Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan has unanimously been approved by consensus in the General Assembly as new High Commissioner for Human Rights. Zeid was nominated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month to replace former Ms. Pillay, whose term ends in August. Prince Zeid is an experienced diplomat and an avid campaigner for international justice. Zeid is currently Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations.
Zeid is highly qualified for the position from his experience serving as an officer in the Jordanian desert police and serving on the U.N. protection force in former Yugoslavia. He has been the ambassador to the United Nations twice as well as ambassador to the United States from 2007-2010.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and realization of rights for all people codified in international human rights law and treaties. It prevents human rights violations, promoting human rights and coordinating activities throughout the U.N. The Office leads an effort to integrate human rights in all U.N. agencies.
Zeid will be the first Human Rights Chief from the Asian continent and the first from the Muslim and Arab worlds. This is an enormous step forward for the international community.
“Needless to say this reflects the commitment of the international community towards this important dossier and its commitment to push it forward in this continent as well as in other regions of the world,” said Zeid.
Zeid stressed his commitment to the job and recognizes that it takes wisdom and high levels of coordination with different governments, civil society and all U.N. agencies. He has been a strong supporter of the International Criminal court and has spoken out against sexual violence.
— Catherine Ulrich