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UN’s Top Human Rights Official Decides Not to Seek another Term

UN’s Top Human Rights Official Decides Not to Seek another Term

Thursday, 21 December, 2017 - 12:15
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has told staff that he won't tone down his criticism of member states in order to seek a new term in his post next year- AFP

The United Nations' top human rights official Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that he will not be seeking re-election for his post given current geopolitical environment.

In an email to staff, seen by AFP, he wrote: "After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term" adding that "in the current geopolitical context," to stay "might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy."

The 53-year-old career diplomat was appointed as UN rights chief in 2014 under former UN chief Ban Ki-moon, replacing Navi Pillay of South Africa.

He was Jordan's UN ambassador from 2000 to 2007 and served as a UN political affairs officer in the UN peace mission in former Yugoslavia, during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Al Hussein was the first UN official to describe the Myanmar army's campaign against Muslim Rohingya as ethnic cleansing.

The UN commissioner had also condemned the Israeli army's killing of a Palestinian sitting on a wheelchair during a protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Al Hussein reiterated facts his appointed team gathered so far in Gaza which strongly show that brute force was used against Palestinians.

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