Michelle Bachelet - UN Human Rights High Commissioner | Sunday Observer

Michelle Bachelet - UN Human Rights High Commissioner

After a vote on Friday by the United Nations General Assembly in New York, former two-time President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, hailed as a ‘pioneer’ by the UN Secretary-General, has officially been appointed as High Commissioner for Human Rights, from September 1.

Minutes after she was voted in, UN chief Antonio Guterres told reporters he was ‘delighted’ by the news of her appointment as Bachelet “has been as formidable a figure in her native Chile, as she has at the United Nations.”

Bachelet said she was “deeply humbled and honoured” to have been entrusted with “this important task.”

Her predecessor in this position, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who took on the role in September 2014 also warmly welcomed her appointment.

“She has all the attributes courage, perseverance, passion, and a deep commitment to human rights to make her a successful High Commissioner,” he said on Friday in a statement, adding that the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) “looks forward to welcoming her and working under her leadership for the promotion and protection of all human rights, for everyone, everywhere”.

The UN chief paid special tribute to Zeid, who is stepping down after one term as the key UN voice on global human rights at the end of this month, saying that he wished “to express my deep gratitude to my good colleague and friend.”

Michelle Bachelet will be the seventh High Commissioner since the office was created in 1993. The High Commissioner, is the principle official who speaks out for human rights across the whole UN system.