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Special Rapporteur, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Independent Expert are titles given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations within the scope of "Special Procedures" mechanisms, who bear a specific mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council, either a country mandate or a thematic mandate. "Rapporteur" is a French-derived word for an investigator who reports to a deliberative body. The mandate by the United Nations has been to "examine, monitor, advise and publicly report" on human rights problems through "activities undertaken by special procedures, including responding to individual complaints, conducting studies, providing advice on technical cooperation at the country level, and engaging in general promotional activities." However, the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures Internal Advisory Procedure to Review Practices and Working Methods manual simply calls these individuals mandate-holders. Other applications of the role include "Special Representative of the Secretary-General" or "Independent Expert", or a working group usually composed of five members, one from each region of the planet. (via Freebase)