Press release - 450(2009)

“International organisations should be accountable when they act as quasi governments” says Commissioner Hammarberg

Strasbourg, 08.06.2009- “An international accountability deficit is no good for anyone, least of all the local population. No-one, especially an international organisation, is above the law” states Commissioner Hammarberg in his latest Viewpoint published today.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights underlines that “when international organisations exercise executive and legislative control as a surrogate state they must be bound by the same checks and balances as we require from a democratic government. Lack of accountability may undermine public confidence in the international organisation and thereby its moral authority to govern. It also promotes a climate of impunity and sets a negative model for domestic governments.”

Analysing concrete examples of international territorial administrations, the Commissioner recommends the establishment of mechanisms capable of ensuring a better accountability of international actors.

Published fortnightly, Viewpoints can be used by the media without prior consent, provided that the text is not modified and the original source is indicated in the following way: "Also available at the Commissioner's website at".

Media contact : Stefano Montanari, +33 6 61 14 70 37;

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights
Communication Unit
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 35 38
Fax:+33 (0)3 90 21 50 53