Ex-Chilean President as World Human Rights Chief

Devuni Goonewardene

Colombo (News 1st) – The United Nations General Assembly approved the appointment of Chile’s former President Michelle Bachelet to be the world body’s next human rights chief today (August 11).

Bachelet will take over from Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, a sharp critic of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies, who held the post of U.N. high commissioner for human rights since September 2014.

The decision was taken on the consensus by the 193-nation assembly after Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put forward Bachelet to be the next U.N. high commissioner for human rights on Wednesday (August 08).

Applause rang out after assembly president Miroslav Lajcak gaveled the decision.

Bachelet will take up her new position on 01 September 2018.

A two-time president who ranks among the world’s most high-profile women in politics, Bachelet endured torture during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet but went on to serve in government after democracy was restored in 1990.

A trained pediatrician and socialist politician, she was also the first director of U.N. Women, the U.N. agency promoting gender equality worldwide.

Bachelet will step into a position that has drawn much controversy under Zeid, who decided not to seek a second term after losing support from powerful countries including the United States, Russia, and China.