Erstellt am: 22. 6. 2012 - 15:56 Uhr
Enter the Ninja
Manfred Nowak is a genuinely nice man. He's also really generous with his knowledge and time. I've interviewed him on countless ocassions, on subjects ranging from Latin American social issues, American foreign policy, the Balkan Wars, and the intricate workings of the United Nations. Mr. Nowak has had (and continues to have) a career that is impressive not just in its breadth of responsibility but in its overall endeavour.
Manfred Nowak wants people to respect each other's human rights. Plain and simple. He wants that so badly that he's dedicated his life's work to achieving more respect, more justice, and more forward-thinking human sustainability on our communal planet. That all sounds lovely, doesn't it?
Thing is, you've got to go to a very dark place to eventually reach the light in the seemingly never-ending tunnel of universal human rights. You've got to be firm but polite, you've got to sit down at a table with really bad people, you've got to soothe wounded souls that have no other lifeline. You may have to take on a job that goes by the title: "United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture".
Manfred Nowak held that job from 2004 until 2010. I've talked to him about different aspects of his work in that capacity and even though Mr. Nowak was always more than approachable, I never dared to ask him how it is that a kid growing up in Upper Austria in the 50's could eventually become an internationally respected expert on the methods and prevention of torture.
Well, I finally dared to get personal with Mr. Nowak and I was amazed by the honest story he had to tell.
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