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10.08.2018 19:28 News >> Michelle Bachelet Chosen As New Un Human Rights Chief

Michelle Bachelet Chosen As New Un Human Rights Chief

Nomination of former Chilean president unanimously approved by UN General Assembly.

The UN approved Friday the appointment of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The two-time former president was nominated by Secretary General Antonio Guterres and approved by the General Assembly.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was formerly headed by Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan and is headquartered in Geneva.

Before accepting this position, Bachelet served as executive director of the UN gender equality office, UN Women.

Guterres hailed Bachelet as a "pioneer here at the United Nations" shortly after she was approved to helm the human rights body.

"She takes office at a time of grave consequence for human rights. Hatred and inequality are on the rise. Respect for international humanitarian and human rights law is on the decline. Space for civil society is shrinking. Press freedoms are under pressure," Guterres said.

"Michelle Bachelet brings unique experience to the United Nations and to all of us, and is strongly committed to keeping human rights at the forefront of the work of the United Nations," he added.

A pediatrician and politician, in her capacity as the first female president of Chile, she remained popular, creating welfare policies and steady growth in the economy. Chile is one of the region's most robust and developed economies.

The former High Commissioner al-Hussein, who noted he would not be seeking an extension of his term, had been criticized by for being outspoken and not afraid to criticize governments. During his tenure, he called out the U.S. on its immigration policies and Israel for its disproportionate violence in Gaza.

Bachelet will begin her term on Sept. 1.

*Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington and Betul Yuruk from the United Nations -



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