Following my trip to the UK to submit the final PhD thesis in person,
this award letter was issued yesterday. Now it is official that ‘the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law be conferred upon’ me.
It was a long journey, but a worthwhile one. As a professor from another continent wrote to me in his e-mail, my supervisor Prof. Francoise Hampson is one of the best and I could not ask for more.
Now, my journey to seek how best to make the result useful continues.
My PhD research was on the individual criminal accountability of UN police personnel, and my previous research looked into the same with other personnel associated with UN Peace Operations. My researches revealed several fundamental problems in the UN’s dealings with criminal allegations against its personnel. Following the findings, I have made practical recommendations to improve accountability. In the hope that those recommendations can be used by the UN, I have been approaching various UN entities. One of such key entities is the UN Office of the High-Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In particular with the current High Commissioner Prince Zeid, who led the epoch-making report on sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers back in 2005, I am hopeful that OHCHR will take steps to improve the current practice.
It is in that context that I offered briefing for OHCHR staff back in November last year on my findings. OHCHR and I agreed on further collaboration. In January this year, I sent my findings and recommendations to the High Commissioner by post, in the hope that some of them will be taken up by the High Commissioner and his office.
Now we have the momentum that something may be improved, especially after the events in the Central African Republic last year.