking, walking, walking, visiting churches and museums, reading fiction, not just official reports and analyses.

3 July - spoke only once at the working group -- did 16 pots of mirabel jam.

2 July - spoke eighteen times in the working group

1 July - spoke three times in the working group

30 June -- delivered a statement at the open-ended inter-governmental working group on the right to peace

30 June -- met Matej Jancosek's father -- learned that he was the valedictorian yesterday

25 June -- submitted report to Human Rights Council.

24 June -- lovely performance of Alfredo Catalani's opera "La Wally" at the Grand Theatre.

20-21 June -- drove to Torino to pick up Carla after the cycling trip with Elizabeth. Lovely "design hotel" Boston, and superlative food.

20 June - spoke at a UN panel on Iraq and a panel on women empowerment. Still jet-lagged!

7-14 June -- Indigenous Conference in Anchorage Alaska, followed by visit of villages in the Kenai Peninsula.

3 June -- lecture at Webster University.

29 May - 1 June -- hiking holiday in the Bourgogne, feeling like a "pilgrim" and arriving all tired and worn at the wonderful Basilica of Vezelay. Bought some Vonay, Beaune and Pommard reds, then at la Charité sur Loire took my ritual birthday swim in the Loire river and bought some wonderful Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre whites.

20-25 May -- a very lyrical Ring des Nibelungen at the Grand Theatre with a splendid cast and an understandable mise en scene by Dieter Dorn.

23 May -- workshop of unilateral coercive measures.

April 23 -- PEN Committee meeting at Montbrillant.

April 20 -- Easter Sunday at St. Mauritius in Naters, followed by the opening of the Ort der Begegnung.

April 15-18 April -- International Association of Democratic Lawyers 18th world congress at the Vrijeuniversiteit in Brussels. I spoke in three panels and in the plenary.

April 14 - Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Panel with the Chair of the UN Conference on Disarmament, Michael Möller. Issued a media statement.

April 2-3 -- conference hosted by Democracy International at the UN in Vienna. Also met with Andreas Bummel, the secretary-general of the campaign for a UN Parliamentary Assembly.

Friday 21 March -- meeting with the secretary general of the International Peace Bureau, Colin Archer.

Friday 14 March -- Panel at the UN in room XXI of PN on camps Ashraf and Liberty, together with Jean Ziegler, Bernard Kuchner and Linda Chavez. Film and celebration in honour of Theo van Boven, Director of the UN Division on Human Rights 1977-1982, who did so much for Latin America and who hired me into the UN in 1980. I had a lovely chat with him and gave him my interview on the CELAC declaration of Latin America as zone of peace.

Thursday 13 March -- visit Bent Sörensen and his wife Inge, both great pioneers in the fight against torture.

Tuesday- Wednesday 11-12 March -- conference at the Danish Institute for Human Rights

Monday 10 March -- panel on self-determination. PEN Committee meetring. Fly to Copenhagen.

Saturday 8 March -- International Women's Day. Celebrate it with Carla on the slopes of Crozet/Lelex. The Astres piste is as fast and challenging as ever.

Friday 7 March -- Nabucco at the Grand Theatre. Lovely music, miserable production.

the second tortoise woke up. Washed her, gave her water and put her under the light. She seems happy as Larry.

Thursday 6 March -- UN Panel on Women's rights in armed conflict, and the on-going tragedy of the Central African Republic.

Wednesday 5 March -- Ash Wednesday. Memento homo, quia pulvis es et in pulverem reverteris.

Wednesday 5 March -- the first of our two turtles has woken up from hibernation. What a miracle! Nearly 5 months without eating or drinking anything at all -- and there she is, happy and again hungry!

Thursday 13 February -- 69 years ago the Anglo-Americans carried out the infamous terror attack over the city of Dresden, a major war crime for which there was, as so often, total impunity for the perpetrators -- not even the recognition of the enormity of the event, routinely banalised by journalists and politicians. It is even more pathetic how political historians are intent to reduce the number of civilian victims (after all, they were "the enemy"), proving how little these apologists understand of human dignity -- and of history.

More figure skating at Sochi. the 19 year old Japanese Yuzuru Hanyu was best with 101 points. I liked the Canadian Patrick Chan, the German Peter Liebers and the American Jeremy Abbott, who took a bad fall, which looked like it hurt him, but showed remarkable resilience and stoicism in continuing the performance. Later, after a conquille St. Jacques dinner, we had lots of excitement in the house with a bat flying about -- it took me more than half an hour to persuade him to fly away -- had to open all windows and doors. I fear that he may have hibernated somewhere in the house -- and that there may be more where he came from!

Wednesday 12 February -- glorious figure skating at Sochi. Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov took gold, Russia's Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov took silver and Germany's Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy bronze after the Figure Skating Pairs Free Skating Program.

Sunday 9 February -- citius, altius, fortius. Wow and again wow! The performances at the Sochi Olympics are truly breathtaking. Is there anything as aesthetic as figure skating? The Russian couple Elena Ilinykn and Nikita Katsalopov took the gold, the Americans the silver and th Canadians the bronze. But all three were divine. So too the Italians and the Japanese who came in 4th and 5th. The girl boarders did absolutely amazing things, and the American truly deserved the gold. There is so much talent out there in the world -- and we are the privileged ones who can admire it. Awsome!

Saturday 8 February -- meeting of the coordinating committee of the 3 PEN Swiss Centres in Luzern. It's the turn for the Presidency of the Centre Suisse romand -- so it's my baby. (Photo by the President of the Deutschschweizer PEN Zentrum, Michael Guggenheimer, from left to right Ari Blum, Franca Tiberto, Enzio Bertola, me and Zeki Ergas)

Friday 7 January -- Opening of the Sochi winter Olympics. Absolutely otlichno! The ethereal soprano Anna Netrebko performed the Olympic anthem-- for me that was the best moment of the evening!

Lectured at GSD in the afternoon: got nice new students in my masters class on human rights monitoring mechanisms.

Thursday 30 January -- the 33 countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States concluded its summit in Havana yesterday and issued a Declaration proclaiming Latin America and the Caribbean a Zone of Peace. This is a wonderful example for the world and it will bear fruit.

Wednesday 29 January --It is snowing. I do the induction for the new students at the Geneva School of Diplomacy.

Tuesday 28 January -- UN panel on freedom of expression in Cambodia, hosted by Article 19 and PEN International. I spoke on the five Special Procedures mandates that should be engaged to address the multiple violations. This was followed by Cambodia's UPR before the Human Rights Council.

On Friday 24 January 2014 the United Nations Society of Writers held its 18th annual salon hosting 61 literature enthusiasts and 17 readers from the UN, UNCTAD, UNHCR, OHCHR, ILO, PEN Club and the Société Vaudoise des Ecrivains.  Participants declamed poetry and epigrams in Arabic, English, French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  Aline Dedeyan performed her funny sketch "tax evasion".  We celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the American poet William Stafford, and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Richard Strauss, who was not only a superlative composer, conductor and orchestrator but a widely read intellectual with high literary sensitivity and judgment, who used the best writers of the day as his librettists, including Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Stefan Zweig, and put to music poems by Hermann Hesse and Joseph von Eichendorff.   Several of our amateur poets paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and the multiple links between joie de vivre, diversity, pluralism, freedom of opinion, literature, culture, mutual respect and peace. 

18 January -- Das Hexenrennen at Belalp. Lovely day of skiing and photographing "witches" in all sorts of costumes sweeping down the slopes. Our favourite black piste was closed, but the blacks 2, 3 and 14 were open and garanteed a glorious adrenalin rush.

23 December -- Ex Tempore XXIV is out.

22 December -- oecumenical concert at St. Hipolyte Church followed by vin chaud

19 December -- Lecture at the Fachhochschule in Zürich -- some 200 students and targeted questions

10 December -- moderated a panel on new human rights structures at the Future of Human Rights Forum

5 December -- spoke at the celebration 20 Years OHCHR

4 December -- spoke at the presentation of the new book on the Right to Development

3 December -- UN Conference on Business and Human Rights

2 December -- Press Release on Ashraf

7 November- 1 December: Vacationing in Australia

5 November -- at the General Assembly of the United Nations Society of Writers we elected Marko Stanovic as our new President.

31 October -- meeting with Ambassadors of Palestine and Sri Lanka

30 October - dinner with Jeanne Mirer, president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers

29 October -- panel at the International Peace Institute, reception by Ambassador John Hirsch, interview for IPI

28 October - presentation of my report to GA and press conference, reception at Amnesty International. Good communiqué de presse by the UN office.

27 October -- lunch with Professor Finkelstein, dinnner with Maritza Struyvenberg and family

26 October -- memorial service for Kevin Carlson in Canaan, Connecticut

25 October -- interview on Amherst Radio

24 October -- UN Day, lecture at Harvard Law School, hour interview with Professor Noam Chomsky at MIT

16-17 October -- Brussels Conference at the European Parliament, moderated by Jo Leinen MEP (SPD)

8 October -- concertante performance at Victoria Hall of Ernest Reyer's opera Sigurd, magnificently sung. What a delight to hear something I did not even know existed! Must buy the cd!

7 October -- my German interview to Zeit-Fragen has been translated into English and published in Current Concerns.

6 October -- lovely swim in the North Sea at Noordwijk. Water temperature around 15 centigrade.

27 September -- delivered a lecture in French before some 150 students of the University of Geneva: La promotion d'un ordre international democratique et equitable: mode d'emploi.

24-25 September Conference on the Right of Public Participation at the Danish Institute for Human Rights in Copenhagen. Glorious autumn weather.

17 September panel in room XXIV hosted by the mission of Ecuador with the participation of the Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson and Julian Assange himself from London on inter-active video conference. The room was packed to capacity -- in any event well over 200 in the audience.

13 September, met with the mothers of two murdered residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Gave an interview to UN radio in NY.

12 September, spoke at a panel on women and children in armed conflict.

11 September, continuation of inter-active dialogue on my report and concluding comments. Spoke at a panel on self-determination. Issued a press release.

10 September, delivered an opening statement to present my report to the Council and listened to State reponses and those of 7 ngo's during the inter-active dialogue.

9 September -- moderated a UN panel on Human Rights and armed conflict -- focusing on Syria.

6 September -- watched the Schäferfest in the village of Mund and in the evening went to a wonderful performance of Georg Friedrich Händel's opera Alcina in the courtyard of the Stockalper Schloss in Brig.

5 September -- Carla and I cycled from Oberwald to Niederwald and swam twice in a secluded mountain lake.

18 August -- exactly ten years ago my boss Sergio Vieira de Mello was killed in the terrorist blast that destroyed the OHCHR office in Baghdad. I had spoken with him on a Saturday afternoon at the Palais Wilson a few weeks before that. Requiescat in pace.

6 August -- went to the cemetery. Our son Stefan would have been 17 years old. God giveth, God taketh away. We count our blessings and accept destiny as it comes, taking comfort in Reinhold Niebuhr's prayer: God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

1 August -- glorious cycling around Lac des Rousses and Lac de Joux -- 65 km in 6 hours including three swims.

28 July - wish I had been in Copacabana for Pope Francis' Mass on World Youth Day!

25 July -- lecture by Noam Chomsky at the University of Geneva

18 July -- Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday! Prooooooost!

6 July -- big family get-together in Noordwijk. hartstikke gezellig.

5 July -- Carla's birthday, suitably celebrated at the Le Tour restaurant of the ter Duin Hotel in Noordwijk.

3 July -- finished the first draft of my report to the General Assembly. Coup d'état in Egypt. Let's pray for an end to the violence.

