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Desmond Tutu/United Nations Role

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Part of the series on
Desmond Tutu
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The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu
Early Life
Tutu's role during apartheid
Tutu's role since apartheid
Role in South Africa
Chairman of the Elders
Role in the Third World
Israel
China
United Nations Role
Political Views
Other Humanitarian Initiatives
Academic role
One Young World
Honours
Media/film appearances
Writings
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Article discussion

United Nations role

In 2003, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court's Trust Fund for Victims.[1] He was named a member of the UN advisory panel on genocide prevention in 2006.[2]

However, Tutu has also criticised the UN, particularly on the issue of West Papua. Tutu expressed support for the West Papuan independence movement, criticizing the United Nations' role in the takeover of West Papua by Indonesia. Tutu said: "For many years the people of South Africa suffered under the yoke of oppression and apartheid. Many people continue to suffer brutal oppression, where their fundamental dignity as human beings is denied. One such people is the people of West Papua."[3]

Tutu was named to head a United Nations fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, where, in a November 2006 incident the Israel Defense Forces killed 19 civilians after troops wound up a week-long incursion aimed at curbing Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel from the town.[4] Tutu planned to travel to the Palestinian territory to "assess the situation of victims, address the needs of survivors and make recommendations on ways and means to protect Palestinian civilians against further Israeli assaults," according to the president of the UN Human Rights Council, Luis Alfonso De Alba.[5] Israeli officials expressed concern that the report would be biased against Israel. Tutu cancelled the trip in mid-December, saying that Israel had refused to grant him the necessary travel clearance after more than a week of discussions.[6] However, Tutu and British academic Christine Chinkin are now due to visit the Gaza Strip via Egypt and will file a report at the September 2008 session of the Human Rights Council.[7]


  1. "Amnesty International welcomes the election of a Board of Directors". Amnesty International. 12 September 2003. http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGIOR300072003?open&of=ENG-391. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  2. "Desmond Tutu turns 75". News24. 6 October 2006. http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_2009103,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  3. "Statement by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa". West Papuan Action. 23 February 2004. http://westpapuaaction.buz.org/unreview/. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  4. Slosberg, Jacob (29 November 2006). "Tutu to head UN rights mission to Gaza". Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1162378513178. 
  5. Hoffman, Gil; Keinon, Herb (19 December 2006). "Israel may give no-no to Tutu's trip to Beit Hanun". Jerusalem Post. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1164881856613&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. 
  6. "Desmond Tutu says Israel refused fact-finding mission to Gaza". International Herald Tribune. 11 December 2006. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/12/11/news/UN_GEN_UN_Israel_Tutu.php. 
  7. "Tutu heads for Gaza Strip". News24. 26 May 2008. http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2328948,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-31. 

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