An Independent Expert is a Special Procedure mechanism appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report on a specific human rights issue or theme. This position is honorary and the expert is not United Nations staff nor paid for his/her work.
For more on Special Procedures, please refer to Fact Sheet N° 27: Seventeen Frequently Asked Questions about United Nations Special Rapporteurs (PDF).
On 29 September 2011, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 18/6 on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.
The resolution affirmed that a democratic and equitable international order fosters the full realization of all human rights for all, and that everyone is entitled to it.
The resolution sees democracy as a universal value based on the freely expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives and reaffirmed the need for universal adherence to and implementation of the rule of law at both the national and international levels. In this connection, the principle of the will of the people, as expressed in periodic and genuine elections, shall be the basis of government authority. As stipulated in the resolution, the establishment of a democratic and equitable international order requires inter alia the realization of the right of all peoples to self-determination, the right to development and the right to peace.
On 27 September 2012, the Human Rights adopted resolution 21/9, requesting the Independent Expert to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-fourth session, a report on the fostering of full, equitable and effective participation, including the obstacles to that aim and possible measures to overcome them.
On 15 April 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 25/15, which requests the Independent Expert to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-seventh session, a report on the implementation of the present resolution. This report will focus on the impact of military expenditures on the possibility of advancing toward a just international order. On 27 October 2014, the Independent Expert will present a report on the realization of the right of self-determination and its relationship to a democratic and equitable international order to the General Assembly.
On 25 September 2014, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate for an additional three years, until 30 April 2018.
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