2 July -- international law imbroglio with Ed Snowden, Evo Morales, Austria, France, etc. A whistleblower may be a hero and serve democracy by demanding accountability and transparency from governments -- but it is tough going.

30 June -- finally a sunny day. We did the 4-hour hike up and down the Massaschlucht, crossing the ravine down by Wassen and then taking the steep climb to Hegdorn at the end..

29 June -- it was cold in the chalet and we lit the fireplace, drank vin chaud and watched the rain outside.

27-28 June -- Vienna plus 20 celebrations. I participated in the workshop on the post 2015 development agenda, Carla in the workshop on enforcement mechanisms and remedies for victims.

24-28 June - meeting of independent experts and special rapporteurs in Vienna.

27 June - Bejart Ballet in Lausanne to music of Gutav Mahler.

20 June my interview with the Future of Human Rights Forum finally came out in internet.

19 June - glorious singing of Dvorak's Rusalka at the Grand Theatre -- Camilla Nylund was spectacular as Rusalka and Ladislav Elgr as the Prince. Pity that the mise-en-scene was banal to bad.

14 June - UN Panel on faith and human rights

7 June - UN panel on Camps Ashraf and Liberty

6 June - consultation of the independent expert on initiatives for a world court of human rights, held in room VIII of the old Palais de Nations, the same room used by Eleanor Roosevelt when drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights..

5 June -- side-event on the right to peace.

4 June -- UN panel on women empowerment

31 May- 2 June Venice biennale.

30 May - consultation on international solidarity with Rapporteur Virginia Dandan, followed by panel on Camp Ashraf

22 May - Our High Commissioner Navy Pillay convened some of the old hands to a lovely get-together at the Palais Wilson -- some of us who participated at the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in those happier days of optimism and effervescence -- what a privilege that was! And what camaraderie! (I am second from the right)

19 May -- Pentecost Sunday. Veni creator spiritus!

18 May - Richard Wagner's 200th birthday. Played the wonderful CD by Loorin Maazel "Tannhäuser without words" and then a Bayreuth compilation.

17 May -- a pure joy! Dustin Hoffman's directing the "Quartet" -- a truly feel-good movie with Maggie Smith and Tom Courtenay. You come out of the cinema singing Rigoletto!

16 May -- very successful consultation on my mandate, with top participants including Professor Vera Gowlland, Professor Daniel Thürer, Prof. Harro von Senger -- and the Director of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, Andreas Bummel.

1 May -- Opening of the Geneva book fair. A world of new and wonderful books. I gave a lecture on Rilke.

Tuesday 30 April - Oranje Boven! Lang leve Koning Willem Alexander! Vandag is de Troonwisseling! Lang leve de oude Koningin Beatrix. Welkom Koningin Maxima! Wij trinken natuurlijk Oranjebitter. Habemus regem.

Monday 29 April - tenor Rolando Villazón sings down Victoria Hall with an all Verdi program. Lots of bravado without unnecessary pathos.

Friday 26 April -- gave an interview on Guantanamo to Prensa Latina -- in Spanish.

Wednesday 10 April. The April UN Special came out and published an article on Ex Tempore.

Sunday 31 March -- Urbi et Orbi -- Peace and reconciliation, respect for God's Creation, reject greed and short-term advantage.

Saturday 23 March -- a year ago I was appointed Independent Expert by the Human Rights Council -- it has been an exciting year and I have met splendid people. Meanwhile my second set of reports for the HRC and General Assembly are in the pipeline. To celebrate: Carla and I hit the slopes again, this time in the Monts Jura chain. A remarkably nice day of skiing, even if the sky was grey. In the evening we had service at the Chapelle des Crêts and I did the meditation.

Friday 22 March -- to mark World Water Day eight UN rapporteurs, including myself, issued a press release stressing that water is a human right, not a commodity.

Thursday 21 March - wonderful performance of Das Rheingold in a mise-en-scene of Dieter Dorn with an amazing Alberich, John Lundgren, and a very funny Loge, Corby Welch.

Wednesday 20 March -- United Nations International Day of Happiness. The UN Library and Ex Tempore did a successful poetry reading to conjure up the good spirits -- we were seven readers before an audience of 32, followed by a Haiku workshop.


Tuesday 19 March -- feast of St. Joseph -- and the inaugural Mass of Pope Franciscus in Rome. Very touching homily -- made me think of the Sermon on the Mount, simple, straight-forward, comforting.

Monday 18 March -- snow galore over Geneva. Winter does not want to go.

Sunday 17 March -- quiet day listening to this young Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez -- what a wonderful voice for Bellini!

Saturday 16 March -- the General Assembly of PEN International Centre Suisse romand (the Pen Club of the french-speaking Swiss cantons) meeting in Lausanne elected me as its President. This is my second tour of duty. Time to draw inspiration from Robert Frost, William Wordsworth, Hermann Hesse, Rainer Maria Rilke, Victor Hugo, Joachim du Bellay, Jose de Espronceda, Antonio Machado, Gabriel García Marquez (to name some of my favourites), knowing that literature is definitely more fun and more invigorating than politics.

Friday 15 March - UN panel on Iraq and reparation to victims of gross violations of human rights.

Thursday 14 March - side-event on Iraq, I spoke on the Security Council and its mandate under article 24 of the UN Charter. Exchanged views with Hans-Christoph Graf von Sponeck and Professor Jean Ziegler.

Wednesday 13 March - Habemus Papam! Viva Franciscus! Sursum corda! As Archbishop of Buenos Aires he once said with regard to the political leaders of his country: “Power is born of confidence, not with manipulation, intimidation or with arrogance". I would add, legitimacy depends on truth, sincerity and consent of the governed. People matter!

Tuesday 12 March - meeting with working group on enforced disappearances; meeting with Kofi Annan Foundation.

Monday 11 March - spoke in two side-events at the Council - on the human right to peace, and on the world constitutional court.

Sunday 10 March -- the two tortoises woke up (probably already while I was in the UK) after four and a half months of hibernation -- looking around, curious as ever. Washed them, gave them water and dandelion leaves. They seem happy. Haec dies quam fecit Dominus: exultemus et laetemur in ea. They are still somewhat groggy. So, in order to get them going, I am trying Richard Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra on them -- surely better than Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

Saturday 9 March - lecture on my mandate at the University of Nottingham.

Friday 8 March - International Women's Day -- introduced the Danish film "Enemies of Happiness" about women in Afghanistan.

Thursday 7 March - lecture on freedom of expression at Middlesex University.

Wednesday 6 March -- meeting with the International Commission of Jurists on possibilities of cooperation on the World Court project and IBOR's international bill of rights.

Tuesday 5 March -- panel on the death penalty.

Monday 4 March -- panel on self-determination.

Thursday 28 February -- last day of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. We will miss him. Sursum corda! Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας.
From the balcony of Castel Gandolfo to the crowds gathered in the piazza below, his final greeting to the faithful was humble and profoundly human, in that benevolent style we have learned to appreciate over the past eight years: "Da oggi sono solo un pellegrino".

Thursday 28 February -- spoke at two United Nations panels, one on violence against women, the other on the crisis affecting the Mujahedin refugees in Camps Ashraf and Liberty. The other participants in the high-level panel were Mme Maryam Radjavi, Struan Stevenson, MEP, Chairman of the Delegation for relations with Iraq, Taher Boumedra, Former advisor to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Iraq – former chef of the Human Rights section of UNAMI, Sid Ahmed Ghozali, Former Prime Minister of Algeria, Anne-Marie Lizin,  Honorary President of the Belgian Senate - Former Special Rapporteur on human rights and extreme poverty, Michel Joli,  Secretary-General  of France Libertés – Fondation Danielle Mitterrand, and Juan Garces, International lawyer, former adviser of Chilean president Salvador Allende.

Wednesday 27 February -- the diplomat, philosopher and human rights activist Sephan Hessel passed away at the age of 95. I met him years ago and he left an enduring impression.

Tuesday 26 February -- panel on public diplomacy and international cooperation.

Monday 25 February -- presentation of the new book of Ambassador Benedict de Tscharner at the Château de Penthes.

Wednesday 20 February -- my oral statement on the human right to peace, delivered at the Council, was particularly well received by the non-governmental organizations.

Saturday 16 February. Glorious powder at the Valais station of Laucheralp in the legendary Lötschenthal. More than six hours of practically non-stop skiing. Homo ludens!

Saturday 9 February. Superlative skiing at the French station of Monts Jura, barely 20 minutes away from the house. And what a view of basin lemanique and the Salève from the black piste in Crozet!

On Thursday 7 February I spoke at the UN open-ended consultation on the human right to peace, focusing on the justiciability of the various components of the right to peace and recalling that even economic, social and cultural rights are now justiciable thanks to the ratification of the Optional Protocol to ICESCR. Homo faber!

Wednesday 6 February. Panel at the Palais des Nations on women's empowerment and zero tolerance for FGM.

Tuesday 5 February. The Government of Uruguay deposited the 10th instrument of ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, which will duly enter into force on 5 May 2013. Finally the justiciability of economic, social and culural rights is being recognized. We fought for it when I was a UN staffer, and now it has become a reality.

Sunday 3 February. Splendid skiing at the French station Les Houches with a spectacular view of the Mont Blanc. Wonderful black pistes Kandahar and red Fontaines and Mur des Epines. Lots of skiiers doing telemark -- an elegant, but difficult discipline!

25 January 2013 -- 17th annual Ex Tempore evening. We duly celebrated Robert Burns' 254th birthday, and anticipated the centennial of the birth of Albert Camus (7 November 1913). In spite of the icy roads, 65 persons showed up and 15 performed, including Aline Dedeyan, whose sketch was very original and a pure delight. Her pianist Peter Cattan and male co-performer Sebastien Verney were worthy of West End. We borrowed the electronic piano from the Chapelle des Crêts and the mood was upbeat, with the audience joining in the singing and clapping. For more pictures see

24 Janaury - IBOR General Assembly. Bruna Molina President, Kirk Boyd Secretary, myself as Vice-President and Treasurer a.i.

19 December -- intelligent and intelligible production of Arthur Honegger's Les aventures du roi Pausole at the Grand Theatre. Fine staging and light effects. The mise-en-scène was done by Robert Sandoz, and the king's daughter, La Blanche Aline, was beautifully sung and acted by Sophie Angebault.

16 December. Glorious skiing in Belalp. Pure powder

10 December -- Human Rights Day. Successful panel and workshop co-organized by Earth Focus and IBOR.

8 December the XXIII issue of Ex Tempore is out. Shorter than Nr. 22, but very varied and rich.

7 December -- my article in the Netherlands International Law Review on freedom of opinion and expression, written with my doctoral student Aurea roldan, is now on-line.

2 November -- notwithstanding hurricane Sandy that flooded the UN building on the East River-- the special rapporteurs still had the opportunity of presenting their reports to the General Assembly. Here a picture on Friday morning, just before the session of the Third Committee opened. I actually enjoyed presenting my report, and the States were kind enough with their comments. Here a picture with the special rapporteur on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson.


24 October, UN Day, the conseil du personnel organized a manifestation outside the General Assembly hall, and the United Nations Society of Writers had a stand with the last issues of Ex Tempore. USG Jan Eliasson spent some time at the stand and shared with me some thoughts by Dag Hammarsksjold, which he repeated in his inspired statement at Victoria Hall the same evening. Maestro Marek Janowski delighted us with a wonderful rendition of Anton Bruckner's 4th Symphony.

