Chile's Bachelet chosen to be next U.N. human rights chief

Chile's Bachelet chosen to be next U.N. human rights chief

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has chosen former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to be the world body’s new human rights chief, Reuters reports.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly is due to meet on Friday to approve Bachelet’s appointment. She would replace Jordan’s outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, who is stepping down at the end of the month after a four-year term in the Geneva-based job.

Ambassadors chairing different regional groups at the United Nations were told of the decision on Tuesday by U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, several diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement that Guterres formally notified the General Assembly on Wednesday.

Bachelet was conservative Chile’s first female leader.

The pediatrician-turned-politician first served as president of Chile from 2006 to 2010. Her amiable style, welfare policies and steady economic growth in one of the region’s most developed countries made her popular.

Bachelet then led U.N. Women, a body for gender equality and the empowerment of women, between 2010 and 2013, before returning to Chile where she again served as president from 2014 to 2018, pushing for a more radical tax-and-spend agenda, as well as broader abortion rights.

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