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* Pillay welcomes Jordan's Prince Zeid as new UN human rights chief
Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 11:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

June 17, Geneva: The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday warmly welcomed the UN General Assembly's appointment of Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein to succeed her when her mandate comes to an end on 31 August 2014.

The UN General Assembly Monday unanimously approved Prince Zeid, who is currently Jordan's Permanent Representative to the UN, as the new High Commissioner for Human Rights to succeed South African Pillay for the next four years.

"Zeid Ra'ad Zeid Al-Hussein will bring many years of experience in the international arena to the Office of the High Commissioner, including considerable expertise on various human rights issues and in particular in the area of international justice and the fight against impunity," Pillay said today.

Applauding the decision of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the General Assembly to appoint him as her successor to head the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) charged with protecting all the human rights of everyone everywhere, Pillay said she looks forward to passing on this "unique and very special mandate" to him.

"I am confident that he will take on the role of High Commissioner for Human Rights with the forthrightness and diligence that has characterized his career so far," she said.

Prince Zeid will be the High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab worlds.

Headquartered in Geneva, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the UN Charter and in international human rights laws and treaties.

Sri Lanka had an inimical relationship with the outgoing High Commissioner Pillay due to her stern stance on Sri Lanka's human rights situation. Sri Lanka often accused Pillay, a South African Tamil of being biased towards the Tamil diaspora and sympathetic to their demand for a separate state in the island.

Sri Lanka has flatly rejected the war crime inquiry put in place by Pillay saying that it the inquiry is no way a credible truth-seeking process.

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