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Oral history interview with Oscar Schachter, 2001

Creator: Schachter, Oscar, 1915-2003
Project: United Nations intellectual history project (UNIHP).
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :Transcript: 55 pages Sound recording: 2 digital audio tapes
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Director of Research, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Scope and Contents

Early years: 1932-1936 student at City College; editor-in-chief of Columbia Law Review; Career: 1939 job in the Wage and Hours Division of the Department of Labor; job at Federal Communications Commission Law Department; 1942 State Department job concerning wartime financial controls, civil administration in the Balkans; 1943 assistant general counsel of United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA); 1946-1947 UN secretary of the Legal Committee on Atomic Energy; 1946-1953 UN legal advisor; dispute settlement for Economic Commission for Europe; 1953-1966 director of the General Legal Division; 1955-1970 evening lectures at NYU and Yale law schools; 1963 Hague lectures on law, politics, and action at UN; 1966 job at United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); 1975 tenure as faculty in Columbia University's Law School and Political Science department; president of American Society of International Law (ASIL); author of Charter Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs; Themes: New Deal intellectual community; publishing articles as UN staff member; accusations of leftist sympathies and homosexuality against UN members during McCarthy era; errors of Secretary-General, Hammarskjöld; government and NGO support of social and economic rights; Article 62, racial discrimination against Japanese-Americans, and immigration legislation; UNRRA and development abroad; environmental and resource management; Mekong River Commission; sovereignty, human rights, and resources; relationship between UN and NGOs; customary law and human rights; UN Staff College; limitations of research; compensation and civil service; Foreseen UN challenges: armed forces and authorization, equality and resources for the poor, and democracy and international order


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