Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan will replace Navi Pillay of South Africa, whose term lasts until the end of August, as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prince Zeid was nominated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month and recently the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved his appointment for a four-year mandate.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is “mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the UN Charter and in international human rights laws and treaties and it’s headquartered in Geneva.”
“I am going to be the first High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab worlds,” Prince Zeid said after his appointment was approved by consensus. “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,” he added.
According to the UN, Prince Zeid’s nomination comes following an extensive selection process, including consultations with Member States and human rights non-governmental organizations. Prince Zeid enjoys a high popularity and has a solid reputation as human rights advocate.
Prince Zeid is currently Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, position he holds since 2010 and previously between 2000 and 2007. He was also Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States and Mexico from 2007 to 2010 and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1996 to 2000. He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, “notably as the first President of its governing body, chairing complex, often pioneering, negotiations on elements of individual offenses falling under the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” the UN mentioned. Prince Zeid was President of the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court from 2002 to 2005.