Bob Last

Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

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7th October 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Zombie Wonderland

Council sessions often drive a temporary wedge between delegates and their families. The heavy hours estrange us from our partners and children and conversations tend to become rushed and reduced to topics of basic functional necessity.  So I was slightly thrown when my son wouldn’t let me get out of the door early one morning […]

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23rd September 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Badly Opened Boxes

There are different ways to open boxes of breakfast cereal. When my wife does it, the box looks like it’s been magically opened by a graceful spell – the packaging remains in pristine condition and the re-sealable cardboard tag slides effortlessly into its allotted place. Whenever I do it, it looks like a pack of […]

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25th March 2019 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Fretful Felines at Forty

Last autumn, Pixie – our much loved cat (and subject of a 2015 blog trilogy) – fell seriously ill. After a week in pet hospital, the vets advised that she needed an urgent blood transfusion to survive. Except they didn’t have any cat blood in stock, so they asked if I could round up some […]

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2nd October 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Up

When the US walked out of the Council last session, there were plenty of doom-mongers foretelling the multiple ways in which everything would fall apart, drawing on the Council’s darker moments of its stuttering early years, before the US joined. There may be more testing times ahead, but this was the Council’s most successful session […]

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24th September 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Awkward

I’ve often thought that children make the best negotiators. Kids seem to know better than anyone how to stay focussed on what they want and strike home when defences are down. If you ever need a lesson for succeeding in a multilateral negotiation, I’d recommend spending some time observing supermarket check-out queues on a Saturday […]

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17th September 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Growing Intolerant

Over the summer, I have grown a little bit more intolerant. Not to family holidays, heatwaves or even World Cup exits, but to all things dairy. In many countries, this wouldn’t be especially problematic, but in Switzerland, I am having to rethink my breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as my usual Council mood-enhancer – […]

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10th July 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

World Cup Council

There’s little point writing about anything not related to football at the moment and I wouldn’t expect anyone to give it much attention if I did. By a happy coincidence, plenty of the countries who qualified for the World Cup finals were busy at the Human Rights Council too. I’m happy to report that we […]

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25th June 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Keeping the light on

My Council session got off to an unfortunate and slightly messy start. As I rushed to leave the house I discovered that the cat had regurgitated something unpleasant inside my freshly polished work shoes. I’m not prone to superstition but it felt like a worrying omen for what lay ahead. And so it proved to be. […]

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29th March 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

Unruly Behaviour

Voting days at the Council have always been stressful, and things don’t seem to be getting any easier with age. The drawback of having been around in these parts for longer than most is that I’m expected to know what I’m doing, especially when it comes to the finer points of the UN’s rules of […]

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19th March 2018 Geneva, Switzerland

Bob Last

by Bob Last

Deputy Head, UK Mission Political Team

The Chill Factor

Since the number of blog followers clamouring for a Council update has now reached single figures (thanks Nuala) I thought I’d better respond. It’s been busy. And cold. But mostly busy. As the 3rd week of the session came to end, UN staff voted to go on strike over impending allowance cuts, which suspended the […]

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About Bob Last

Bob Last (OBE) is Deputy Head of the UK Mission Political Team. He worked on human rights in the UK and Uganda before joining the UK Mission to the UN…

Bob Last (OBE) is Deputy Head of the UK Mission Political Team. He worked on human rights in the UK and Uganda before joining the UK Mission to the UN in 2002. His blog hopes shares regular thoughts and experiences, following the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN human rights meetings in Geneva.

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