Dr John Pace


John Pace and is a Diplomacy Training Program Board Member and Program Trainer.

John’s career in the UN (1966-1999) was dedicated to Human Rights. During that period he served, among other capacities, as head of Special Procedures, of Technical Cooperation, Research and Right to Development.  He was also entrusted with a number of ad hoc assignments in various countries.

Among other duties since then, he served as Chief of the Human Rights Office of the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq (2004-2006). He was responsible in monitoring the human rights situation and participating in the reconstruction of Iraq, where he liaised closely with the US and Iraqi authorities and supported the establishment of a National Centre for Missing and Disappeared Persons as well as clinics for rehabilitation of victims of torture.

He was Secretary to the Commission on Human Rights from 1978 to 1991 and again from 1993 to 1994. In between those periods, he was the coordinator for the landmark World Conference on Human Rights which brought together 171 of the world’s nations, hundreds of Non-governmental organisations, and made important decisions on the future of human rights, including the establishment of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

He was also Director of the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of New South Wales from 2000 to 2002. Since finishing his duties in Iraq, John has held senior positions in the human rights/humanitarian field in Lebanon and Liberia and conducted missions to various other countries including Indonesia, Sudan and Cambodia.

John recently published the book, The United Nations Commission on Human Rights: 'A Very Great Enterprise'. Click here for an interview with John about the book.

Read John's keynote from Reaffirming Our Faith in Fundamental Human Rights & Fostering Sustainable Development In Larger Freedom, a virtual celebration as part of the UN 75 Global Summit Series.