The October issue of En Route, the flight magazine of Air Canada, has an article on the Geneva School of Diplomacy with a couple of photos of myself at the Château de Penthes.

12 October -- wonderful performance of Swan Lake at the Grand Theâtre by the Chinese National Balllet Company. Wang Qinin was a particularly convincing Odette/Odile.

5 October Rapporteurs Magdalena Sepúlveda (extreme poverty),Cephas Lupina (debt) and I put out a press release on the Liikanen report and EU banking reform.

1-3 October : UN Social Forum in room XX at the Palais des Nations. I spoke on the panel on democratization on 1 October. Here my oral statement. Good comments by the ngo community.

The October issue of the UN Special brings my article on "Art en campagne".

25 September - spoke before activists of UNESCO Extea concerning my mandate and how to enhance civil society participation..

21 September -- International Day of Peace. Issued my third press release. The New York UN media office also picked it up, and the UN quotes (only the first one).

16 September -- boat trip to Montreux/Château de Chillon -- spectacular weather, good swim at the château.

15 September - "Art en campagne" closing ceremony in Collex-Bossy. Wrote article for the October issue of the UN Special concerning this wonderful transfrontier exhibition and comparing it with the exhibit in Belalp.

14 September -- lectured at Wesbster University, meetings with the Asian Group and with the East-European Group.

13 September -- meeting with the African Group. Panel on my mandate.

12 September -- in the morning meeting with the Western and Other Group. In the afternoon presented my report to the Human Rights Council. Here the statement, and the press release.

Mix & Remix, the cartoonist of the Hebdo weekly magazine in Switzerland, made this design for me in less than a minute.

At the Council room XX with the Independent Expert on International Solidarity Virginia Dandan

11 September -- lectured at GSD, meeting with the Latin American and Caribbean Group. Gave interview on my mandate.

7 September -- took a swim in the Schwarzsee in Lötschental -- cold and invigorating.

3 September -- "Boer zoekt vrouw" op BVN. Ich kijk praktisch nooit naar televisie. Maar ik vind dit programma echt leuk.

1 September was a cold, rainy prematurely autumnal day, perfect to sit at the fireplace and drink a Gamaret.

My report to the Human Rights Council is on the web. I'm scheduled to present it on 12 September.





On 16 July my first report to the Human Rights Council went to the editors and translators. -- Wow, that's a relief!

On 10 July we held an informal consultation with civil society at the Palais Wilson to brainstorm on the scope and potential of my UN mandate. I derived good insights that will be reflected on my report.

The Enlightenment philosopher, novelist, polemicist, opera composer and citoyen de Genève Jean Jacques Rousseau was born on 28 June 1712 at Grand Rue 40 in the center of the old town of Geneva. The United Nations Society of Writers marked the 300th anniversary of his birth with a celebration at the Escargot Bar of the Palais des Nations, next to the Human Rights Council chamber -- with readings from the Confessions and the Contrat Social. Was a JJR a precursor of Henri Dunant and the International Committee of the Red Cross? His ideas on the notion of the Westphalian state, the nature of sovereignty, war, the condition of the soldier and prisoner of war status certainly influenced -- for the better -- the development of international humanitarian law.

Saturday 7 July was a perfect day for cycling -- thus, bikes on top of the car, drove to the Lac des Rousses in France, next to the town of La Cure, cycled the 60 km around the lake of Rousses and the Lac de Joux (Switzerland) and swam in both. Glorious.

On Wednesday 4 July I cooked and bottled 11 liters of jam. Our plum trees have been generous this year. Now I am harvesting for the slivovitz!

On Tuesday 3 July participated in the panel "Ending Global Racism" in Room XXV, together with Jan Lönn, Secretary of the ngo World Against Racism Network. Moderator was Professor Krishna Ahooja-Patel of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

On Monday 2 July lectured in Spanish to the masters students of the Universidad de La Rioja at the Uni Dufour. Very alert students, clever questions, good atmosphere.

The 2012 Geneva Book Fair on 25-29 Apirl was a great success, this time dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Here a photo at the stand of P.E.N. International, Centre Suisse romand, with J. Alexis Koutchoumow, Hoang Nguyen, Claude Krul, myself and Maria Zaki.


My Guantanamo booklet (lecture at the University of Trier, Institut für Rechtspolitik) is now on the internet. Nr. 28, ISSN 1616-8828.

On Sunday 25 March, a glorious spring day with fruit trees blossoming in our garden -- and all around the countryside, we did our first barbeque of the season. Life can be so wonderful - if kept simple and genuine. And yet, nothing stops you from aiming at citius, altius, fortius -- Κῦδος τοῖς Ὀλυμπίοις!

On Friday 23 March the President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Laura Dupuy Lasserre, appointed me to the new mandate of Independent Expert on the Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, The mandate has enormous potential and will require much reflection. My desire is to be a bridge between North-South, East-West, and to serve the cause of human rights by advancing those immanent principles of human dignity and human equality that make society work. We live in such a beautiful, rich planet that there is no excuse for extreme poverty, structural violence, needless conflict and war. Real - not just virtual - democracy can be achieved, but we must believe in the rule of law, defend it and persevere. Humanity needs more justice, mutual respect, patience, misericordia. The mandate was created by the Council on 29 September 2011. Si vis pacem, cole justitiam. Nuevos Derechos del Hombre just put up the notice on their site. I lisened to one of my favourite pieces -- Anton Bruckner's Te Deum laudamus.

On Wednesday 21 March I gave an interview to Russia Today. It is high time to recognize the UN Charter as the constitution of all of humanity and the ICJ as the world constitutional court ! Let's have too an international court of human rights.

On Wednesday 14 March Bruna Molina and I hosted a UN "side event" on IBOR and the International Court of Human Rights.

On Tuesday 13 March fruitful UN panel on women's rights. Good audience -- and I even gave a TV interview afterwards.

On Saturday 10 March Ex Tempore co-sponsored a "happening" at the Bains des Paquis with redings of poetry by Alphonse de Lamartine, Hermann Hesse, Rainer Marie Rilke -- and Antony Hequet. Diva International reported on the event.

On Tuesday 6 March I was on a UN panel on indefinite detention and special procedures. On Friday 2 March I was on another UN Panel on Camps Ashraf and Liberty, together with Justice Geoffrey Roberts, Q.C., Professor Vera Gowlland, Gianfranco Fattorini, etc.

Post-carneval abstinence is upon us, always an opportunity to take stock and slow down a bit. Here a meditation on Easter and a meditation on the temple and us.

On 28 February the Grand Theatre de Genève gave a splendid performance of Bohuslav Martinu's Opera Juliette. The producton by Richard Jones and costumes by Antony McDonald were fascinating in a surrealistic way.

The February 2012 issue of the UN Special brings a short article on Ex Tempore.

On Tuesday 31 January the Grand Theatre de Genève presented Jean-Jacques Rousseau's opera Le Devin du Village, very competently sung by Mark Milhofer and Norma Nahoun, also a shorter opera or Intermezzo by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, La Serva Padrona. It's tremendous fun to discover these forgotten gems.

On Friday evening 20 January 2012 we held the 16th annual Ex Tempore literary salon, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, but this time with only 47 participants, since the weather was rather inclement. We still had a fine spectrum of English, French, Spanish, German, Russian and even Vietnamese readings, as well as Aline Dedeyan's very funny sketch.

On 11 January 2012 Professor Paul Gottfried, Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania and Guggenheim scholar posted a long article-review of "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis" in the on-line site Takimag. Comments follow galore.

Carla and I had roast goose for Christmas. The Gänseschmalz is wonderful for omelettes. Now we are off again to the olive harvest in Piegon/Nyons, France. There is something very genuine about climbing on an olive tree and plucking olives one by one. The olive oil we obtain from the old-fashioned mill is more flavourful than any other we have ever poured on decades of salads. Which brings me to a new year's resolution: consume more salads, more veggies and less animals.

On Sunday 18 December we sang Kodaly, Rimsky-Korsakov and other favourites at the oecumenical concert we give every December at St. Hippolyte/Chapelle des Crêts. Since there were only three of us tenors this year, I could use my lungs more generously. But the choir director mostly wants piano or even pianissimo! Tja!

The December 2011 issue of UN Special brings my poem Hiking in Engadin -- even with photos!

On Thursday 8 December Earth Focus held its annual human rights conference. Among participants were former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan, Nicola Furey, Professor Bruna Molina and myself. Among other things, we introduced our new website for the International Bill of Rights Association.

On 15-18 November the 3 Swiss PEN Clubs commemorated Writers-in-Prison day. A noted Libyan author in exile -- Ibrahim Al Koni -- was our guest, and the evening was intellectually challenging.

Professor Israel Charny, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, just published a review of my book "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis" in the Fall 2011 issue Nr. 8 of Genocide Prevention Now.

On Friday 11 November I spoke at the Club de la Presse on the Ashraf crisis. Other panelists were Gianfranco Fattorini, co-president of MRAP, Jacques Neirynck, member of the Swiss Federal Parliament, Professor Christianne Perregaux, Jean-Charles Rielle, member of the Federal Parliament, Eric Sottas, Secretary-General of the OMCT, Queens Council Georffrey Robertson, Professor Eric David and Préfet Yves Bonnet. Let us hope that the crime of silence will be broken and that the UN will take effective action to protect the 3400 innocent civilians in the camp. If R2P means anything, here is a good place to apply it.

On Friday 4 November singing rehearsals for the oecumenical Christmas concert began at the Chapelle des Crêts. Once again the tenors are in the minority, which gives me the opportunity to sing louder. Fun! Kodaly, Arrian, Berthier, Lécot.

On Thursday 3 November the Association por la recherche, la promotion et le Développement de l'Ingénierie Eco-Moderne (AIEM.DI) held ist constitutive assembly in Geneva. Dominique Simondet is President, Geneva Conseiller Marc Falquet was elected Director and I Vice-President in charge of international relations.

On Sunday 30 October Carla and I did the 3-hour hike through the Bois des Chênes near Vich (the "toblerone" walk), through rustling forests in brown, red and yellow, next to the murmur of the Severine stream.

The October issue of the UN Special published my short piece on the alpine horn, "Le cor des alpes, un instrument de paix."

On Saturday 22 October Carla and I did a lovely hike through the vineyards near Aubonne, collected over a hundred fresh walnuts and chestnuts and I even took a final Indian-summer swim in lake Geneva. It was wonderfully sunny and unseasonably warm-- both air and water temperature were around 14-15 degrees. The beach was deliciously deserted.

On Thursday 20 October the International Parliamentary Union held a conference with Parlamentarians from all over the world. I spoke on the links between civil and political rights and the implementation of the right to development.

On Monday 10 October, on the occasion of the commemoration of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, I spoke at the Place des Nations at a large gathering of the relatives of refugees at Camp Ashraf in Irak, who have every reason to fear another massacre. I noted the considerable increase in the number of death sentences and executions in Iran, which pose a grave threat to all opposition leaders and their families.

On Satuday 8 October Carla and I conducted the lay service at the Chapelle de Crêts with readings from Matthew and Mark. Such religious services are often more authentic than official worship, and the tradition goes back to early Christian times, when lay Christian communities met to meditate, discuss, commune. It was beautiful and breathed life.

At the General Assembly of the United Nations Society of Writers on Friday, 7 October, the board was reelected and I was confirmed in my function as editor-in-chief of Ex Tempore. Volume XXII is about to come out.

