In the News

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein is the New UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

 NEW YORK: 8 September 2014

     On the 1st of September, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein assumed his duties as the seventh United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The General Assembly approved his appointment on the 16th of June.  

     A Jordanian citizen, Mr. Al-Hussein is the first Asian, Arab, or Muslim to be selected for the position.  Mr. Al-Hussein served as Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations from 2000 to 2007, and again from 2010 until 2014.  From 2007 to 2010, he represented Jordan as Permanent Representative to the United States.

Secretary-General accepting applications for High Commissioner for Human Rights

In a vacancy announcement  posted to the Secretary-General’s website this week, it was announced that the Secretary-General is seeking applicants to fill the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level. In accordance with General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Secretary-General and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation for a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.

General Assembly to hold Extraordinary Election to Security Council

On 6 December at 10:00am EST the General Assembly will hold an extraordinary election to fill the seat refused by Saudi Arabia in the October regular election. On 18 November, Jordan formally submitted its candidacy for the vacant seat, and has been endorsed for election by the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States. The election is expected to be a "clean slate" election, as no other country announced candidacy. 

 For more information, please see Security Council Report's article  on the election. 

Saudi Arabia declines election to Security Council

Less than 24 hours after receiving 176 votes to win an uncontested election for one of the five open non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, Saudi Arabia has announced that it declines its election and will not sit on the Council for the 2014-2015 term. 

 The move seemed to come as a surprise to the Saudi Mission to the UN, as the Mission office had spent months bolstering staff and receiving extra training on Security Council rules and procedures, and after the election yesterday, the Permanent Representative thanked all the member states for their support and provided gifts to the members of the General Assembly (a customary practice for those elected). Then on the morning of October 18th, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement  that the country would not accept its election. 

Security Council election results for the 2014-2015 term

On 17 October the UN General Assembly held elections for five open non-permanent seats on the Security Council. The newly elected states are: Chad and Nigeria (for the African Group), Saudi Arabia (for the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Chile (from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), and Lithuania (from the Eastern European Group). There were no seats open in the Western European and Others Group.

All of the states elected were done so in "clean slate" elections (without significant opposition and only requiring one round of voting). In order to be elected, states needed to garner at least a two-thirds majority of states considered "present and voting".

Upcoming Security Council Elections

On 17 October 2013 the General Assembly will elect five nonpermanent members to the Security Council for the 2014-2015 term. The elections will be held to replace five countries whose terms are ending this year: Togo and Morocco (from the African Group), Pakistan (from the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States), Guatemala (from the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States), and Azerbaijan (from the Eastern European Group).  Neither of the two seats allotted to the Western European and Others Group is up for election this year.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appointed as new UNWomen Executive Director

New York, July 10, 2013

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (South Africa) has been appointed as the new Executive Director for UNWomen - the organization leading UN’s work on advancing gender equality and women’s rights.

John William Ashe Elected President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly - New York, NY, June 14, 2013

Election of the President, Vice President and Committee Chairs of the General Assembly for the 68th Session

Selection of the new Executive Director of UNWomen

Election of Executive Director of UN Women

May, 2013



18 New Human Rights Council Members for 2013-2016

2012 Human Rights Council (HRC) Elections

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