UNITED NATIONS, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The UN General Assembly ( UNGA) on Monday unanimously approved the nomination of Jordan's UN ambassador, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, as the new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Prince Zeid al-Hussein was nominated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon earlier this month to replace Navi Pillay, who took up the post on Sept. 1, 2008. Pillay's mandate has been renewed for two years beginning on Sept. 1, 2012 and is due to step down on Aug. 31, 2014.
"I am going to be the first High Commissioner from the Asian continent and from the Muslim and Arab worlds," Zeid al-Hussein said after the approval.
"Needless to say this reflects the commitment of the international community towards this important dossier and its commitment to push it forward in this continent as well as in other regions of the world," he added.
Zeid al-Hussein is currently Jordan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held previously from 2000 to 2007.
From 2007 to 2010, he served as Jordan's Ambassador to the United States and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico. He also served as Jordan's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, from 1996 to 2000.
The post of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was established by the UNGA in 1993 to promote and protect the effective enjoyment by all people of all civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, including the right to development. The UNGA resolution stipulates that the High Commissioner should function as the UN official with principal responsibility for global human rights efforts.
The High Commissioner is appointed by the UN Secretary-General and approved by the UNGA, with due regard to geographical rotation. Appointments are at the level of Under-Secretary-General, for a fixed term of four years, with the possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.