On Wednesday 5 October, after my morning lecture and advising a master's student on her thesis, Carla and I "stole" one last swim in the lake. Water temperature was 18 degrees, air temperature 21. Not bad for beginning of October. But a cold front is approaching. Alas. There we were, looking at the water and munching on Noah's bagels from San Francisco. We are undecided whether the pumpkin or the Asiago bagels are the best.

Just learned that my correspondence with Golo Mann is in the Schweizerisches Literaturarchiv, Besides visiting him at home in Kilchberg, we had been together on ZDF discussing the fallacious "collective guilt" doctrine,

On Tuesday 4 October I participated in the Second International Conference "Public diplomacy and youth volunteering" in Room VIII at the Palais des Nations, organized by the International Youth Movement with headquarters in Moscow. I spoke on the work of the International Bill of Rights Association, made my introductory remarks in Russian and even took some of the questions in Russian. Nice kids -- bright eyed, bushy tailed.

It's UN panel time again. Monday 19 September on self-determination, Wedesday 21 and Thursday 22 September on Camp Ashraf, Monday 26 September on Women's Rights, Tuesday 27 September noon on Kashmir, Tuesday 27 Sepember 3 p.m. on the right to peace. Be glad when when UN Council is over.

On 11 September the Tagesspiegel in Berlin brought a nice review of "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis" by Professor Dr. Arnulf Baring (Berlin).

Carla and I cycled some 60 kilometers around lac de Rousses (in France) and lac de Joux (in Switzerland) on Sunday 25 September. It's Indian Summer and the air temperature was 25 degrees, water temperature 17 degrees. We tried out both lakes!

The human rights journal "Menschenrechte" just published on page 29 of its Nr1/2011 a short but fine review of my book "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis"

On Thursday 11 August I was again on a UN panel, as a side-event to the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council, this time with Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee, with Professor Guy Goodwin Gill (Oxford), Professor Vera Gowlland (Geneva), Dr. Eric Sottas (Geneva), the Spanish barrister Juan Garces (Madrid) and Mme Maryam Radjavi. I focused on the UNAMI report 2010 and its deplorable euphemisms.

On Wednesday 10 August I participated on the panel of the International Conference on Camp Ashraf and the Responsibilities of the United Nations, held at the Inter-Continental Hotel. Mme Maryam Rajavi opened the conference, other speakers were former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, former Amnesty International Chief Irene Khan, and the French-Colombian human rights activist Ingrid Betancourt. I focused on the issue of "legal status" of the residents of Ashraf and on the inacceptable notion of "legal black holes". The Ashraf residents are human beings and enjoy the protection of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Refugee Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. As Baruch Spinoza observed in his Ethics, "nature abhors a vacuum". The event was also reported in the German-language press.

On Monday 8 August I spoke 7 minutes (I only had the right to 4 minutes, but the chair did not cut me off!) at the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council -- on the Declaración de Santiago and possible amendments to the Draft Declaration on the Human Right to Peace.

On Sunday 7 August I was one of the three panelists in the expert consultation on the human right to peace, held at the John Knox Centre. We are realy moving ahead!

On 28 July at the General Assembly of the Société Espagnole pour le Droit International des Droits Humains, I was appointed Treasurer. Our President is Prof. Carlos Villan Duran and our Secretary, Jose Luis Gomez del Prado, is currently the President of the UN Working Group on Mercenaries.

On Thursday, 21 July the Human Rights Committee adopted General Comment Nr. 34 on freedom of opinion and expression. Particularly important is paragraph 49: " Laws that penalise the expression of opinions about historical facts are incompatible with the obligations that the Covenant imposes on States parties in relation to the respect for freedom of opinion and expression. The Covenant does not permit general prohibition of expressions of an erroneous opinion or an incorrect interpretation of past events. Restrictions on the right of freedom of opinion should never be imposed and, with regard to freedom of expression they should not go beyond what is permitted in paragraph 3 or required under article 20." For the full, advanced unedited version see:

On 21 July Europe News published an article on the Cyprus question that relies in part on Professor Andreas Auer's constitutional law paradigm of a Principled Basis for a Just and Lasting Cyprus Settlement.

See also an earlier article by Henrik R. Clausen, which cites my work:

On Monday 4 July I spoke to a large group of Mujaheedins and their families demonstrating at the Place des Nations on "Ashraf et le crime du silence" just in front of the United Nations building.

The International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM) has invited me to join their Directorate. It is a matter of ethics and intellectual honesty to serve the "unsung victims".

The June 2011 issue of UN Special carries my article "Music as International Language."

On Friday 10 June I participated on a UN panel, hosted by the Indian Council of South America and the Indigenous Peoples and Nations Coalition on "Self-determination and Human Rights". I spoke about the problem of international law à la carte, and the arbitrary application of the principle of self-determination, depending on geopolitical considerations of the great powers, and compared the situations in Kurdistan, Palestine, Katanga, Biafra, Sri Lanka, Kosovo, Transnistria, Southern Ossetia, Abkhazia, Hawaii, Alaska and Sudan.

On Tuesday 7 June I participated on a UN panel, hosted by OCAPROCE, on the millennium development goals and in particular on goals 2 and 3 concerning education and equality of women at the workplace. I spoke about the maquiladoras.

On Tuesday 31 May I participated on a UN panel hosted by the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities on "Detention in Conflict." The other panelists were Professor Dr. Joshua Catellino, Prof. Nazir Shawl, Dr. Elvira Dominguez Redondo, Dr. Nadia Bernaz, and Barrister Majid Tramboo.

On Monday 16 May I delivered a paper at a closed UN side event, a consultation on the human right to peace, with the participation of the Western and Eastern European groups of the Human Rights Council. Indeed, dulce bellum inexpertis -- war is only attractive to the unexperienced (attributed to Erasmus of Rotterdam)

Issue 934 of the EU weekly newspaper published in Brussels New Europe, 8 May 2011, carries my full-page analysis on the Armenian Genocide and International Law on page 14.

On Saturday 7 May at the Stadttheater in Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany, I delievered a Laudatio to Judge Baltasar Garzon Real at a dignified ceremony during which the Freiburger Kant Gesellschaft conferred upon him the Weltbürgerpreis. The Badische Zeitung published a nice report on 9 May at page 26. Zeit-Fragen published excerpts of my Laudatio. Let's say with Kant: Sapere aude!

On 6 May my interview on "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis" was published in the Preussischen Allgemeine Zeitung, on page 10.

On 2 May I gave a lecture in French on Rainer Maria Rilke at the Geneva Salon du livre (bookfair). It was reasonably well attended (some 25 people, PEN members and non-members). From left to right Fanny Mouchet, Hoang Nguyen, Claude Krul, Alexis Koutchoumow, Bruno Mercier, Zeki Ergas, myself. Literature is so much nicer than politics!

On Thursday, 28 April I read at the UN library the pretty thorough review of my new book "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis", published in the Netherlands International Law Review. The reviewer highlights the inter-disciplinary methodology of the book. I guess that international lawyers will read the review -- but how many historians?

On Wednesday 20 April I spoke on a panel held at the Club de la Presse on the international criminal aspects of the Einsatzgruppen-like actions of the Iraqui army against the Ashraf refugees. The Television de la Suisse Romande reported on the panel in the Wednesday evening news, and the Tribune de Genève and Le Temps published intelligent articles on the Ashraf crisis on Thursday 21 April. On Saturday 16 April I participated on a panel on the Iraqui massacre against the Aschraf refugees, Iranian Mujaheidins held at a camp in Irak, formerly under the protection of the U.S. government. On 8 April Iraqi soldiers attacked the refugee camp, killed 34 and wounded more than 300 refugees. Surely a crime against humanity, a grave breach of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 -- disgraceful and yet largely unreported. The other panelists were Pofessor Jean Ziegler, vice-President of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council, Dr Jean-Charles Rielle, Conseiller national and Député au Parlement Suisse, Pastor Daniel Neeser and Marc Falquet, Député au Grand Conseil Genevois. Here again we recognize the phenomenon of victims of crime -- and victims of silence. More generally we are confronted with the inhumanity of silence and indifference -- because these victims are not deemed politically correct. We adopted a declaration.

of On 31 March Canadians for Genocide Education conferred upon me their "Educator's Award" 2011. CGE is an association of some 53 organizations of survivors of genocide and ethnic cleansing including indigenous Americans, Armenians, Bosnians, Chaldeo-Assyrians, Croatians, Cypriots, Germans, Greeks, Jews, Kosovars, Kurds, Macedonians, Rwandans, Roma, Sinti, Serbs, Slovenes, Tamils, Ukranians etc. I could not fly to the University of Toronto to accept the award, but my acceptance speech was read out. It was reported in the press, including the German-Canadian Neue Welt on 6 April, page 3. Genocide Prevention Now, a publication edited by Professor Israel Charny, Jerusalem, reported on it.

My new book "Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis" has just been published by Olzog Verlag, München, 2011. 206 pages, Index, Facsimiles, ISBN 978-3-7892-8329-1
From the preface by Professor Dr. Karl Doehring, former Director of the Max Planck Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Heidelberg): "... Aber letztlich geht es ihm um die Frage, ob es eine Kollektivschuld der Deutschen für die Judenmorde gab. Das würde voraussetzen, dass zumindest der 'normale' Staatsbürger von diesen Vorgängen etwas gewusst habe, und zwar nicht nur durch Andeutungen und Flüsterinformationen, sondern durch klare Kenntnisse. Dass eine solche Kenntnis nicht vorhanden war, belegt der Autor in seinem Buch durch Heranziehung solider Informationen, auch aus den Nürnberger Prozesssen, von Dokumenten und Aussagen von Zeitzeugen. Weitere Versuche, eine Kollektivschuld der Deutschen zu belegen, werden and er Arbeit des Autors nicht vorbeikommen..."

The UN Human Rights Council was in session in March and the non governmental organizations put up some of the most interesting panels. At the side-event on freedom of the internet I participated from the audience and raised the issue of censorship by Google in countries like France, Germany and Switzerland. I participated myself on eleven panels on a variety of issues -- the human right to peace, women and childrren in armed conflict, self-determination, a restatement of the law of human rights, and the World Court of Human Rights. Some of the speakers were genuinely inspiring and the public responded with intelligent contributions and questions. A fruitful exercise and -- after all -- better bla bla than boom boom.

On 1 March the FAZ published on page 18 a shortened version of my letter to the editors concerning the CDU proposal of establishing a National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Expulsion 1945-48.

18-20 February I was in Nicosia, Cyprus for the World Congress of Displaced Hellenes, which dealt with the expulsions and massacres of Greeks of Pontus and Smyrna, Armenians, Chaldeo-Assyrians, and with the "ethnic cleansing" that accompanied the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The successful colloquium was hosted by the Kyrenia refugees association “Adouloti Kerynia”. I focused on the report of the International Panel "A Principled Basis for a Just and Lasting Cypriot Settlement" and on the need to start the process for a Constitutional Convention in Cyprus. I gave several interviews, including to the Cyprus Weekly.

Friday evening 21 January: 15th annual Ex Tempore salon. 63 UN and PEN Club members recited poetry in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Latin, and Vietnamese. Alas, this time we had no Arabic, Chinese or Russian, although I managed to put in a couple of Russian words edgewise. Aline Dedeyan did a fine sketch with Alexis Koutchoumow. Connie Ouko sang her own songs in Swahili, and a quartet sang 3 Bulgarian songs a capella. We had two pauses in which people enjoyed Ngozi's shrimp with spinach, while other guests brought home-made enchiladas, brownies, and all that wonderful high-calorie finger-food. Practically nothing was left-over. The last guests left at 0:30 Saturday morning. See "Le Numéro XXI d'Ex Tempore est tiré; il faut le lire" U.N.Special, février 2011, p. 10.

