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Prince Zeid the first Arab to become UN’s new human rights chief

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UN ambassador of Jordan, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, has become the first Muslim Arab holding the office of United Nations High Commission for Human Right.
The 193-member UN General Assembly approved Jordan’s permanent representative in UN, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, as its human rights high commissioner based in Geneva on Monday. The50-year-old is a relative of Jordan’s royal family who graduated from Johns Hopkins University and received a PhD from the University of Cambridge, already popular with a solid reputation as a human rights advocate. His 4-year appointment was approved by consensus and would start in September. UN Secretary -General Ban Ki-moon nominated him earlier in this month to replace Navi Pillay, a South African jurist who is known a harsh critic of Israel. “I am going to be the first High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab world,” Prince Zeid told the General Assembly. “Needless to say this reflects the commitment of the international community towards this important dossier and its commitment to push if forward in this continent as well as in other regions of the world,” he added. 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. The mandate includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout the UN, and strengthening and streamlining the UN system in the field of human rights. In addition to its mandated responsibilities, the Office leads efforts to integrate a human rights approach within all work carried out by UN agencies.

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