Ex-Chilean President nominated as UN Human Rights chief

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has nominated former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to succeed the controversial Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Her nomination was sent by Guterres to the UN General Assembly which must approve the appointment, reports said on Thursday. Zeid’s four-year term ends in August and General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak had convened a session on August 3 to consider her nomination.

Zeid, however, decided not to seek a second term. Bachelet, who completed a second term as Chile’s President in March, experienced human rights violations during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

A doctor, she also has done advanced studies in defence in the US and served as health and defence minister – unique qualifications for a human rights chief who must confront military organisations involved in human rights violations that inflict physical and mental harm.

As per reports, Bachelet now faces a task of re-establishing the credibility of her office and of the UN Human Rights Council.

(With inputs from Agencies)