Christian hope is grounded in lament, which includes truthfully and publicly naming the brokenness. In this regard, one thing the United Nations system does well is the work of Special Rapporteurs, independent experts with mandates to document and report on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. These experts are not paid, and many do excellent and courageous work to bring to light what would otherwise remain hidden – creating pressure for change. Human rights rapporteurs of special note to MCC’s work include Canadian lawyer Michael Lynk, who in October called for “imaginative and brave” approaches to Israel’s illegal (under international law) occupation of Palestine which “is more embedded than ever.” Belarus lawyer Alena Douhan has documented how U.S. and EU sanctions are greatly harming the civilian population of Syria, a concern voiced by Syrian civil society leaders to MCC UN Office director Chris Rice in October meetings in Lebanon (see also this Carter Center report and Foreign Policy article). A different but related UN entity providing a glimmer of hope to people in Myanmar suffering under military rule is the Independent Investigate Mechanism for Myanmar which provides protected channels to provide first-hand evidence of serious international crimes and violations of international law.

(Recommended reading from our December 2021 Global Briefing)