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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein: a confrontational but highly effective Human Rights Commissioner

A response to Prospect’s August profile of the remarkable UN diplomat

By Ken Roth  

Tom Fletcher’s article on the outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, (“UN-diplomatic,” August) raises a disturbing question: why would such a highly effective commissioner never be given a second term?

As the article notes, Zeid tellingly observed that “to be re-elected in my job would be to fail.” It would have required him to pull his punches rather than to speak out wherever serious abuses occurred.

Part of the problem is that, even though the UN General Assembly elects the high commissioner, the…

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