Composition of the Commission

The Commission was an independent body whose members participated in their personal capacity and not as representatives of governments or international bodies to which they might have belonged. Its work was not intended to interfere with governmental negotiations or inter-state relations, nor to duplicate work being done by existing governmental or non-governmental bodies.

In its deliberations the Commission benefited from advice of governments, existing international governmental and non-governmental bodies and leading experts. The composition of the Commission was limited and based on equitable geographical distribution. It had twenty-nine members. Details of the members during the period of the Commission’s existence can be found below.

Crown Prince Hassan bin Talal and Sadruddin Aga Khan, Chairman and Co-Chairman, accompanied by Therese Paquet-Sevigny, UN Under-Secretary-General for Public Information
(UN New York 24 September 1987)


Secretary General 

Zia RIZVI (PAKISTAN): Assistant Secretary General, UNO. Founder and Director General, IBHI.



Sadruddin AGA KHAN (Iran): UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 1965-77. Special Consultant to the UN Secretary-General since 1978. Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission, 1981. Founder-President of the Bellerive Group.

Hassan bin Talal (Jordan): Crown Prince of the Hashemite Kingdom, Founder of the Royal Scientific Society and the Arab Thought Forum. Concerned with development planning of Jordan and the formulation of national, economic and social policies. Author.



Susanna AGNELLI (Italy); Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs since 1983. Member of the Italian Senate. Member of the European Parliament, 1979-81. Journalist and author.

Paulo Evaristo ARNS (Brazil): Cardinal, Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Catholic University, Sao Paulo State, Author.

Mohammed BEDJAOUI (Algeria): Judge at the International Court of Justic since 1982, Minister of Justice, 1964-7). Ambassador to France, 1970-79: UNESCO, 1971-79; and the United Nations in New York. 1979-82. Author.

Henrik BEER (Sweden): Secretary-General of the League of Red Cross Societies, 1960-82. Secretary-General of the Swedish Red Cross, 1947-60. Member of the International Institute for Environment and Development and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (Deceased 1987).

Igor P. BLISHCHENKO (USSR): Professor of Legal Sciences, Chairman of the International Law Department. Moscow. Member of Soviet delegations to international humanitarian meetings, including the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law. Consultant to the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Luis ECHEVERRIA ALVAREZ (Mexico): President of the Republic. 1970-76, Founder and Director-General of the Centre for Economic and Social Studies of the Third World. 1976. Former Ambassador to Australia. New Zealand and UNESCO.

Pierre GRABER (Switzerland): President of the Swiss Confederation, 1975. Foreign Minister, 1975-78. President of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law, 1974-77.

Ivan L, HEAD (Canada): President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Canada, 1968-78, Queen’s Counsel,

M. HIDAYATULLAH (India): Vice-President of India, I979-84. Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia since 1979. Former Chancellor of the Universities of Delhi, Punjab. Author.

Aziza HUSSEIN (Egypt): Member of the Population Council. President of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, 197785. Fellow of the International Peace Academy, Helsinki, 1971 and the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies, 1978-79.

Manfred LACHS (Poland): Judge at the International Court of Justice since 1967 and its President, 1973-76. Professor of Political Science and International Law. Former Chairman of the UN Legal Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Author.

Robert S. McNAMARA (USA): President of the World Bank, 1968-81. Secretary of Defense, 1961-68, President, Ford Motor Company, 1960-61. Trustee of the Brookings Institute, Ford Foundation, the Urban Institute and the California Institute of Technology. Author.

Lazar MOJSOV (Yugoslavia): President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Former Foreign Minister. Ambassador to the USSR, Mongolia, Austria, the United Nations, 1958-74. President of the UN General Assembly, 32nd Session and of the Special Session on Disarmament, 1978.

Mohammed MZAL (Tunisia): Former Prime Minister and General Secretary of the Democratic Socialist Party. Former Minister of National Defence, Education, Youth and Sports and Health. Author,

Sadako OGATA (Japan): Professor at the Institute of International Relations, Sophia University, Tokyo, Representative of Japan to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Member of the Trilateral Commission.

David OWEN (United Kingdom): Member of Parliament since 1966. Leader of the Social Democratic Party since 1983. Foreign Secretary. 1977-79.

Willibald P. PAHR (Austria): Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, Madrid. Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1976-83. Ambassador. Vice-President of the International Institute of Human Rights. Strasbourg.

Shridath S. RAMPHAL (Guyana): Secretary-General of the Commonwealth since 1975. Former Attorney-General, Foreign Minister and Minister of Justice.

Ru Xin (China): Vice-President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor of Philosophy at the Xiamen University. Executive President of the Chinese National Society of the History of World Philosophies.

Salim A. SALIM (Tanzania): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. For ICI Prime Minister and Forcign Minister. Ambassador to Egypt, India, China and Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Former President of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

Léopold Sédar SENGHOR (Senegal); Member of the French Academy. President of the Republic of Senegal, 1960-80. Cabinet Minister in the French Government before leading his country to independence in 1960. Poet and philosopher,

SOEDJATMOKO (Indonesia): Former Rector of the United Nations University, Tokyo, 1980-87. Ambassador to the United States. Member of the Club of Rome and Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the Ford Foundation. Author.

Talal Bin Abdul Aziz AL SAUD (Saudi Arabia): President, the Arab Gulf Programme for UN Development Organizations (AGFUND), UNICEF’s Special Envoy, 1980-84. Former Minister of Communications, of Finance and National Economy and Vice-President of the Supreme Planning Commission.

Desmond TUTU (South Africa): Archbishop of Cape Town, Winner of Nobel Peace Prize. Former Secretary-General of the South African Council of Churches. Professor of Theology.

Simone Veil (France): Member of the European Parliament and its President 1979-82. Chairperson of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. Former Minister of Health, Social Security and Family Affairs, 1974-79.

E. Gough WHITLAM (Australia): Former Prime Minister, 1972-75, Member of Parliament, 1952-78. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to UNESCO.