Jean Ziegler has served for extended periods as independent expert for the United Nations, is honorary professor at the University of Geneva and author of numerous books.
In March 2008, Jean Ziegler was elected member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council. One year later, the Human Rights Council decided, by acclamation, to re-elect Jean Ziegler as a member of the Advisory Committee, a post he held until 2012. The Advisory Committee elected Jean Ziegler as Vice-President of the forum for two terms. His area of expertise covers economic, social and cultural rights and in particular the right to food.
In September 2000, Jean Ziegler was nominated by the UN Commission on Human Rights to be the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. His mandate was renewed in June 2006 by the UN Human Rights Council, the newly established intergovernmental mechanism charged with the promotion and protection of human rights.
Before his appointments at the UN, Jean Ziegler was well known for his work as a professor and Member of the Federal Parliament of Switzerland for 18 years.
Jean Ziegler is a honorary Professor at the University of Geneva, where he established the Laboratory of sociology for the study of the societies of the Third World. Most of his academic work has focused on developing countries. Jean Ziegler has also taught at the l’Institut d’études politiques de l’Université de Grenoble and the Université de Paris I – Sorbonne. He is also qualified as a lawyer, with doctorates in law and in sociology from the University of Berne and an appointment before the Bar of Geneva.
For his activity and publications, Jean Ziegler has been honored with several awards and decorations. Jean Ziegler holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Liège and Mons – Hainaut in Belgium, and from the Universities of Savoie and Paris 8 in France.
His other distinctions include: Chevalier de l’Ordre national des Arts et des Lettres de la République française, Médaille d’or du Président de la République italienne, Ordre national Amílcar Cabral, premier degré, République du Cap Vert, Médaille d’honneur du Président de la République d’Algérie, Président honoraire de la Presse Emblème Campagne.
Jean Ziegler was awarded the “Prix littéraire pour les droits de l’homme 2008″ for his book La Haine de l’Occident. His most recent book is Destruction massive. Geopolitique de la faim which first appeared in 2011 in French at the publishing house Seuil. Spanish, Italian and German editions have also appeared since.