Fijian human rights expert named UN monitor of commercial security consultants

20 August 2004

The United Nations today announced the appointment of Shaista Shameem, a legal expert from Fiji, as its new Special Rapporteur on the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination.

Ms. Shameem currently serves as the Director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission. She has worked extensively as a journalist in her country, as a sociology lecturer at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and as a solicitor and barrister.

The new Rapporteur, who succeeds Enrique Bernales Ballesteros, holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Waikato and a masters in law from the University of Auckland.

She is mandated to consult with States and interested organizations in gathering information on how the right to self-determination is being affected by the activities of private companies offering military assistance, consultancy and security services on the international market.

Ms. Shameem will annually present public reports to the UN Commission on Human Rights and General Assembly.


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