Mr. Petritsch was born in Klagenfurt, Austria on 26 August 1947. He holds a doctorate in South-East European History and Politics from the University of Vienna, which he received in 1972.

From 1977 to 1983, he was the Press Secretary and subsequently the Chief of Cabinet of the Federal Chancellor of Austria. He then served as Minister-Counsellor at the Austrian Delegation to the OECD. In 1984, Mr. Petritsch was appointed Director of the Austrian Press and Information Service in the United States and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. Then, in 1992, he returned to Vienna as Head of the Department for Multilateral Economic Co-operation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1994, Mr. Petritsch became Head of the Department for Information on European Affairs at the Federal Chancellery and a member of the Federal Government’s EU-accession Task Force. From 1995 to 1997, he became Head of Department for International Relations of the City of Vienna. From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Petritsch served as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. During his tenure as Ambassador, he was appointed Special Envoy of the European Union for Kosovo and EU Chief Negotiator at the Kosovo Peace Agreement talks at Rambouillet and Paris.  From 1999 to 2001, he was Chair of the “Succession Commission for the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”, in charge of distributing the public assets and liabilities among the successor states, resulting in the Vienna Agreement of 2001. In 1999, Mr. Petritsch was named High Representative of the International Community for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

From 2002 until his nomination as Permanent Representative of Austria to the OECD, Mr. Petritsch was Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Austria to the Specialised UN Agencies in Geneva; to the WTO; and to the Conference on Disarmament. Ambassador Wolfgang Petritsch took up his duties as Permanent Representative of Austria to the OECD on 4 March 2008.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Manfred NOWAK

born 1950 in Bad Aussee (Austria), 1973 Promotion (Dr. Iur.) University of Vienna, 1975 LL.M Columbia University (New York), since 1992 Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (Vienna), 1993-2001 Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, 1996 – 2003 Judge at the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2000 – 2007 Chairperson of the “European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation” (E.MA, Venice), 2002 – 2003 Olof Palme Visiting Fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI, Lund/Sweden), 2002 – 2006 Member of the EU Network of Independent Experts in Fundamental Rights, 2004 – October 2010 UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, 2007 – 2008 Professor for International Human Rights Protection at the University of Vienna; 2008 Member and Rapporteur of a Panel of Eminent Persons selected by the Swiss Foreign Minister to draft an Agenda for Human Rights; 2008 – 2009 Swiss Chair on Human Rights, Graduate Institute, Geneva; since 2008 head of the interdisciplinary research platform “Human Rights in the European Context” (University of Vienna); Member of the Austrian Monitoring Body of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; since 2009 head of interdisciplinary PhD Research School “Empowerment through Human Rights” (University of Vienna); Member of the Coordinating Committee of UN Special Procedures; Chair of COST Action “The Role of the EU in the Human Rights Reform”; since 2011 Professor for International Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna; author of more than 400 publications in the fields of constitutional, administrative and international law with a focus on fundamental and human rights.

Project Management:
Roland Schmidt worked as a human rights researcher at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights from 2006 to 2011 and assisted during this time Prof. Nowak in his function as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. He obtained his Human Rights Master’s Degree at the Center for Post-Graduate Studies in Sarajevo & Bologna and is currently a PhD candidate at the Central European University in Budapest. For any questions and feedback related to the project he can be contacted via


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