IRENE MELUP (1925-2016)

The service took place at Plaza Jewish Chapel,
630 Amsterdam Avenue (at 91st Street) in Manhattan
at 11 AM, Thursday, August 18th, 2016.

Irene Melup was buried in the family plot of the Westchester Hills Cemetery.

BIDDING FAREWELL TO A GREAT LADY
A PROMOTER & DEFENDER OF VICTIMS’ RIGHTS ACROSS THE WORLD

The following are messages of love, respect and gratitude…

From Her United Nations Friends and Colleagues

Bidding farewell to Irene Melup – a great lady, promoter and defender of victims’ rights all over the world – calls on us, colleagues, friends and members of the United Nations family, to say today how unique and extraordinary service she rendered to humankind, since she joined the Organization in 1946, very shortly after its establishment.

Today those gathered at this sad ceremony may remember that her long and distinguished service for the United Nations that she started with the implementation of the pronouncement of the United Nations Charter to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of wars. Irene Melup with her sister and parents were the survivors of the Second World War. Irene, as one of the early Polish UN staff members, had been meeting this United Nations call since its very beginning.

Irene’s family’s pre-War and Second World War saga has been traumatic and a case in point as far as her various later United Nations engagements were concerned. During the Second World War she lost many relatives. But several of her remaining family made it to the New World. She herself started to build a new world for the victims of crime and abuse of power – her foremost agenda in and for the United Nations. When in 1986 she retired from the United Nations her colleagues and friends very deeply impressed by the amount of work in this and other human rights areas prompted, advocated or done by her for the sake of victims of crime and offenders across the globe, so when Irene turned 70, in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments those colleagues and friends took a stock of them in a form of a big Jubilee Book acknowledging and applauding all these serious accomplishments.

But even if they have since then been cast in stone, and if our memory serves us well, Irene may also be remembered as a person who sometimes tongue-in-cheek could create a smile and joy on our faces. One time, when she worked in the Vienna International Center in Austria, she was invited to a big festive ball in the Vienna Town Hall. Those UN colleagues and friends who remember her from that event recall that she was dressed in a glaringly green rain coat that she never took off. As it turned the next day, because of the great amount of very urgent work in the office, she did not manage to change in time for the ball, so her green shining rain coat had been the only piece of cloth that deserved public eye. And Yes! In that coat she danced!

But, yes, Irene was first of all a hard worker and a very compassionate person. Her private and official life had fully been devoted to the impoverished, disadvantaged people ñ of whatever colour of skin, creed, sex or country of origin. As a person who spoke English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and naturally, Yiddish. A person with a vast diplomatic and intercultural experience, after her retirement from the UN she has been the Permanent Representative of the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation to the United Nations in New York.

Her broad horizons, her forthcoming way of dealing with and solving of human and humane problems should be an outstanding example for the coexistence of people in the world to come. Irene Melup left us a few days ago – in the first year of implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 14 years, until 2030. This is a perspective for a new world she was working for ever since she has started working for the United Nations. She had always belonged to the avant-garde of succeeding generations – with her wisdom, compassion, foresight and tolerance.

We salute Irene Melup on her way to another new world. We thank her for everything she has done to us and others and on behalf of those who, although are not here at this funeral, nonetheless may wish to convey their thanks for her generosity, the service to the world, the service for peace.

Dear Irene, rest in peace!

Let your example be a guidance for a better world of the succeeding generation!

More Messages

Click / Tap to Read

Dimitri Vlassis, UNDOC

My sense of loss is great and hard to bear. When I joined the UN in 1989, Irene had already retired but not gone from the crime prevention and criminal justice scene. Knowing her was a source of inspiration and learning for me.  It gave me the rare opportunity to experience what true dedication and selfless giving truly means.  Her contribution was exceptional not only in scientific terms, but also and most importantly in making all of those who met and worked with her better people.  She will be sorely missed.

Dimitri Vlassis
UNODC

Freda Adler

Irene’s influence extended way beyond the international instruments specifically dealing with victims.

For over a half century she influenced virtually every one of the documents emanating from the crime prevention and criminal justice efforts of the United Nations – and that includes the statute of the International Criminal Court, where victim compensation has been dealt with on a broad scale.

For most policy makers and scholars the story would end right here, But not so for Irene Melup, because there was a personal side to her life: for as long as I have known Irene, she has practiced victimology on a personal level. Did she ever spend her salary on herself? No! She used it on the refugees, the persecuted, the victimised of the world – and she personally helped to save many, many lives.