On Wednesday 19 January I spoke at the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council and commented on the progress report of the working group on the Human Right to Peace. I actually went over my time limit -- and, mercifully, the Chairperson did not cut me off. It was very well received by the members and we had to make additional copies of my oral statement.

Every now and again there comes a political and moral essay that is worth reflecting upon. In that category we should include Ambassador Stéphane Hessel's October 2010 manifesto "Indignez-vous!". Every young person -- and some older ones, particularly politicians ! -- ought to study it. Below is a photo taken at Mikhail Gorbachev's World Political Forum Human Rights Conference in Bosco Marengo, Italy, on 7 November 2008 together with Ambassador Hessel, a collaborator at the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.


On 10 December, on the occasion of UN celebrations of Human Rights Day, Curtis Roosevelt, grandson of Eleanor and Franklin spoke to the students at the Geneva School of Diplomacy. In the morning I also participated on a panel organized by Earth Focus, in which I introduced Berkeley University's Project 2048.

40 centimeters of snow in the garden -- haven't seen that for years! Time to make snowmen, throw snowballs and go skiing.

This year P.E.N. International celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Writers in Prison Committee, upon a felicitous proposal of the Centre Suisse romand. On 15-18 November the three Swiss Centres commemorated the event with public lectures by and discussions with notable speakers. On 18 November our guest was Deo Namujimbo, a Congolese journalist for Reporters sans frontiers, the agence de presse Syfia Grands Lacs and InfoSud Suisse. For more than twenty years he reported independently about political developments in the Congo, covering in particular the war in East Congo, in Kivu and Bukavu. After his brother, also a journalist, was murdered and Deo and his family were repeatedly threatened, he obtained political asylum in France, where he currently lives and continues writing about the plight of the Congolese people, always with a sense of proportions and a commitment to the human dignity of all concerned. During the discussion I addressed issues of impunity, reconciliation, the International Criminal Court and the role of the UN Mission in the Congo.

The 17-minute video on the 100th session celebration of the UN Human Rights Committee on 29 October 2010 has now been issued, with excellent excerpts of statements by Bertie Ramcharan, Robert Badinter, Mohammed Bedjaoui, Antonio Cançado Trindade, Committee members and representatives from UNHCR, ILO, etc.. I briefly speak on the implementation gap and the need to enact enabling legislation so as to give Committee decisions status in the domestic legal order of States parties and thereby facilitate their enforcement.

On Sunday 7 November our Pontifex Benedict XVI consecrated the Basilica of la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona before King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and 6,500 faithful in the truly huge church. Some 51,000 faithful followed the ceremony on giant screens outside Antoni Gaudi's (1852-1926) amazing building (UNESCO world heritage site). Yet another reason to go back to beautiful Barcelona. Last time I was there in 2004 for a P.E.N. congress on writers in prison, I would not have dreamt that the Basilica would be ready for Papal consecretion in my lifetime. The building, the altar, the columns, the stained glass windows are just spectacularly beautiful. Next year the Pope travels again to Spain, this time to Madrid, on the occasion of the 26th World Youth Day.

Friday 5 November was our second Christmas rehearsal in the oecumenical choir of Crêts/St. Hippolyte. We added to the program a piece by François Couperin that I had never heard of before. Lots of fun for the tenors.

Friday 5 November was UPR day for the US at the Human Rights Council. Most interesting was perhaps the one-and-a-half hour presentation by Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. I posed three questions to him concerning Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the problems of national security, censorship and self-censorship. What balance ought to be struck with the crucial right in every democarcy to have access to all information, the right to disseminate such information, the right to ask questions and demand answers. This brought us to the obligation to investigate violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and the issue of impunity and universal jurisdiction. Indeed, if the ICC, ICTY and ICTR were all established to fight impunity, what does this mean with regard to the impunity of NATO coalition forces and Iraqi police? There were tough questions asked and the large conference room XXII was filled to capacity.

On Thursday 4 November Mr. Ramsey Clark, 66th Attorney General of the United States, spoke at the Pavillon Gallatin of the Geneva School of Diplomacy. I asked the first long question concerning the US mid-term elections of 2 November and the dangers posed by the growing military-industrial complex in the United States and the unconscionably high "defence" budget, which eats up more than 50% of the U.S. budget, notwithstanding urgent needs for health, education and general welfare. Ramsey dedicated one of his books for me, "The Fire this Time", which I read and used when I was professor in Chicago.

On Wednesday 3 Noverber, in connection with the preparation for the examination of the U.S. report by the Human Rights Council, I participated on the panel hosted by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Associaition of Humanitarian Lawyers, the Arab Lawyers Union, and the International Youth and Student Movement for the United Nations, devoted to the extra-territorial violations of human rights by the United States and private military companies, primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. My paper focused on the right of victims to a remedy. Other panelists were former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Dr. Dirk Andriansens of the Brussels Tribunal Executive Committee, and Prof. Curtis Doebbler.

On Tuesday 2 November I spoke at the UN "side event" on Self-Determination hosted by Ambassador Ronald Barnes. Other panelists were Mrs. Mary Ann Mills, Tribal Chair and Tribal Judge of the Kenaitze Tribe in Alaska, Mr. Kai'opua Fife, Mr. Pola Laenui and HE Leon Kaulahau Siu of the Koani Foundtion of the Hawaiian Kingdom. I focused on the implications of the Apology Resolutions sigend by Bill Clinton in 1993 and by Barak Obama in 2009.

On Friday, 29 October the Human Rights Committee commemorated its 100th session. I spoke on behalf of the International Society for Human Rights at the 100th session celebration of the Human Rights Committee. I focused on human dignity as the source of all human rights and on the necessity of enabling legislation in all States parties to the ICCPR so that Committee decisions have status in the domestic legal order.

On Monday 20 September I delivered an oral statement at the Human Rights Council on behalf of the International Society for Human Rights.

On Thursday 16 September it was back to the UN for the International P.E.N. panel with P.E.N. President John Ralston Saul. Our P.E.N. Suisse romand organized a cheese fondue dinner in honour of John Saul.


China is considering ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I participated on panels at an ICCPR symposium in Beijing on Saturday-Sunday 5/6 December. At left on the photo is Harvard and NYU Professor Jerome A. Cohen, who is also a bow-tie wearer like myself. I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Great Wall and the Temple of Peace.

On Wednesday, 18 November, at the invitation of Professor Robert Kolb of the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva I delivered a two-hour lecture to an audience of 250 students on "The Human Right to Peace", focusing on the Luarca Declaration and on Human Rights Council Resolution 11/4 of 17 June 2009, by virtue of which the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is preparing a study on the content and enforceability of the right to peace.  I elaborated on the existing norms and the implications of the doctrine of "responsibility to protect" in the light of UN Charter article 2(4). The students had lots of good questions. It was quite refreshing -- and fun.

On 3-4 September I participated in the international conference on the Armenian genocide, held at Beirut, Lebanon. I gave several televised interviews. Below is the link to a published article in El Mundo, the Spanish daily.

Also took advantage of the opportunity to visit old Phoenian cities like Sidon and Tyre and admire the UNO world heritage sites.

The handbook is finally out -- Justice Jakob Th. Möller and I are happy to announce:

United Nations Human Rights Committee Case-Law 1977-2008 --A Handbook. 630-pages with annexes, index, etc. obtainable from N.P.Engel, Kehl and Strasbourg, 2009, hardcover · ISBN 978-3-88357-144-7 · 2009 · € 148; US$ 188; £120; SFr. 236 email:
Extravantly expensive, but also frightfully thorough and still user-friendly.

On 16 July Jakob and I personally handed the book to Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at her Palais Wilson office, and discussed its potential as a practitioner's handbook. On 15 July the book launch at the Château de Penthes took place, Christine Chanet spoke for the Committee and Bertie Ramcharan about the commitment of OHCHR to the treaty bodies and in particular to the creation of meaningful jurisprudence. After the "official" part of the event, Isabel Möller presented Jakob and me with "unofficial" Human Rights Committee baseball caps and a bagfull of publicity flyers for the book. Here are the happy authors

On 22 July I lectured at Sirnach in the canton of St. Gallen, on the jurisprudence of the HRC and focused on the spectacular "Views" in Sayadi v. Belgium, and on the decision to take the Sayadi family out of the terrorist list of the Security Council's Sanctions Committe. Quite a success for human rights. The audience of some 200 kept asking questions for more than an hour!

The UN Special of June 2009 brings a nice review by the former High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan on pages 18-19.

7-8 July 2009 I lectured on United Nations Mechanisms to uphold international humanitarian law -- at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, as part of their very successful summer course. Bottom line of my lecture is that human rights law is fully applicable during war and that it is not replaced by the regime of international humanitarian law. In other words, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is not suspended when armed conflict occurs and the Hague and Geneva Conventions become applicable. The two regimes are complementary, not mutually exclusive. The Latin maxim "lex specialis derogat lex generalis" does not mean that the laws of war replace the laws of peace -- this is a bad translation of the Latin verb derogo, which does not mean abolish (aboleo, exstinguo, tollo, rescindo) but rather to make or propose modifications to a law. I thus suggested a new maxim: Lex specialis suppleat lex generalis, i.e. special legislation supplements or completes general legislation. I also listened to the presentations by the other distinguished lecturers, including ICJ Judge Abdul G. Koroma of Sierra Leone, and took advantage to jump in the Mediterranean and swim at the felicitous Morgana beach.

David Forsythe's Encyclopedia of Human Rights (Oxford) just came out, including my six articles on Jose Ayala Lasso (Vol. I, pp. 130-132), Aryeh Nyer (vol. 4, pp. 62-64), P.E.N. and Human Rights (vol. 4, pp.. 204-206), Bertrand Ramcharan (vol. 4, pp. 313-314), Kenneth Roth (vol.4, pp. 204-206), and Simon Wiesenthal (Vol. 5, pp. 327-330) ISBN13: 9780195334029.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Public International Law just uploaded my online article on "Guantanamo Naval Base".

On 9-10 December 2008 the Institut Pierre Werner in Luxembourg, the Instituto Internazionale Jacques Maritain, Rome, and the University of Luxembourg held a conference focusing on new approaches to contemporary human rights issues.  I spoke on "the universal system of Protection of Human Rights" and elaborated on a new human rights paradigm where enabling rights like the right to peace play a central role.  Other participants were Professorr Nicholas Michel of the University of Geneva, Ambassador Christian Strohal of Austria and Roberto Papini, Secretary General of the International Jacques Maritain Institute.

The UN Staff magazine UN Special just published my article on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its December issue, available online.

On 5 October 2008, at the Darwish Memorial Lecture hosted by PEN Suisse romand and the UN Society of Writers, Abdel Wahab Hani recited in Arabic the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. I moderated the literary and human rights event, which was attended by 31 persons and lasted from 4 to 7 p.m. on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.. Claude Krul, Jacques Hermann and Zeki Ergas of PEN delivered profound words about the Palestinian poet, accompanied by readings of translations into French and English.

Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, President of the World Political Forum, hosted a fascinating conference at Bosco Marengo in Piemonte, Italy, on the Implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 5-7 November. Top participants including the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Fausto Pocar, Anatoly Adamishin, UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diène, Danielle Mitterand, Professor Hal Gardner, Dr. Jona Bargur, Lelio Bentes Correa, Ambassador Stéphane Hessel, etc. etc. I spoke on the Human Right to Peace and personally gave Gorbachev the book "La Declaracion de Luarca" in his very hands -- chatted a while with him and understood every word. He speaks a clear, friendly Russian -- worthy of the glasnost predicate. By the way, the second, revised edition of Carlos Villan Duran's book just came out with Ediciones Madu in Spain. I considerably expanded and updated my article "el crimen contra la paz". Besides Spanish entries, there are other contributions in French and English. At the conference I presented one working paper and participated in two workshops. My closing remarks in the plenary of the Bosco Marengo conference: "Alvaro Gil Robles has reminded us of a number of uncomfortable realities. Allow me one observation: our politicians always pretend to be the 'good guys', and yet they often apply international law à la carte, give lip service to human rights, keep silent about violations by our friends and go around pointing fingers at the others. This has resulted in a feeling of malaise and even pessimism, because we know we are not being entirely honest with ourselves. The Oracle at Delphi told visitors: know yourself - gnothi seaton (γνῶθι σεαυτόν) . Maybe our politicians should try this for once -- just get some mirrors. Then maybe when we regain our credibility we shall have the needed strength to advance the cause of peace, disarmament, solidarity and human dignity. Gospodin Gorbachev, eto sosedanie bila diestvitelna prekrasna. Mi vse ochen blagodorim vas."

On 2-3 October the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights conducted a seminar on the links between articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I was the first ngo to take the floor, and reported on the Charter of PEN International and our commitment to promote freedom of expression. I also summarized the relevant judgment of 7 November 2007 of the Spanish Constitutional Court. On 3 October I again took the floor with a statement on the responsibility of writers to promote international understanding. A few days after this important conference, on 10 October 2008, Professor Pierre Nora, member of the Académie française, launched the Appel de Blois on behalf of the liberty of historians to conduct their research freely and the aberration of legislatures that pretend to legislate history and establish dogmas protected by penal law. I strongly support the Appel de Blois, which is consistent with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Public International Law (edited by Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, completely rewritten new edition of the famous Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, edited by Professor Rudolf Bernhardt) has just gone on-line. Of my five entries, three are up: "Forced Population Transfer", "Repatriation" and "Spanish Civil War". Two more are in the pipeline: "Marshall Plan" and "Guantanamo Naval Base". See

On 18 September the Rheinischer Merkur brought a nice review of my "50 Thesen zur Vertreibung". We have sold nearly 5000 copies in barely 4 months.

From 18 to 25 August Carla and I cycled blithely though Zuidholland and Zeeland, discovering historic mills and churches -- including the magnificent Grote Kerk in Maassluis with its wonderful Garrels organ. Maassluis lies on the Nieuwe Waterweg some 20 Km downstream from Rotterdam - and the fresh, raw haringe are tasty indeed! The "Lange Jan" of the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg delighted us with its wonderful carillon.

On 26/27 July the Südmährischer Landschaftsrat and the city of Geislingen an der Steige conferred upon me their Kulturpreis. The Geislingen Zeitung and the Göppingen Zeitung reported on 28 July. I received the "Ehrenbrief" from the hands of the Oberbürgermeister of Geislingen, Wolfgang Amann, and from the Sprecher of the Süddmährer Franz Longin. It was a beautiful ceremony in which I articulated my gratefuil appreciation of the cultural heritage of this part of Europe that produced Adalbert Stifter, Franz Schubert and Rainer Maria Rilke, who mean so much to me. I also had the opportunity of introducing the second, revised edition of my Rilke translations, published in July 2008 by Red Hen Press in Los Angeles, with a preface by Professor Ralph Freedman, the foremost Rilke and Hesse expert and biographer in the United States. René Rilke was not "just" a metaphysical poet, but at times a kind of Heimat troubadour.. You can order Larenopfer from the editor Mark E. Cull (, also, or go on the publisher's website Of course, you can also find it through Amazon. The November 2005 issue of the Blätter der Rilke Gesellschaft did a nice review of the first edition of my translations of Larenopfer (Offerings to the Lares -- i.e. to the household deities) with commentary. In these charming 90 poems the then 20-year old Rilke sings his hometown Prague and homeland Bohemia. For another review in a German-Canadian journal click here. The summer reading list of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, praises Larenopfer and the "exquisite illustrations" by Martin Andrysek. Red Hen Press is a small publisher specialized in poetry and literature -- P.O. Box 3537 Granada Hills, California 91394, Tel. 818 - 831.0649, Fax 818 - 831.6659.

On Friday 27 June I interviewed the Al-Jazeera journalist Samy El Haj, who spent six years unjustly detained in Guantanamo. The interview was published in the July issue of the Swiss newspaper Current Concerns.

On 7 May 2008 my 50 Thesen zur Vertreibung ( were published in a first edition of 10,000 copies. ISBN 978-3-9812110-0-9.

DIE WELT commented them favourably in its edition of 10 May, page 2

On 18-19 April I participated in an intenational conference on the Armenian genocide, held at Nicosia, Cyprus, on the occasion of the 93rd anniversary of the beginning of the genocide. I delivered a lecture before some 80 participants.

Bernward Koch-Boehm issued in March 2008 a CD-recording with Erdenklang/da music, Nr. 61182. Deutsche Austrophon GmbH, D-49356 Diepholdz, 2008. The piano CD is dedicated to Hermann Hesse 1946 Nobel laureate for Literature, and reproduces the text of Hesse's wonderful poem "Stufen", together with my translation. The CD is entitled "Montagnola. Dedicated to Hermann Hesse. Meditative Piano Improvisations". Just lovely!

On 13 December 2007, I participated in the working meeting of the advisory board of the Stiftung Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen in Berlin. Our successful exhibit "Erzwungene Wege" is now in Munich and will go on to Düsseldorf and Stuttgart in 2008. A new exhibition on the German settlements in Eastern Europe is now being elaborated by a team of experts.

On 10 December 2007, 59th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly, I was honoured in Stuttgart with the Human Rights Award of the Danube Swabian Society of Germany (Volksgruppe der Donauschwaben e.V.). My former law professor in Tübingen, Professor Thomas Oppermann held the laudatio. Nice to have such friends! The Tapach Choir accompanied the ceremony with Schubert and Beethoven. The event was reported on 11 December in the Stuttgarter Zeitung under the header "Donauschwaben zeichnen aus", p. 22.

The University of Toronto journal Genocide Studies and Prevention ( Vol. 2, No. 2, 2007) just published my study "The Istanbul Pogrom of 6-7 September 1955 in the Light of International Law". See abstract.The article was translated into Greek and published in full length in two consecutive issues of the Athens newspaper ó Politeis, under the title "Septemvriana", September/October 2007. A longer version of the legal opinion was published in the book by Professor Speros Vryonis, The Mechanism of Catastrophe, ISBN 13: 978-0-9747660-6-5, second revised edition, New York 2007.

On 17 September I moderated a round table at the Palais des Nations, Salle XXI, just outside the meeting room of the Human Rights Council. Topic was "la dignité de la personne au coeur des droits de l'homme", and the participants were Archbishop Silvano Tomassi, Nonce apostolique, Clément Imbert, représentant de Points-Coeur, Philippe LeBanc, délégué permanent de l'Ordre Dominicain aux Nations Unies, Jakob Möller, ancien juge à la Chambre des Droits de l'Homme à Sarajevo, and Bertrand Ramcharan, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In October 2007 the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, together with the Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen in Berlin, published a small book "Die Posdamer Konferenz 60 Jahre danach", containing the speeches delivered at the Berlin Colloquium on the Potsdam Conference. The panelists were Prof. Helmut Altrichter of the University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Prof. Alexei Filitov of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Prof. Anthony Nichols of Oxford, Prof. Georges-Henri Soutou of the Sorbonne, and myself. Prof. Guido Knopp, chief historian at ZDF, moderated the lively discussion. On 23 July 2005 the Bayernkurier had already published a short version of my thesis on Potsdam Das unbewältigte Erbe der Potsdamer Konferenz.

On 15 September 2007 I delivered a lecture at the Felix Ermacora Institut in Vienna entitled "Rainer Maria Rilke als Heimatdichter: von böhmischer Heimat zur walliser Wahlheimat". There were about 100 persons in the audience and I learned a lot from the discussion that followed.

On 18-19 June at the Hôtel Westminster in Nice, the UFR Institut du Droit de la Paix et Développement de l'Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, avec la collaboration de l'Institut International de Droit Humanitaire (Sanremo), held a fascinating colloquium on "Religions et Droit International Humanitaire". I was on the panel devoted to "les doctrines religieuses et les sources formelles du droit international humanitaire" and delivered a paper entitled "Normes morales et normes juridiques: concurrence ou conciliation", which will be published shortly.

The Geneva Post Quarterly just published my new article on "Minority rights in the New Millennium". Citation: The Geneva Post Quarterly, Volume 2, Number 1, May-June 2007, pp. 155-208

On 15-17 December I attended a conference on Cyprus at Athens and took time to admire the Acropolis, grateful to the ancient Greeks for their gift to civilization -- the cult of reason, the Logos, and a sense for moderation, meden agan. On 27 January we had a follow-up meeting in Geneva with Professor Andreas Auer of the University of Geneva.

On October 17-19 New York University's Jean Monnet Centre for International and Regional Economic Law and Justice hosted an international symposium at its Florence (Italy) "La Pietra" campus, which was devoted to "Rethinking the Cyprus Problem: A European Approach". ( Professor Joseph Weiler presented a ground-breaking, thought-provoking working paper, which a round table of professors, diplomats, practitioners and experts analyzed. We tackled not only the principles but also the functional and practical aspects of Professor Weiler's proposals. I introduced and commented the joint paper on constitution-making, which a year ago, on 12 October 2005, members of the "International Expert Panel on a Cyprus Settlement" had presented before the European Parliament in Brussels, where I had made opening remarks on a "principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement", and focused on the peaceful settlement of disputes and on the principles of sovereignty, equality and independence of States embodied in Article 6 of the European Union Treaty. At the Florence round table, I also delivered a paper on "The Legal Status of the Turkish settlers". See also Profressor Auer's site.

On 8 October 2005 the International Association for the Protection of Human Rights in Cyprus hosted a conference under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and with the participation of numerous judges and advocates of the European Court in Luxembourg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Here is the abstract of my paper. On Thursday, 1 September 2005, at Nicosia, Cyprus, members of the international expert panel presented "A principled basis for a just and lasting Cyprus settlement in the light of International and European Law" to President Tassos Papadopoulos of Cyprus, to the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, Mehmet Ali Talat, and to his eminence, Bishop Nikiforos of Kikko. The paper was prepared by eight professors including Andreas Auer, Marc Bossuyt, Peter Burns, Dieter Oberndorfer, Silvio-Marcus Helmons, Malcolm Shaw and myself. Click here for the executive summary. On 3 September 2005 I gave an interview to the Cyprus Weekly, which was published on 14 September 2005. I particularly enjoyed meeting Titina Loizidou whose courage and perseverance led to the now famous judgements of 1996 and 1998 of the European Court of Human Rights. Titina is an expellee from Northern Cyprus and her efforts to vindicate the right to return and the right to restitution are of immeasurable value for the development of international law. She is a true heroine of human rights and a living icon of international law.

