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UNITED NATIONS, June 07 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin on Friday welcomed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s decision to appoint Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein as new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“I believe he is a good candidate. Prince Zeid is the right man for the job,” Churkin told Itar-Tass. He said he shared “years of friendly relations” with the Jordanian diplomat, who was now Jordan’s permanent representative at the United Nations.
“He is a very experienced and creative person, and I wish him success,” Churkin said.
He recalled that in 2006 the Jordanian diplomat was one of the contenders for the post of UN Secretary-General, but the choice was then made in favour of the current chief administrative officer, Ban Ki-moon. At that moment Prince Zeid, 42, was the youngest candidate for the position of UN Secretary-General in the organization’s entire history.
Ban’s decision to appoint the Jordanian diplomat as the seventh High Commissioner for Human Rights was announced on Friday. He is to replace Navanetham Pillay, of South Africa, who has held the post since September 2008. As the UN Secretary-General’s deputy spokesman Farhan Haq has said, Prince Zeid’s candidature is to be formally endorsed at a session of the UN General Assembly.
It is up to the GA countries to decide when the session will take place and if the issue will have to be put to the vote, Haq said.
Prince Zeid has led Jordan’s UN mission for over ten years. First he took the position in 2000, but seven years later he was appointed Jordan’s ambassador to the United States. After the three-year diplomatic assignment in Washington he returned to his current position at the UN.