New York, 7 March 2008 - Statement atrributable to the Secretary-General on the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise ArbourIt is with great regret that I learned of the decision of Louise Arbour not to seek a second term as UN 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 UN's 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 endeavors.