OHCHR Seeks Entries for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Position

Zeid Raad Al Hussein, High commissioner of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Zeid Raad Al Hussein, High commissioner of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is  seeking nominations for the position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Under-Secretary-General level.

The Secretariat welcomes nominations, especially of female candidates, to supplement the Secretary-General’s own search and consultations to widen the pool of candidates for the position.

The OHCHR, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, represents the world’s commitment to the universal ideals of human dignity and has a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations, accountable to the Secretary-General. This person is responsible for the administration and all the activities of the OHCHR.

The High Commissioner carries out the functions specifically assigned to him or her by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993 and subsequent resolutions of policy-making bodies. Information on the OHCHR is available in the Secretary-General’s Bulletin ST/SGB/1997/10 and on the http://www.ohchr.org/. The other responsibilities of the High Commissioner include:

  • Advising the Secretary-General on the policies of the United Nations in the area of human rights
  • Ensuring that substantive and administrative support is given to the projects, activities, organs and bodies of the human rights programme
  • Representing the Secretary-General at meetings of human rights organs and at other human rights events; and carries out special assignments as decided by the Secretary-General.

Individuals who are either nominated by Member States or who seek to serve with the United Nations in any individual capacity will be required, if short-listed, to complete a self-attestation stating that they have not committed, been convicted of, nor prosecuted for, any criminal offence and have not been involved, by act or omission, in the commission of any violation of international human rights law or international humanitarian law.

The ideal candidate sought by the Secretary-General will possess:

  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge of human rights issues and challenges derived from experience of leadership in an academic, governmental, inter-governmental and/or nongovernmental setting
  • Ability to be a powerful and convincing advocate on all aspects of human rights worldwide within the United Nations system, including charter- and treaty-based human rights bodies, and with Governments, national institutions and civil society organizations, as well as the wider public
  • Demonstrated leadership experience with strategic vision and proven skills in leading transformation in, and managing complex organizations, such as intergovernmental, international non-governmental or multinational private sector entities
  • Proven track record of change management in complex organizations and accomplishments at the regional, national or international level with strong resource mobilization, political and diplomatic skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization
  • Proven ability to inspire, encourage, build trust and confidence and also build consensus, stimulate effective campaigns and drive collective action among a broad spectrum of people and organizations
  • High commitment to the values and guiding principles of the United Nations and familiarity with the United Nations system, including peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian and development settings and challenges.

Candidates who are shortlisted for this position will be required to complete the pre-appointment declaration of interests for senior positions to identify possible conflicts of interest that may arise and to proactively prevent and manage, as much as possible and in a timely manner, situations in which personal interests may conflict or appear to conflict with the interests of the United Nations, should the individual be appointed to this position.

In accordance with the General Assembly resolution 48/141, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and approved by the General Assembly, with due regard to geographical rotation for a fixed term of four years with a possibility of one renewal for another fixed term of four years.

All applications are to be sent to the United Nations Secretariat by July 11, 2018 via email to eosg2018ohchr@un.org. Applications should include the email address, telephone and full contact information of the candidate along with the candidate’s curriculum vitae.