Issue 127 - March 3 - Heraldo Muñoz, Chile's Ambassador to UN, Among Reported Candidates for HR Post

New York, March 3, 2010 - Reliable sources have indicated to the UNelections Campaign that Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz, Permanent Representative of Chile to the UN, is a candidate for the post of Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights.

Muñoz has been his country's ambassador to the UN since 2003, during which time Chile was a member of the UN Security Council (2003-2004). In January 2009, Muñoz was elected President of the UN Peacebuilding Commission's Organizational Committee for a one-year term. Muñoz also is known for his expertise on the Responsibility to Protect, which Chile has supported vocally. As Chile's representative, he has been an advocate of the International Criminal Court and active in the process to review the functioning and impact of the Rome Statute.

Muñoz also is known for his academic work and publications, including, most recently, The Dictator's Shadow: Life under Augusto Pinochet (2008), a "personal account of life in a police state." (For more information, see Muñoz's UN biography.)

Note on Qualifications

It is the understanding of the UNelections Campaign that the person selected to fill the role of Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights need not have an especially high public profile. Rather, a key qualification is working knowledge of the UN system, particularly including the Office of the Secretary-General and the principal organs of the UN based in New York, such as the General Assembly and Security Council. Extensive experience in the field of human rights may not necessarily imply that a candidate will excel at operating within the UN system in New York. It is preparation for this type of work that is most needed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, according to experts.

Request for Information

Because the application process is confidential and the UNelections Campaign has not seen the applications themselves, it relies on well-placed sources to learn of candidates, their qualifications, and other aspects of the selection process. The Campaign welcomes all information and input.

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