International Human Rights Protection and Geopolitics - From Theory to Practice

Event date
20 July 2023
Event time
17:00 - 18:15
Oxford week
TT 13
Bonavero Institute of Human Rights - Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium

Ambassador Federico Villegas, Lawyer and Career Diplomat

Notes & Changes

Students on the MSc in International Human Rights Law and students on the Oxford/GWU Summer School in International Human Rights Law have priority but others very welcome subject to space.


If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to email

The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is delighted to host a lecture on International Human Rights Protection and Geopolitics – From theory to practice with Federico Villegas.

The session will address the state of the art in the present discussions on international human rights protection at the UN Human Rights Council and the universal system of protection, including treaty bodies, special procedures and the evolving role of the OHCHR. Historical context will be given, taking into account that 2023 is the 75th anniversary of the UN Human Rights Declaration and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. The specific case of Argentina will briefly be analysed, followed by a Q&A session.



Federico Villegas

Ambassador Federico Villegas is a lawyer and career diplomat, and entered the foreign service of Argentina with honours in 1993. He was appointed Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva in March 2020, after being Ambassador of Argentina in Mozambique since 2016, where he opened the Embassy of Argentina. In Argentina, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was first desk officer for disarmament, chemical weapons and international security issues (1993–1995) and then twice Director General of Human Rights (2005–2007 and 2012–2015).bHe coordinated the project with the OHCHR to elaborate the first National Plan against Discrimination and the establishment of the Center for Public Policies on Human Rights of Mercosur and the International Center for Human Rights of UNESCO, both based in Argentina. He represented his country before the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Global Action Against Mass Atrocities Crimes (GAAMAC).

Abroad, previous to his posting in Mozambique, he was Alternate Representative to the Southern Common Market and the Latin American Integration Association in Uruguay (2008–2011), in charge of small and medium-sized businesses, social and political issues of the regional integration process and approval of regional structural cooperation projects. He was also Alternate Representative to the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. (1995–2003), in charge of human rights, cooperation for development and civil society issues. Mr. Villegas holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, cum laude, from Georgetown University (1998), and was selected as United Nations Disarmament Fellow in 1994 and Young Leader of the Americas in 2004. He undertook intensive training on human rights at New College, University of Oxford (1999) and the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France (2001). Mr. Villegas was Assistant Professor of International Law at the national universities of Rosario and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He has published and lectured at the national and international levels on disarmament, human rights, international security and cooperation for development issues. During 2020 and 2021, he was President of the 6th Conference of the Arms Convention Treaty (ATT) and the UNCTAD Trade and Development Board. He was the President of the UN Human Rights Council in 2022. He is currently the President of the Conference on Conventional Weapons.

Online profile:



Nazila Ghanea

Dr Nazila Ghanea is Professor in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. She serves as Associate Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub and is a Fellow of Kellogg College (BA Keele, MA Leeds, PhD Keele, MA Oxon). She serves as a member of the OSCE Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief and on the Board of Trustees of the independent think tank, the Universal Rights Group. She has been a visiting academic at a number of institutions including Columbia and NYU, and previously taught at the University of London and Keele University, UK and in China. Nazila’s research spans freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, women’s rights, minority rights and human rights in the Middle East. Her publications include nine books, five UN publications as well as a number of journal articles and reportsHer research has been funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Board, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, Open Society and the QNRF.

She has been invited to address UN expert seminars on seven occasions. From 2012-2014 she is co-leading a research team to look at the Domestic Impact of UN Treaty Ratification in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. From 2010-2013 she was part of a research term investigating ‘Religion and Belief, Discrimination and Equality in England and Wales: Theory, Policy and Practice’ (2010-2013). She has also received a number of university scholarships and academic awards. Nazila has acted as a human rights consultant/expert for a number of governments, the UN, UNESCO, OSCE, Commonwealth, Council of Europe and the EU. She has facilitated international human rights law training for a range of professional bodies around the world, lectured widely and carried out first hand human rights field research in a number of countries including Malaysia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. She is a regular contributor to the media on human rights matters.


If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to email

Found within

Human Rights Law