Ban ‘gratified’ at General Assembly endorsement of human rights chief nominee

28 July 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he was “gratified” that his nomination of South African judge Navanethem Pillay as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had today been endorsed by the General Assembly.

Mr. Ban reiterated his commitment to ensuring that human rights remain high on the agenda of the Organization, in a statement released by his spokesperson.

He said that he expected that the new the new High Commissioner would preserve the independence of her Office, and maintain effective working relations with the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the human rights community in general.

Ms. Pillay will succeed Louise Arbour of Canada, who completed her five-year term on 30 June.

Since 2003, Ms. Pillay has served as a judge on the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Prior to that, she served – as both Judge and President – on the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which she joined in 1995.

The Secretary-General said that he was determined to give Ms. Pillay his full support, including with increased financial and human resources, as approved by the General Assembly.


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