Change of guard: Exit Navi, enter Zeid
UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay, with whom the Sri Lankan Government has had an increasingly uncomfortable relationship as international pressure grew on alleged war crimes, will retire in August and be succeeded by Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein.
Last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon nominated Jordan’s envoy to the United Nations as successor to Pillay as human rights commissioner. His appointment will have to be approved by the UN General Assembly before he can be officially named.
Prince Zeid, a member of Jordan’s royal family and the country’s former Ambassador to the UN, will become the seventh holder of the office.
Zeid served as political affairs officer with the UN peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia and was a candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary-general in 2006. Jordan is currently a member of the UN Security Council
Pillay, whose term will end in September this year, is widely believed to have fallen foul of the United States because of her criticism of Israel and was only approved for a half-term, or two years, when her first four-year term ended in September 2012.