In the News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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