Friday, July 18, 2008

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - Pillay?

Louise Arbour's term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights ended on June 30, but her successor has still not been named. Allegedly, José Ramos Horta (East Timor) was offered the job and declined it. Now, rumor has it that Navanethem Pillay (South Africa), a judge on the International Criminal Court and a former judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, has had an offer in hand for a number of days. If true, why has an announcement not been made? Perhaps to consult with influential members of the General Assembly, which must approve the appointment. Perhaps to soothe the disappointment of certain countries (like Mexico) whose nominees fell short. Perhaps to quash opposition from other countries, such as the United States, which apparently opposed Pillay because of South African Government policy on Zimbabwe, among other things. We'll see. As we write, Reuters is reporting that Pillay is indeed the one and an announcement may be made as soon as later today.

UPDATE: The New York Times also has a story reporting that Pillay has been chosen.