En 18-19 diciembre 2006 estuve de nuevo en Alcalá de Henares, cuna de Cervantes, donde participé en la comision de doctorado de un joven Aleman, Björn Arp, a quien le concedimos la nota más alta de summa cum laude por una tesis estupenda sobre los derechos de las minorías. A finales de Noviembre había gozado de 5 espléndidos días en Madrid, donde visité a mis primos de Oviedo, y conocí el Club Zayas. Disfruté enormemente el intercambio con 26 estudiantes de derecho que tomaron mi curso intensivo en la Universidad de Alcalá, ciudad patrimonio de la humanidad, llena de simpáticas cigueñas y vestigios de la vieja ciudad Romana que se llamó en su época Complutum.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung favourably reviewed the new edition of my book "Die deutschen Vertriebenen" on 31 July under the felicitous headline "Fast ein Klassiker" (almost a classic). This new edition of Anmerkungen zur Vertreibung was published by Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz (Ares), under the new title "Die deutschen Vertriebenen". ISBN 3- 902475-15-3. For more information contact: The new American version of the book "A Terrible Revenge" (Palgrave/Macmillan) was mentioned favourably in the New York Review of Books in an article by Robert Paxton on 22 November 2007 pp. 49-50 at p. 50. Didactically useful are the Thesen zur Vertreibung (ISBN 3-00-016129-6, August 2006). The very successful Kohlhammer paperback edition is now completely sold out. Myths and simplifications are dangerous. One of those myths that I challenge in my theses is the manichaean myth of the "good guys" and the "bad guys", which ignores the complexities of life and disregards the principle of equality and the imperative of respect for the human dignity of each and every individual, including the victims of the Vertreibung. At a commencement exercise at Yale University in 1962 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said something very much in point:"The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived and dishonest-but the myth-persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. . . . We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.".

The English version of "The German Expellees" (Macmillan, New York and London, 1993), was subsequently issued in paperback under the title "A Terrible Revenge" (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994).In May 2006 a much revised third edition was published by Palgrave/Macmillan. Both the English and the German new editions contain about 20% new material, new photos, new statistical tables, including new testimonies from Heinz Schön, a survivor of the greatest sea catastrophe in history, the sinking of the "Wilhelm Gustloff" on 30 January 1945 with more than 9,000 drowned refugees, from young Ansgar Graw, born in the Federal Republic of Germany of East Prussian parents, Bruno Kosak, an Upper Silesian who remained in the homeland, Erika Murwig, a Pomeranian expellee who expresses her sense of loss in poetry "Ein Traum", etc. High school and college teachers may find the "Theses on the Expulsion" didactically useful. Click here for the Theses.

On Friday 3 February 2006, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published my review of Professor Norman Finkelstein's thought-provoking book Beyond Chutzpah, University of California Press, Berkeley. This book calls for an intellectually honest discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and deplores the instrumentalization of Jewish suffering for political purposes, in particular the aggressive use of the past to excuse and justify human rights violations in the Israeli-occupied Palestine territories today. Finkelstein is the son of Holocaust survivors and keenly aware of the suffering of the Jewish people. He convincingly calls for a human-rights approach to the solution of the conflict. Click here for the review in English translation.

On Saturday, 6 August 2005 six thousand German expellees and their families came to Berlin to commemorate "Tag der Heimat" (The Day of the Homeland). Principal speakers were Angela Merkel, head of the Christian Democratic Union, then candidate to the German chancellorship, and now first woman Kanzlerin (Prime Minister) of Germany, Otto Schilly, the then Social Democratic Minister or the Interior, Erika Steinbach, member of the German Parliament for the CDU party and President of the Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen in Berlin, and the first UN-High Commissioner for Human Rights, Dr. Jose Ayala Lasso, former Foreign Minister of Ecuador. For the English text of Ayala's fine speech, click here.

The Ullstein paperback edition of Die Anglo-Amerikaner und die Vertreibung der Deutschen (German version of "Nemesis at Potsdam") is now sold out. On 6 September 2005 a much revised and enlarged 14th edition (hardbound) was published by Herbig Verlag in Munich under the title Die Nemesis von Potsdam, ISBN 3-7766-2454-X. See the very positive review by Patrick Sutter in the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, also the review by Herbert Ammon, and my interview "Verbrechen gegen die Menschheit" The English version, originally published by Routledge in London and Boston, ran three editions, was then republished by the University of Nebraska Press, which sold out two editions, and today hails its sixth revised and enlarged edition with Picton Press, rockland, Maine. See "Publications", infra.

Ninety-one years ago the first genocide of the Twentieth Century started when Ottoman Turkey attempted to exterminate its Armenian minorities numbering two million. On 24 April 1915 the Armenian intelligentsia was arrested and murdered in Istanbul and elsewhere throughout Turkey, then the common folk in the towns and villages of Eastern Anatolia were overrun, slaughtered, deported to the Syrian desert. One and a half million human beings lost their lives. The survivors either fled to Russia or went into exile, building the Armenian diaspora of France, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, etc. On 20-21 April 2005 a major international conference was held in Yerevan, with the participation ( of American, Canadian, Belgian, German, Israeli, Turkish and other scholars. My legal opinion on the Armenian genocide and the 1948 Genocide Convention was distributed to the participants, as well as the text of my oral prensentation on International Law, Human Rights and Genocide. On Sunday 24 April an estimated one million persons, including many foreign delegations, among others representatives of the U.S. and French Embassies in Armenia, lay flowers and wreaths at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan. This very moving ceremony was followed by a performance of Verdi's Requiem and an oecumenical service officiated by His Holiness Karaken II, Catholicos of all Armenians, at the St. Gregory the Illumitator Cathedral in Yerevan.

The spring 2005 issue of the International Review of the Red Cross was published in May in a new format, and is devoted entirely to the growing problem of detention (volume 87, number 857, 2005) . I contributed the chapter on "Human Rights and Indefinite Detention" -- a matter of relevance not only in connection with the so-called "war on terror", incommunicado detention and ill-treatment in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, but also in connection with the internment of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers.


On Friday, 27 June 2008 I interviewed Samy El Haj, Al-Jazeera journalist who was held and tortured in Guantanamo for six years.

On Thursday, 27 January 2005, I delivered a public lecture on the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo at the University of Trier (Treverus), where I also gave an intensive international law course to more than 100 eager students. The Guantanamo lecture was published as Nr. 28 in the Rechtspolitisches Forum/ Legal Policy Forum series of the Institut für Rechtspolitik an der Universität Trier, ISSN 1616-8828.

On Thursday, 16 September 2004, the Centre Culturel Suisse de Paris hosted a press conference on the new exhibit "Guantanamo Initiative" followed by my lecture on the subject "Le défi de Guantánamo", favourably reported in the Paris press, including l'Humanité..

Meanwhile the lawyers entrusted with the defense of Guantánamo detainees are having a rough time, because the Bush Administration is apparently intent on circumventing the US Supreme Court's judgement of 29 June 2004 ruling that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights apply in Guantanamo Bay, and that therefore the detainees are entitled to due process. See my relevant articles in English, French and German on the subject, under "Articles-monographies-chapters in books" in particular the Douglas McK Brown lecture at the University of British Columbia, 37 U.B.C.Law Review 277-341 (2004) © Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib are deliberate crimes. Patrick Buchanan's recent book "Where the Right Went Wrong" (St. Martin's Press, New York 2004), sheds light on the wrong priorities of the Bush adminsitration. I reviewed the book for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 17 November 2004.

Click for my short essays on Swans in History, Human Rights in the New Millennium, Essay on Genesis, A Christmas Meditation, Méditation de Noël ou Essai sur la Réconciliation, Essay sur le Temple et nous, on Essay on Easter, on the Samaritan woman, on Hölderlin, on historiography and the "discovery" of America, on indigenous names in America, Maison de Paroisse, Meditation sur la femme adultère et le pardon. Meditation sur la loi, Essai sur le fils prodigue and Noli me tangere.

And now for some Reviews and commentaries:

The Armenian Genocide and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention, (Haigazian University Press, 2010), in the introduction by the International Commission of Jurists:

"What are Turkey's international obligations and responsibilities for the Armenian genocide? What are the norms and principles of international law that are applicable? Is the argument put forward by some deniers that it is not possible to talk about the Armenian genocide because the concept was not yet defined at the same time according to international law a sustainable argument? Would the aplication of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to the case of the Armenian genocide violate the non-retroactivity aspect of criminal law? Professor Alfred de Zayas provides an answer to these and other questions in his excellent juridical opinion - a thoroughly documented, clearly articulated and highly valuable juridical analysis that proposes a concrete and durable resolution to this crime against humanity." Federico Andreu-Guzman, Senior Legal Advisor, ICJ.

Jakob Th. Möller/Alfred de Zayas: The United Nations Human Rights Committee Case-Law 1977-2008, N.P. Engel, Kehl am Rhein, 2009.

Review in the February 2010 issue of the Human Rights Quarterly, pp. 237-240:

"This is not yet another book about the Human Rights Committeed. This is the most authentic book available, written by insiders who were there from the start -- Justice Jakob Th. Möller (Iceland), former Chief of the Communications Branch at the Office of the UN High Commmissioner for Human Rights, and his successor in this function, Alfred de Zayas (US), who was also Secretary of the Committee. Whereas other excellent books like those of Sarah Joseph and Manfred Nowak give us good commentary on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and its mechanisms, the Möller and de Zayas book is unique in that it gives the reader the feeling of being there. It is thorough, user-friendly, and indispensable for practitioners and students.
In seven chapters and six appendices, the authors of this monumental handbook give the reader a perceptive history of how the Committee started its work, how the rules of procedure were elaborated and repeatedly amended, how the Secretariat functions, how the criteria of admissibility have been interpreted and reinterpreted, how the holdings on the merits have evolved over three decades, how the working groups operate, and how the mandates of Special Rapporteur on New Communications and Special Rapporteur on Follow-Up (not envisaged in the ICCPR or in the Optional Protocol) were created.
This lucid and well-organized book reflects all the significant jurisprudence through 2008. Actually, the authors go beyond 2008 to include the Committee's ninety-firth session in March/April 2009 and include the ground-breaking 'Views' in Poma v. Peru (adopted in New York on 27 March 2009), which recognize the right of indigenous communities to protection of their econommic activities under article 27 of the ICCPR (minorities rights) and in particular their right to water. ... It can be said without fear of contradiction that this handbook is an academic job well done and a significant scholarly achievement. It belongs in every university, IGO and NGO library."

Nemesis at Potsdam (Picton Press, Rockland Maine, 6th revised edition, 2003,, German version Die Nemesis von Potsdam, Herbig Verlag, Munich, 2005 (

"His is a lucid, scholarly and compassionate study. Most pertinently he insists that we deny what the lesser histories conspire with us to invent--that there are stopping places in history." Tony Howarth, Times Educational Supplement

"The author traces the genesis of the relevant territorial arrangements and ensuing population trnasfers and then gives a well-documented and horrifying account of the exodus, the sufferings and deaths of millions, the ruthlessness of the new masters -- a travesty of the 'orderly and humane' fashion in which the measures were supposed to be carried out." William Guttmann, Observer

"A young legal scholar from New York, Alfred M. de Zayas, has written a book on a subject long taboo and ignored by German writers...Truman, Churchill and Stalin agreed at Potsdam in 1945 that the German populations of Eastern Europe should undergo 'transfer to Germany' but 'in an orderly and humane manner.' Out of consideration for their Soviet ally, the Western powers made little attempt to force compliance....Until recently the subject has been treated with a mixture of shame and resentment. But now it has begun to come out into the open...Mr. de Zayas said that he got the idea for the book at Harvard Law School... " New York Times, 13 February 1977.

