Pillay welcomes appointment of new UN human rights chief

GENEVA (17 June 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday warmly welcomed the UN General Assembly’s appointment of Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein to succeed her when Pillay’s mandate comes to an end on 31 August 2014.

The Secretary-General’s nomination of Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, currently the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations in New York, for a four-year term as High Commissioner for Human Rights, was approved unanimously by the General Assembly on Monday.

“Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein will bring many years of experience in the international arena to the Office of the High Commissioner, including considerable expertise on various human rights issues and in particular in the area of international justice and the fight against impunity,” Pillay said.

“I applaud the decision of the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to appoint him as my successor as head of the Office charged with protecting all the human rights of everyone everywhere. I look forward to passing on this unique and very special mandate to him, and I am confident that he will take on the role of High Commissioner for Human Rights with the forthrightness and diligence that has characterised his career so far.”

Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein will be the sixth High Commissioner since the Office was created in 1993. His predecessors are: José Ayala-Lasso (Ecuador, 1994-97); Mary Robinson (Ireland, 1997-2002); Sergio Vieira de Mello (Brazil, 2002-03); Louise Arbour (Canada, 2004-08); and, from 1 September 2008 until 31 August 2014, the current incumbent, Navi Pillay (South Africa).