7 March 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11457
HR/4939

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL EXPRESSES ‘GREAT REGRET’ OVER LOUISE ARBOUR’S DECISION

 

NOT TO SEEK SECOND TERM AS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER

 


The following statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was issued today:


It is with great regret that I learned of the decision of Louise Arbour not to seek a second term as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  She has fulfilled her four-year mandate with immense dedication and I have been most impressed by her extraordinary courage, energy and integrity in speaking out forcefully on human rights, which is among the United Nations most important mandates.  She has taken on the challenge of this difficult assignment in precisely the way that I would have expected.  She has never hesitated to incur the criticism of States or other entities by highlighting the victims of abuses and the inadequacies of legal systems everywhere.  She has consistently represented the highest ideals of the Untied Nations, and the many tributes being paid to her today around the world are richly deserved.


Her legacy will be one of a strengthened and more wide-ranging United Nations human rights system, a stronger focus on justice and accountability, reformed protection mechanisms and a more balanced approach to the full range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.


On behalf of the United Nations, and personally too, I thank her for her outstanding service and wish all the best in her future endeavours.


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For information media • not an official record