Claudia Baroni
She was indeed a great woman who spend her whole life, energies and dedication to crucial causes and to helping others, both professionally and privately.
She indeed symbolized the best soul of the UN!  
Ciao    

Claudia

Claudia Baroni (Ms.)
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer
Justice Section
Division for Operations
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Eduardo

Dear Pussycat,

Even if you left us, you will always remain in our earths!!!  Your smile, your telephone calls in the middle of the night, your encouragements and at times criticisms and, above all, your persistence will never be forgotten. Continue to smile, please, and continue also to inspire all of us,

Eduardo

Janice Joseph

Yes, we are going to miss her.

Janice

Irka Kuleshnyk
Irene Melup selflessly and tirelessly devoted her life to international crime prevention and criminal justice efforts and in particular to those most needy, namely, the victims of crime. She was one of the first women involved in international crime prevention and criminal justice, paving the way for others.
Love, porcupine

Cara Irene,

Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
All your darlings and sweethearts shall not be forgotten.

Love
porcupine

Leticia Shahani
Ms Melup was also exceptional in her ability to bring people of different nationalities together for the cause of crime prevention, and help them to reach agreement even on delicate and complex policy issues.  Beyond the call of duty, she would put several parties together through telephone or fax, defying time constraints and also succeeding in to obtain access to VIPs.
Executive Committee of the World Society of Victimology

On behalf of the members and the Executive Committee of the World Society of Victimology I express our deep sorrow about the demise of a grand lady in victimology. Irene Melup served as a role model and as an example to be emulated for many of us. Our hearts and minds are with her loved ones.

Marc Groenhuijsen

Mangai Natarajan

While Prof. Gerhard Mueller introduced me to the UN, Irene was the one took
me under her wings as an intern at the UN (New York office) in the late
nineties – encouraged and facilitated my visiting scholar fellowship at
UNAFEI in 1988. I have fond memories of her and I am grateful . Only a few
people can make lifetime impressions in ones life. Irene is one.

Keisuke Senta

I wish to echo all the sentiments expressed about Irene Melup by her friends all over the world. I personally owe her a great deal.  When I joined the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the United Nations Office at Vienna as a junior officer in 1990,  I shared an office room with Irene in the E Building of the Vienna International Centre (it was Eduardo who took me to the office and told me to work there).  From day one in Vienna, I was overwhelmed in awe and respect watching her work, always energetic, enthusiastic and full of love for those who were vulnerable including victims of crime.   I cannot express how much I learned from Irene, and how much UNAFEI owes to her.

Yours sincerely,

Keisuke Senta
Director UNAFEI

Asia Crime Prevention Foundation

We have been lucky indeed to have known her who is the most admirable teacher of life with the dearest personality.

Akio Omori
Director, General Affairs Bureau
Asia Crime Prevention Foundation

Momoyo Ise
Irene Melup made a great contribution in making the work of the United Nations academically up-to-date.  What impressed (and sometimes exasperated) people was her tenacity to pursue a goal once she was convinced that this was the right thing to do. Although it was not always easy to be on the receiving side of her persuasion, nevertheless, I  came to value truly her strength of persistence in achieving what is right.
Jolanta & Slawomir Redo

Irene Melup made a remarkable input to the issue of victims’ rights across the world.  As a professional colleague and personal friend, I wish to pay tribute to her great accomplishments in victimology and thank her for all the moments she shared in so many years of our cooperation.


Bidding farewell to Irene Melup – a great lady, promoter and defender of victims’ rights all over the world – calls on us, colleagues, friends and members of the United Nations family, to say today how unique and extraordinary service she rendered to humankind, since she joined the Organization in 1946, very shortly after its establishment.

Today those gathered at this sad ceremony may remember that her long and distinguished service for the United Nations that she started with the implementation of the pronouncement of the United Nations Charter to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of wars. Irene Melup with her sister and parents were the survivors of the Second World War. Irene, as one of the early Polish UN staff members, had been meeting this United Nations call since its very beginning.

Irene’s family’s pre-War and Second World War saga has been traumatic and a case in point as far as her various later United Nations engagements were concerned. During the Second World War she lost many relatives. But several of her remaining family made it to the New World. She herself started to build a new world for the victims of crime and abuse of power – her foremost agenda in and for the United Nations. When in 1986 she retired from the United Nations her colleagues and friends very deeply impressed by the amount of work in this and other human rights areas prompted, advocated or done by her for the sake of victims of crime and offenders across the globe, so when Irene turned 70, in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments those colleagues and friends took a stock of them in a form of a big Jubilee Book acknowledging and applauding all these serious accomplishments.

