Skip to main content

Countdown to Human Rights Day

The Little Prince helps celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Learn more
Navigation Blocks

About Us

Select Select
Navigation Blocks

About Us

Dr. Bertrand Ramcharan was Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and Assistant Secretary-General when Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, then High Commissioner, was killed on 19 August 2003 during the attack on the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Dr. Ramcharan then assumed the post of acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, which he held until July 2004, when a new High Commissioner, was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General.

During his three decades with the United Nations, Dr. Ramcharan served in the Centre for Human Rights as Special Assistant to the Director, as the Secretary-General's Chief Speechwriter, as Director  of the Office of the Special Representative for the Secretary-General in UNPROFOR, the largest-ever United Nations peacekeeping operation, as Director of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, as political adviser to the peace negotiators in the Yugoslav conflict, and as a Director in the United Nations Political Department, focusing on conflicts in Africa.

A barrister of Lincoln 's Inn , with a Doctorate in international law from the London School of Economics and Political Science earned in 1973, Dr. Ramcharan was a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists from 1991 to 1998 and has been a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration since 1996. He was Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights Law at Columbia University and has written or edited some twenty books and numerous articles. He holds the Diploma in International Law of the Hague Academy of International Law, where he has also been Director of Studies.

Dr. Ramcharan is married and has one son.