UN Watch

Former Chilean president nominated as UN human rights chief

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has nominated former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to succeed the controversial Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  India had accused Zeid of being biased after he had issued a report on human rights violations in Kashmir and called for a Council investigation.

Aug 9, 2018
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has nominated former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to succeed the controversial Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.  India had accused Zeid of being biased after he had issued a report on human rights violations in Kashmir and called for a Council investigation. 
 
Her nomination was sent by Guterres on Wednesday to the UN General Assembly which must approve the appointment.Zeid's four-year term ends this month and General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak convened a session on Friday to consider her nomination.
 
Zeid decided not seek a second term for which he was eligible. Bachelet, who finished a second term as president on Chile in March, personally experienced human rights violations during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
 
A medical doctor, she also has done advanced studies in defence in the United States and served as health and defence minister -- unique qualifications for a human rights chief who must confront military organisations involved in human rights violations that inflict physical and mental harm.
 
She now faces task of reestablishing the credibility of her office and of the UN Human Rights Council, which have come under attack during Zeid's stormy tenure.
 
India slammed the report and Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal said it reflected “the clear bias of an official who was acting without any mandate whatsoever and relied on unverified sources of information.”
 
The US pulled out of the Human Rights Council in June with Permanent Representative Nikki Haley calling it a “hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights."

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