But even if they have since then been cast in stone, and if our memory serves us well, Irene may also be remembered as a person who sometimes tongue-in-cheek could create a smile and joy on our faces. One time, when she worked in the Vienna International Center in Austria, she was invited to a big festive ball in the Vienna Town Hall. Those UN colleagues and friends who remember her from that event recall that she was dressed in a glaringly green rain coat that she never took off. As it turned the next day, because of the great amount of very urgent work in the office, she did not manage to change in time for the ball, so her green shining rain coat had been the only piece of cloth that deserved public eye. And Yes! In that coat she danced!

But, yes, Irene was first of all a hard worker and a very compassionate person. Her private and official life had fully been devoted to the impoverished, disadvantaged people ñ of whatever colour of skin, creed, sex or country of origin. As a person who spoke English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and naturally, Yiddish. A person with a vast diplomatic and intercultural experience, after her retirement from the UN she has been the Permanent Representative of the Asia Crime Prevention Foundation to the United Nations in New York.

Her broad horizons, her forthcoming way of dealing with and solving of human and humane problems should be an outstanding example for the coexistence of people in the world to come. Irene Melup left us a few days ago – in the first year of implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda for the next 14 years, until 2030. This is a perspective for a new world she was working for ever since she has started working for the United Nations. She had always belonged to the avant-garde of succeeding generations – with her wisdom, compassion, foresight and tolerance.

We salute Irene Melup on her way to another new world. We thank her for everything she has done to us and others and on behalf of those who, although are not here at this funeral, nonetheless may wish to convey their thanks for her generosity, the service to the world, the service for peace.

Dear Irene, rest in peace!

Let your example be a guidance for a better world of the succeeding generation!

Slawomir Redo

Société Internationale de Défense Sociale

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the “Société Internationale de Défense Sociale” I wish to express our sympathy and solidarity to the entire community linked to the United Nations for the death of Irene Mellup . A lifetime, after World War II, dedicated to the advancement of human rights on the issue of crime and its prevention, the treatment of the offenders and the protection of victims. Personally I wish to highlight their support for the Spanish emigre Manuel Lopez Rey which was determinant for the success of the first Crime Congress in 1955 and the consolidation of as it was called at that time the “Branch of Social Defense”. Also in last decades to the elaboration and approval of the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power. It is also a good time to thank Pedro R. David and Eduardo Vetere for the initiative to organize the tribute book to Irene which was published in English and Spanish in 2005 and 2006, for her perpetual remembrance.

Yours

Luis Arroyo Zapatero

Jean-Paul Laborde, Assistant Secretary General
Chers amis, “je me permets d’écrire en Français car Irene m’a toujours parlé en cette langue. Ses talents dans la langue de Molière étaient absolument remarquables comme nombreuses autres langues et d’autres domaines. Je me souviendrai toujours d’Irene me soutenant dans mes pas si hésitants lors de mon premier Congrès au Caire et ce ne fut que le début de tout ce qu’elle m’a donné comme elle l’a fait avec tant d’autres personnes. Pour aller au plus simple et a l’essentiel, elle nous a insufflé l’idéal le plus pur des Nations Unies. Chère Irene, un grand merci, vous resterez toujours au fond de notre cœur.”
Jean-Paul Laborde
Assistant Secretary General
& Executive Director
Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate

 

Matti Joutsen
It was with sadness that I returned to the office to read your message of the passing of Irene. The world has lost perhaps the most dedicated international civil servant that it has ever had the fortune to have.
 
Presumably none can match her for sheer length of service: she joined the fledgling UN Secretariat seventy years ago.
 
Few can match her in the length of the working day: Irene was never a nine-to-five worker, but would continue late into the night, and indeed at times to dawn.
 
Few can match her encyclopedic knowledge of the minutiae of the UN crime programme, and of the genesis of standards and norms, as well as other decisions.
 
Few can match her sheer enthusiasm and dedication to the cause of victims and of human rights.
 
And few can match her in inspiring others to join in the work for the benefit of all. Irene Melup’s greatest legacy may be that she has passed on the torch to new generations.
 
Matti Joutsen
Anna Alvazzi
Irene was a pioneer and a great example for us. Her enthusiasm, curiosity and excellent memory gave her an extraordinary ability to connect the dots and advance thinking. I will miss her.

Anna

Pedro David

Irene Melup moved beyond adversity and hate by the sheer power of her love and hope. Nothing was able to stop her. Irene possess an unconventionality that de-structures the world of bureaucratic compilations of rules and norms.  All of these, fostered her successful efforts to bring the issue of victims to the forefront of the UN agenda.

