Marc Limon (UK), Executive Director

Marc Limon worked as a diplomat (rank of Counsellor) at the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council from the body’s establishment in 2006 until the end of 2012. This included participating in the negotiations on the institution-building package (which determined how the Council would operate), on the Council’s mid-term review, and on a wide-range of thematic and country-specific issues over the course of twenty-one regular sessions and nineteen special sessions.

During his time as a diplomat at the Council, Marc consistently worked to improve the body’s effectiveness, visibility and accessibility. This included working on the establishment of three UN Trust Funds designed to increase the participation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Council and its mechanisms. It also included establishing a cross-regional political group at the Council called the Article 4 Dialogue, designed to strengthen dialogue as well as the output of the body. During his time as a representative of a Member state of the Council, Marc was lead negotiator on nine different UN resolutions dealing with issues including human rights and climate change, human rights and the environment, freedom of assembly and association, and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Between 2006 and 2012, Marc also prepared reports for and interacted with all UN human rights treaty bodies, drafted national reports under the Universal Periodic Review, and organised five Special Procedure country missions. He therefore possesses first-hand knowledge of the international human rights system, how it works, its weaknesses and the challenges it faces to improve its effectiveness.

In addition to his work on human rights policy, Marc was also a lead negotiator during the COP15 and COP16 climate change negotiations in Copenhagen and Cancun, securing the inclusion of human rights principles and safeguards in the Cancun Agreements. He also played a key role in the establishment of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a head of state level grouping of the world’s most environmentally vulnerable states. Finally, he chaired negotiations in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on the strengthening of United Nations support for SIDS, and was facilitator of the SIDS group during negotiations leading up to UNCTAD XIII (2012).

Prior to coming to Geneva, Marc worked as a government affairs and media relations consultant in Brussels, focusing on EU policy-making in the areas of international relations, human rights, trade and the environment. He also advised a range of clients, from the public and private sectors, on communications and public relations.