General Assembly Approves Michelle Bachelet of Chile as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The General Assembly today approved the nomination of Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile, as the next United Nations human rights chief for a four‑year term, beginning on 1 September 2018.

The decision was taken without a vote, following the proposal by UN Secretary‑General António Guterres to appoint Ms. Bachelet as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  Ms. Bachelet will replace Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, whose term ends on 31 August.

Ms. Bachelet was the first woman to be elected to Chile’s highest office, serving as President, first from 2006 to 2010, and then from 2014 to 2018.  In between, she served as the first Executive Director of the newly created United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN‑Women).

Following the Assembly decision, several delegations delivered congratulatory remarks. 

Chile’s delegate said Ms. Bachelet’s appointment is critically important as this year marks the seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and at a time when human rights norms face challenges.  He stressed the need for the international community to uphold human rights.

Iran’s delegate asked Ms. Bachelet to lead her office in accordance of relevant resolutions, making it clear that human rights is “not a tool for powerful countries to use against their dislikes” and to address politicization and polarization stemming from such practices.

Several delegations stressed the need to support Ms. Bachelet’s office both financially and politically. Read more via UN