"These Volksdeutsche were tragic figures, unfortunate enough to have been located in the wrong areas at precisely the wrong times. The circumstances leading to their abysmal situation are tellingly related by de Zayas in this most important work." Norman Lederer, Worldview

"An interesting, well-written, and important book covering a topic on which almost nothing has appeared in English" Choice

"The lesson from this well-organized and moving historical record is not merely that retribution which penalizes innocent human beings becomes injustice, but that acceptance of political realities may be a better road to human fulfilment than the path of violence. Alfred de Zayas has written a persuasive commentary on the suffering which becomes inevitable when humanitarianism is subordinated to nationalism"
Benjamin Ferencz, American Journal of International Law

"Books such as this ... deserve a respectful welcome. There can be no dispute that the eviction and resettlement of some 16 million people which occurred in Eastern Europe at the end of the war caused enormous suffering. It is important that authors such as Mr. de Zayas should form time to time remind us of man's inhumanity to man." Michael Balfour in International Affairs

"Profusely illustrated with photographs, documents and excellent maps, this book analyzes the origin and the effects of article XIII of the Potsdam Protocol which provided that ethnic Germans living in the eastern countries would be transferred to the truncated remains of the Reich 'in an orderly and humane manner'. As the 16 million Germans were driven westward, some two million died, but the world remained silent. Outraged by the crimes Nazis had perpetrated ...the whole world, with a few exceptions, like Bertrand Russell and Albert Schweizer, remained mum.... de Zayas is perhaps best when delineating the legal aspects of the Potsdam action, although his historical facts are equally impeccable....Due to the willingness of the press and the scholarly comunity in the West to ignore these facts of the Potsdam accord, few Americans or Britons know there ever was an expulsion, let alone authorization of the compulsory transfer. Questioning rhetorically whether the wrong could ever be righted, de Zayas maintains that the West could affirm its regard for individual guilt or innocence and reject the concept of collective guilt." Professor LaVern Rippley, St. Olaf College, Die Unterrichtspraxis, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1978, pp. 132-133.

"L'ouvrage est édifiant et sera pour beaucoup une révélation. M. de Zayas n'est pas tendre pour les Alliés, qui ont fermé les yeux sur l'une des entreprises les plus inhumaines de l'histoire de la civilisation occidentale, la responsabilité des démocraties anglo-saxonnes étant a cet egard primordiale." Revue Générale de Droit International Public

In minuziöser Quellenarbeit zeigt de Zayas, dass in Polen und der Tschechoslowakei schon lange vor dem Krieg die Absicht gehegt wurde, die dort wohnhaften Deutschen aus ihrer rund 700-jährigen Heimat zu vertreiben. Beide Staaten missachteten ihre völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen zum Schutz von Minderheiten ... De Zayas erkennt darin einem Präzedenzfall fuer spätere Vertreibungen in Palästina, Zypern, Bosnien oder Kosovo. Sein engagiertes Wirken gegen solche 'Kriegsstrategien' hat bedeutdenden Anteil daran, dass sich das Recht auf die Heimat in den letzten Jahren als fundamentales Menschenrecht etablieren konnte. Patrick Sutter in der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung.

Reviews of The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau (Picton Press, 4th revised edition, 2000,; ). German version Die Wehrmacht Untersuchungsstelle (Universitas Verlag, Munich, 7th edition 2001,

"De Zayas is undoubtedly one of the world's leading legal scholars addressing forced population transfers ... [his] work provides massive confirmation of the truism that atrocities are committed in war by all sides, that many go unpunished, and some are part of national policy....the possibility that truth might be misused in argument by the devil is not a reason to suppress truth. I have no personal doubt that this book is a useful attempt to preserve an important truth. By writing it, the author -- whose own humanitarian sympathies are beyond question, as is Levie's scholarly detachment --has done a service to scholarship." Alfred Rubin in The Fletcher Forum

"The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1495 is a fascinating book. It is well-organized and elegantly written ... a sobering new look at the Second World War and ourselves .. With the appearance of this new book ... our innocence comes to an official end." Arnold Krammer, Journal of Soviet Military Studies

"The facts were painstakingly resarched by the author. Archives were consulted and cross-checked and survivors interviewed. It is an academic job well done, and a must for students of small islands of sanity in the ocean of madness called war" Lt.-Gen. G.C. Berkhof, Netherlands International Law Review

"thoroughly and skillfully researched"- Col. Ernest Fischer in Army

"This well-written book, which is based on thorough research of original sources... triggered a broad discussion... It is timely and necessary to discuss the legal, sociological and psychological problems involved in the investigation of war crimes during and after armed conflicts." Dieter Fleck, in Archiv des Völkerrechts

"Dr. de Zayas first came upon the previously undiscovered 226 volumes of WUSt documents as a Fulbright fellow on leave from his studies in International Law at Harvard. After concluding his legal studies, de Zayas subsequently earned a Ph.D. in history and the University of Göttingen, where he later became an associate. The Institute supported the research on which this study is based and arranged for the assistance of a Dutch international law specialist, Dr. Walter Rabus ... Mindful that the WUSt might have been manipulated by Goebbels's Propaganda Ministry, the authors were punctilious in their verification. They carefully examined the documents for internal consistency and continuity and then verified the reports and testimony, where possible, with judges, medical examiners and witnesses still alive. In addition, they compared WUSt documents with those of other German agencies in seven additional German archives, and with documents in British,.Dutch, Swiss, and American archives. In this exhaustive analysis, it becomes clear that the WUSt operated with scrupulous objectivity and therefore that its documents constitute a valuable new source for the study of the conduct of war. This carefully documented administrative history together with its excellent bibliography will therefore become an important introduction to this extensive archive. The Wehrmacht-Untersuchungsstelle is at once an interesting history of an internal agency of the Third Reich and an important archival and historiographical contribution to the study of the war." German Studies Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Feb., 1981), pp. 150-151.

"a well-founded book" Professor Norman Stone in the Sunday Times, London

"an excellent book" Professor Christopher Greenwood in The Cambridge Law Journal

"an important book" Professor L.F.E. Goldie in the American Journal of International Law

Reviews of A Terrible Revenge new revised edition (Palgrave/Macmillan, New York) German version Die deutschen Vertriebenen, Leopold Stocker Verlag/Ares, Graz 2006,

"This popularly written but still scholarly study follows the author's other successful books in the fields of history and international law [which] were hailed by historians as well as lawyers as masterpieces of academic craftsmanship. His book.presents in a nutshell the history of the ethnic German population which had settled in the early 13th century in large parts of what is nowadays Eastern Europe." Netherlands International Law Review

"The author has given the history of these expulsions a dramatic immediacy through a series of eyewitness accounts ...The remarkable sequel to this recital of inhumanity is that this displaced population has, in the 50 years since the war, managed to find a new home in a reunited Germany where nearly 20 percent of the population is made up of first- or second-generation descendants of these exiled millions." Army

"Western historians have long averted their eyes from the stupendous crime authoritatively described by Alfred-Maurice de Zayas in this grim, essential book. The author has impeccable credentials for this work: a law degree from Harvard, a doctorate in history at Göttingen, mastery of five languages. He has worked in foreign archives and interviewed many survivors for this book, his fourth. For many years he has been a senior legal adviser on human rights to an international organization in Switzerland... The author conservatively takes the lowest available estimate of the deaths: over two million people died in the expulsions...." Ottawa Citizen

"De Zayas, a lawyer, historian and human rights expert specializing in refugees and minorities, has uncovered testimony in German and American archives detailing these atrocities, adding a new chapter to the annals of human cruelty. His carefully documented book serves as a reminder that many different peoples have been subjected to ethnic cleansing." Publishers Weekly

"In stark and gruesome detail, Mr. de Zayas presents the personal testimony of literally dozens upon dozens of these German victims during those years of expulsion. Soviet soldiers were given carte blanche to rape and plunder tens of thousands of people. In their thirst for revenge, Soviet troops gang-raped women over and over ... Though the American government did not overtly endorse the brutalities that accompanied the expulsions of the Germans, support for the deportation of these millions of people was laid down as official U.S. policy while the war was still in progress." Freedom Daily. The Future of Freedom Foundation

"Fast ein Klassiker" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Reviews of Heimatrecht ist Menschenrecht (Universitas Verlag, Munich 2001,

"The central thesis of this unique and timely book is that the right to one's homeland belongs to the most fundamental human rights, since its observance by state and non-state actors is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of most other human rights. Indeed, human rights are not exercised in a vacuum, but in a concrete geographical and temporal context, which is most frequently the place where one was born, where one's historical and cultural links lie. The denial of the right to live in one's homneland by mass expulsion or ethnic cleansing entails not only the obvious violation of the right to self-determination, which is considered by many international legal experts as jus cogens, but a breach of most civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights." Netherlands International Law Review

"De Zayas hat deutlich weiter an Reife gewonnen. Das Recht auf Heimat sei ein wesentliches Merkmal der Zivilisation thematischen Vergleich zu seinem bisherigen vorwiegend Sachverhalte feststellenden Werk, wird de Zayas jetzt zwar ebenso unbequem, aber nunmehr wölkerrechtlich bahnbrechend, ja visionär." Neue Zeitschrift für Wehrrecht, 2002, Heft 1

Honours and Awards:

1980 Ehrengabe zum Georg Dehio-Preis für Geschichte (Künstlergilde), Esslingen
1985 (September) Human Rights Award of the Danube Swabian Association of the United States and Canada
1996 (June) VDA Cultural Award, Weimar
1997 Plakette for the Right to Self-Determination, Berlin
1998 Humanitas Award of the Ost-West Kulturwerk, Frankfurt a.M.
2001 Dr. Walter-Eckhardt-Ehrengabe für Zeitgeschichtsforschung für das Buch Heimatrecht ist Menschenrecht, Ingolstadt, reported in Die Welt, "Auszeichnungen" 24 November 2001, p. 27, and in the FAZ 4 December 2001 in the Feuilleton.
2002 Cultural Award of the Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen, Leipzig
2003 Scholarly Achievement Award of the Armenian National Committee of America, Los Angeles
2004 elected to the Conseil Scientifique of the Académie internationale du droit constitutionnel
2004 Human Rights Award of the Sudetendeutsche Landsmannschaft, Munich, for my publications on human rights and human dignity
2007 Human Rights Award of the Volksgruppe der Donauschwaben, Stuttgart, for my work on the Danube Suevians
2008 Cultural Award of City of Geislingen an der Steige and the Landsmannschaft Südmähren for my Rilke translations
2011 Educator's Award, Canadians for Genocide Education, University of Toronto, 31 March 2011.

Links to my work on other sites


If you are wondering who said gutta cavat lapidem - well, check your Ovidius (Ex Ponto 4,10,5), and the later addition non vi sed saepe cadendum. "The drop of water hollows out the stone, not by force but by falling continuously".-- La goutte creuse la pierre, steter Tropfen höhlt den Stein, de druppel holt de steen uit. Of course, Ovidius did not invent it. The Greeks had it first. The poet Choirilos of Samos (*470 BC) already formulated the thought in his epic on the Persian wars Ρανἰς ένδελεχοὖσα  κοιλαἰνει  πέτραν .

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