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Former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet nominated for UN human rights commissioner

Ghada El Sharkawy, Thursday 9 Aug 2018
Michelle Bachelet
Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet
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Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean president and ground-breaking women’s rights champion, has been nominated by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Bachelet was the first woman ever to be elected as Chile’s president in 2006. She served in the post from 2006 to 2010, and again from 2014 to 2018.

Secretary-General Guterres nominated Bachelet after consulting with the chairs of the regional groups of member States. Her name has been put forward for consideration by the 193-member UN General Assembly.

After the end of her first term as Chile's president, Bachelet served as the first-ever executive director of the UN's gender equality office UN Women.

Earlier in her political career, Bachelet held key government posts in her home country, serving as minister of defence and minister of health.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principle official who speaks out for human rights across the UN system, "strengthening human rights mechanisms; enhancing equality; fighting discrimination in all its forms; strengthening accountability and the rule of law; widening the democratic space and protecting the most vulnerable from all forms of human rights abuse," according to the UN.

The job is currently held by Zeid Ra’ad Al- Hussein, who will leave the post at the end of this month. Hussein will have served a single term from 2014 to 2018.

Headquartered in Geneva, the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is mandated to promote and protect the universal exercise and full realisation of human rights, across the world, as established in the UN Charter. 

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