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Al-Hussein+not+to+seek+a+second+term
Thursday, 21 December 2017 - 17:32
Al-Hussein not to seek a second term
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The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, who has openly criticized powerful governments, including the Trump administration, has made the unusual decision to not seek a second four-year term, saying it “might involve bending a knee in supplication.”
 
The decision by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian prince, and former diplomat was conveyed in a short statement that was emailed to his staff.
 
His four-year term expires next September.
 
“After reflection, I have decided not to seek a second four-year term,” he wrote.
 
“To do so, in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a statement of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice — which is your voice.”
 
“Zeid has done a very impressive job,” said Harold Hongju Koh, a professor of international law at Yale Law School. “He’s operated in a very difficult environment and hasn’t hesitated to speak on very difficult issues.”
 
In his email to his staff, he said, “There are many months ahead of us: months of struggle, perhaps, and even grief — because although the past year has been arduous for many of us, it has been appalling for many of the people we serve.”
 
Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for Mr. Guterres, confirmed Mr. al-Hussein’s plans to leave after his term expires.
(The New York Times)
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