Former WHO Legal Counsel and Adjunct Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Gian Luca Burci is Former Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization, and Adjunct Professor of Law, Graduate Institute in Geneva. Mr. Burci worked for WHO from 1998 to 2016, advising WHO's director-general and senior management team, as well as its governing bodies, on a broad range of international, constitutional and procedural issues. Mr. Burci's work focuses on WHO's role in global health governance, its status under international law, and the interactions between WHO's normative and policy-setting functions and other areas of international law and policy.
Among other achievements, he was closely involved with the conclusion of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its recent Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, the revision and implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005), and the WHO reform. Since 2010, Mr. Burci has been teaching a course on international health law at the Graduate Institute and collaborating on a joint degree in international law between the Graduate Institute and Georgetown University School of Law. Mr. Burci is also a Senior Fellow at the Global Health Programme of the Graduate Institute and is currently a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown Law.
Between 1989 and 1998, Mr. Burci served in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations, where he dealt with international law issues related to the activities of the UN, particularly of a political nature. He was the focal point for UN economic sanctions and part of the team that negotiated the 1996 memorandum of understanding with Iraq for the implementation of the Oil-for-Food Programme. Before joining the UN, Mr. Burci worked at the international affairs division of ENEA, the Italian agency for nuclear and alternative energies, and in the Department of Technical Cooperation of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Mr. Burci is the author of a book on WHO and numerous articles on topics ranging from UN economic sanctions and peacekeeping operations, the succession of states, as well as international health law and WHO law and practice.