Wednesday, July 30, 2008
On July 29, the UN General Assembly unanimously approved Navanethem Pillay as the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Pillay had a distinguished career as a lawyer for international human rights. Educated at Harvard, Ms. Pillay began her legal career in 1967 in South Africa defending anti-apartheid activists. In 1995, she was the first woman of Southeast Asian descent to be appointed to the South African Supreme Court. She also has served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and as an appeals chamber judge for the International Criminal Court. Ms. Pillay will begin her new post on September 1. The international human rights community hopes that Ms. Pillay will be an outspoken advocate for international human rights.