I cannot remember, one instance, in more than twenty years of working with Irene, that she was not deeply involved, not only in protecting victims through legislation , but also supporting concrete human beings suffering destitution, persecution, hunger or exile, who called on her in New York or Vienna.

Irene’s unlimited generosity for all, except for herself working endless days and nights at the UN offices, ensured the effectiveness of her interventions to alleviate the suffering of many.

Pedro, Elisa and Family

No words can convey our sorrow for The parting of our beloved Irene.

Pedro Elisa and family

 

Karen Judd Smith
The NY UN community will miss Irene greatly. She only entered my life in the last ten year or so through the NY Alliance. Whenever she walked into the room, it lit up. “The Melup Report” was a constant throughout these years filling in much for us later to the game. And her smile…! Karen Judd Smith
Alfredo Nunzi

I met Irene upon joining the then Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch. Having heard about her and her adventures since as early as 1990, she was already a living legend for me

During my time in Vienna, she always was a source of wonder and inspiration and terms such as friend or colleague say too little of my feelings for Irene.

Minoru Shikata
I, Minoru Shikata,  have known Irene for almost four decades, from the time we were but a handful of crime prevention and criminal justice staff of a tiny “Social Defense Section” within the United Nations Secretariat in New York, facing daunting global challenges. We faced major vicissitudes and some successes, which her work helped to achieve against all odds.
Ugi
Irene was our great teacher and everlasting friend.
Irvin Waller

Dear Irene:

It is with deep sadness that I learnt of your passing.  This world has lost an international titan and mother for justice for victims of crime and abuse of power.

In 1985, when the U.N. marked its 40th anniversary, the Washington Post identified you as one of its most senior staff members, whose idealism with which you began at the UN in 1946 – however sorely tested — had survived.  Well it not only survived three more decades to impact your transnational family of your ¨children¨.

In the same year 1985, the UN General Assembly resolved to prevent violence and implement the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.  You rightly called it the victims´ magna carta.

Twenty years later in 2005, those of us whom you called your children wrote the book on your gargantuan contributions to justice for victims of crime and abuse of power in the Festschrift published in your name by the United Nations.

In 2o15, for the 30th anniversary of the UNGA Declaration and 70 years of the UN, Victimologia celebrated you again. The Washington Post might repeat today that you were never anxious to talk about yourself but only your work – and in 8 languages.  Well we are talking about your work and are inspired to continue your work.

The song (made famous by Groban) might  say …

You raised us up, so we can stand on mountains;
You raised us up to walk on stormy seas;
We are strong when we are on your shoulders;
You raised us up to more than we can be.

Well Irene, we are on your shoulders.  Your work made a quantum leap to stop violence and get rights for victims of crime and abuse of power.  Your work is making a difference to billions of men, women and children across the planet.  We will celebrate your work but we will continue your work but we will miss you .

Irvin Waller

Professor of Criminology,
University of Ottawa, Canada
and
President, International Organization for Victim Assistance
in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC.

Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic

Thank you Irene for everything you did for victims and for tracing the path for improvement of their position world wide.

With high respect,

Vesna Nikolic-Ristanovic
Director
Victimology Society of Serbia

Judith Karp
For Irene – caring mother of all victims in the world- with love.
John Dussich
We owe Irene a great debt. She devoted a great deal of time and effort to the early victim movement, especially with the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power. We must honor her in some appropriate way. I hope my colleagues in the WSV will raise to the occasion.
I share your sadness,
John

 

Michael Platzer

Her reputation preceded her – good willed but determined.   Even before I got to my job in the UN Crime programme, I was being lobbied.

Later, when I was in a management position, I found her peskiness slightly irritating.  Now, I find myself trying to imitate her, stalking former colleagues in UNODC to do “the right things” and seeking to help the less fortunate in practical ways- but not in as effective manner as Irene.  I could have learned much more from her.  But, after retirement, we did make a film of her and her great achievement, the UN Declaration of Victim Rights.

Marlene A. Young
Irene Melup was a gifted, talented, inspirational intellectual. It is interesting that the few people who possess all these attributes may well be gifted-but are not always giving. Irene, on the other hand spent her life giving to others both individually and through government.
Camilla Beria di Argentine

On behalf of CNPDS Foundation and ISPAC I wish to remember Irene Melup, a passionate friend full of humanity. We owe Irene a great deal, she promoted with enthusiasm together with Eduardo Vetere, Pedro David and my father the creation of ISPAC in 1991. We will never forget her lively presence in our meetings in Courmayeur and Milan.

She will be missed by all of us.

Yours sincerely.

Camilla Beria di Argentine